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Old 14-03-16, 06:20 PM
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Default Opatha, Mendis in record stand as Thomians amass 350

Opatha, Mendis in record stand as Thomians amass 350
March 10, 2016, 9:49 pm

by Reemus Fernando

Put in to bat first, Yohan Mendis and Rashmika Opatha put on a record breaking opening stand as they set the stage for S. Thomas’ to reach 350 for five wickets declared against arch-rivals Royal College on day one of the historic 137th Battle of the Blues at the SSC on Thursday.

In reply to Thomians 350 for five wickets declared, Royal were one for no loss in the solitary over they faced before rain brought an abrupt end to play with still 22 overs remaining.

Opatha cracked the fastest century of the series for Thomians and added 197 runs for the first wicket.

He was aggressive from the word go and reached his century in 95 balls (139 minutes, 15x4s, 3x6s) though there were hardly and celebrations.

Opatha jumped in the air and raised his bat when he reached triple figures but there were no flag waving prefects invading the pitch to celebrate it. It was the same when he reached his half-century early (50 in 54 balls) and when Mendis reached his milestone.

B.U. Karunaratne’s century (100 in 101 balls) in 1997, is recorded in the Big Match souvenir as the fastest century of the series.

Thomians completely dominated the morning session with Opatha applying aggression and Mendis playing the supporting role.

They broke an 80 year old record with their opening stand. The previous record partnership of 136 runs (1936) was held by N. Scheffer (54) and W. Jayatilleke (72).

When Opatha was out – caught by Geeshath Panditharatne off the bowling of Himesh Ramanayake – after the lunch break, he had cracked 16 fours and four sixes in his knock. He faced 131 balls. He was dropped on 103 by Ramanayake off the bowling of Ganith Sandeepa.

Left hander Mendis was out in the next over to a good piece of stumping by Tiran Danapala off the bowling of left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya. Mendis scored seven fours in his 64 runs.

The post lunch session saw Royal bowling tight spells but that was until the Thomian skipper Sachitha Jayathilaka commenced his cameo innings where he hammered an unbeaten 50 runs in 31 balls inclusive of five sixes and two fours.

While Dilendra Gunathilake was out for six runs, Ravindu Kodituwakku and Yohan Perera added vital 30s.

The match was notable for three Kottahachchi brothers being involved as umpires. While Rohitha and Ravindra were the on field umpires, KM Kottahachchi was the stand by.

Rashmika Opatha celebrates after scoring the fastest century by a Thomian in the Big Match series on day one of the 137th Battle of the Blues at the SSC on Thursday.
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Last edited by sriyanj; 14-03-16 at 07:25 PM.
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