April 01, 2023
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    Royal fight back, but fail to prevent Thomians

    March 10, 2019

    S. Thomas’s College pulled off a convincing 7-wicket win over archrival Royal College in their 140th Battle of Blues big match which ended at Sinhalese Sports Club ground last afternoon.Left with a simple target of 122 with ample time, the boys by the sea raced to the target in 20 overs with Shalin de Mel scoring an unbeaten half century.

    Thomians got off to a flying start with skipper Sithara Hapuhinna and de Mel sharing 56 runs for the first wicket in just 49 balls. Despite a mini collapse in the middle, de Mel stroked a swashbuckling 67 off 55 balls with 10 boundaries and a six to lead the Thomians to a commanding victory. Left-handed burly skipper showed great aggression in his 34 off 30 balls setting the foundation for their easy chase.
    The win, their 35th in the series, and the first since 2007, came following a spectacular all-round effort by the Thomian outfit who outsmarted their rivals well and truly in all aspects of the game. The result seemed clear as early as day one of the three-day encounter thanks to a magnificent bowling effort by in-form seamer Kalana Perera and spinner Shannon Fernando who combined to bowl Royalists out for a paltry first innings score of 158.

    Perera, who has had a brilliant school season, having picked up 76 wickets at 12.07, issued a fiery spell of left-arm seam bowling, picking six for 54 to dismantle Royal’s batting mainstay. He was well supported by Fernando who picked up four for 27.

    S. Thomas’ ended day one for the loss of six wickets with Ryan Fernando making a top score of 60, but it was Kalana Perera and Umayanga Swaris who saved face for them with a counter-attacking 91 run stand for the ninth wicket which helped them build a imposing first innings lead.

    Thomians were badly placed at 169 for eight on day two when Perera and Swaris came together and put on a brave stand. Both batsmen scored 62 each as Thomian scored 296 all out in their first essay. This gave the Thomians a handsome 138-run lead in the first innings.

    With a mountain to climb to save the match from a ominous defeat, the Royal top order faulted yet again as the Thomian bowling attack ripped through the batting order at regular intervals to derail the opponent’s journey. Resuming from their overnight score of 148 for 4, Royal lost three quick wickets before lunch with Kalana Perera and Dellon Peiris doing the damage. Kalana ended a 51-run fifth wicket stand between Bhagya Dissanayake and Kavindu Pathirathne by removing the later while Peiris picked up two wickets in quick succession to leave them reeling at 171 for 7.

    However, Pasindu Sooriyabandara stroked a defiant counter-attack as he paired with Lahiru Madushanka to frustrate the Thomian bowlers for much of the post-lunch session. Sooriyabandara–the team’s highest run-getter in the current school season with 780– played a gem of an innings at a 67 off 160 balls, sharing a valuable 63 run stand for the ninth wicket. With their regulars struggling to break the threatening stand, Thomian skipper Hapuhinna brought in part-timer Yohan Perera into the attack. All he needed was two balls to finish off the Royal tail.

    Sooriyabandara, who was batting so well until then, edged Yohan’s first ball to Dellon Peiris at first slip, ending Sooriyabandara’s stubborn resistance in the middle. Gishan Balasuriya had his stumps rattled in the next ball to end the Royal second innings at 259 which came off 108.2 overs. Kalana Perera added three more wickets to his tally to end with a match bag of nine wickets but his contribution with the bat proved decisive in the final outcome.

    Kalana Perera was rightly adjudged the Man of the Match and Best Bowler of the 140th encounter while Umayanga Suwaris was named Best Batsman of the tournament. Shalin de Mel, who picked up a record seven catches in the match, was named Best Fielder.


    Shalin de Mel not only steered his side to victory, but also renewed a record by taking seven catches - Pix by Priyantha Wickramaarachchi

    Royal College 1st innings 158 all out in 48.3 overs (Kamil Mishara 36, Kavindu Pathiratne 35, Kaushan Kulasuriya 28, Kalana Perera 6 for 54, Shannon Fernando 4 for 27)
    S. Thomas’ College 1st innings 296 all out in 78.5 overs (Shalin de Mel 21, Ryan Fernando 60, Yohan Perera 49, Umayanga Suwaris 62, Kalana Perera 62, Kamil Mishara 3 for 70, Kavindu Pathiratne 3 for 83, Gishan Balasuriya 2 for 66)
    Royal College 2nd innings
    (148-4 overnight)
    Isiwara Dissanayake b S. de Mel 20
    Kamil Mishara c de Mel b K. Perera 34
    Kavindu Madarasinghe c de Mel b S. Fernando 25
    Ahan Wickramasinghe c Hapuhinna b K. Perera 26
    Bhagya Dissanayake lbw b Peiris 26
    Kavindu Pathiratne c Peiris b K. Perera 24
    Pasindu Sooriyabandara c Peiris b Y. Perera 67
    Thithira Weerasinghe c R. Fernando b Peiris 0
    Kaushan Kulasuriya c R. Fernando b Munasinghe 14
    Lahiru Madusanka not out 11
    Gishan Balasuriya b Y. Perera 0
    Extras (1w, 6nb, 6b, 4lb) 17
    Total (all out; 108.2 overs) 259
    Fall-of-wickets: 1-54 (Mishara), 2-68 (Dissanayake), 3-105 (Madarasinghe), 4-111 (Wickramasinghe), 5-162 (Pathiratne), 6-171 (Dissanayake), 7-171 (Weerasinghe), 8-196 (Kulasuriya), 9-259 (Sooriyabandara), 10-259 (Balasuriya)
    Bowling: Kalana Perera 30-6-102-3, Shannon Fernando 23-11-35-1, Dellon Peiris 23-6-53-2, Kishan Munasinghe 9-6-14-1, Dilmin Ratnayake 5-2-16-0, Shalin de Mel 11-6-12-1, Yohan Perera 5.2-0-15-2, Umayanga Suwaris 2-1-2-0
    S. Thomas’ College 2nd innings
    (Target 121 runs)
    Sithara Hapuhinna c Dissanayake b Mishara 34
    Shalin de Mel not out 67
    Ryan Fernando st Madarasinghe b Balasuriya 3
    Yohan Perera b Madusanka 2
    Ravindu de Silva not out 13
    Extras (4b, 1lb) 5
    Total (For 3 wickets; 20 overs) 124
    Did not bat: Kishan Munasinghe, Umayanga Suwaris, Dellon Peiris, Kalana Perera, Dilmin Ratnayake, Shannon Fernando
    Fall-of-wickets: 1-56 (Hapuhinna), 2-64 (Fernando), 3-79 (Perera)
    Bowling: Kavindu Pathiratne 4-0-39-0, Kamil Mishara 4-0-22-1, Kaushan Kulasuriya 2-0-16-0, Lahiru Madusanka 5-0-19-1, Gishan Balasuriya 5-1-23-1

    Result: S. Thomas’ College won by 7 wickets
    Best Fielder: Shalin de Mel (S. Thomas’/7 catches)
    Best Bowler: Kalana Perera (S. Thomas’/6-54 and 3-102)
    Best Batsman: Umayanga Suwaris (S. Thomas’/62 off 109 balls)
    Player-of-the-Match: Kalana Perera (S. Thomas’/62 runs and 9 for 156)
    Umpires: Raveendra Wimalasiri, Lyndon Hannibal
    Match Referee: Vendol Labrooy

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