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Old 14-02-13, 10:49 AM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default a trophy In memory of Ranil Abeyanayake

Trinity-Thomian encounter a major attraction

Hafiz Mairkar

The Trinity-Thomian cricket match which takes place on Friday and Saturday (February 15 and 16) at Mt. Lavania should attract a lot of interest. This time they will be playing for a trophy In memory of Ranil Abeyanayake one of the finest cricketers to come out of the Mt. Lavania school. He played in the years 1972 and 1973 as a top class spinner. Later he played for SSC, Sri Lanka and was involved in cricket at SSC for a long spell, and also was commentator and writer.

This is Trinity's second oldest cricket encounter. They first played against Royal College in 1896 and the next was against S.Thomas' in 1898. Although it is said that this game became an annual fixture no records are available for the next four years from 1899 to 1901.

And for another four in the time up to 1913 when the Trinitians achieved what appears to be the first win against the Thomians. From the Inaugural game in 1898, Thomians have been winning.

The first game was played in 1898, which went in favor of the Thomians, and the next game came in 1902 that too was won by the Thomians, followed by winning in the years 1906, 1909, 1910, 1911 and 1912. It was in 1913 that Trinity won first, there after went on to win in a row till 1917.

The first Trinitian to score a century against the Thomians was P. Madugalle 127 in 1938. The first fifty for the Trintians was off the bat of C.S. Rajaratnam in 1909; S.R.Titus was the first to take five wickets in 1909, 5 for 44.

Flash back to a Trinity - S Thomas' encounter. This match was played on February 25 and 26, 1966 at Mt. Lavania.

Apparently a bad decision let Thomians off the hook - Trinity who had proved, beyond any doubt, that they were blessed with a fine all-round side in that year, and they were ranked as the No. I in school cricket, with a little more courage they could have created a complete upset by smashing the unbeaten record of S. Thomas' that season. In that season, the Thomians were brought to the knees by the Trinitians. The normal clam and collected Thomian captain Anura Tenakoon who later went on to lead the country, was completely baffled by the approach of the Trinitians. Had the Kandy side batted like they did in the second essay, the Mt Lavania School would have been in a worse plight. With such a talented side, Trinitans adopted cautions tactics?

In that 1966 game, as for the Thomians, nothing seemed to click. They lost the toss, their fielding became sloppy and their bowlers could do nothing on a dead pitch. With all this, they were lucky to skittle, the Trinitians for 198 runs. The Trinity batting, though blemished by a number of chances in the first innings, proved no flash in the pan.

After the departure of Anura Tenakoon the Thomian bating flopped. Glen Valangenerg the controversial Trinity College paceman crashed through to get three quick wickets, the rest offered no resistance.

Robin Mendis was unfortunate in being hit on the forehead from a bouncer from Glen when he was shaping up well with the bat. S. Conadegama who was batting well, hit two well timed hits over the ropes - sweeping Harindra Dunuwille the Trinitiy captain over the square leg in the same over. The Mt. Lavania boys were able to collect 134 runs, falling short of 64 of the Trinity total - the first time being led on the first innings that season.

With this tremendous advantage, the Trinitians really turned in a fine batting show. Opener R.A. Hearth and Chandra Amunugama started cautiously but stepped up the rate to put on 79 runs for the first wicket in just 75 minutes. The Thomian bowlers toiled in vain. The batsmen played them with complete ease. Chandra Amunugama got a well deserved 55.

Their bright display was followed with a delightful exhibition of powerful play by skipper Hrindra Dunuwille. What little fire that the remained in the Thomian attack was extinguished by Harindra Dunuwille. The bowlers wilted under this terrific onslaught. What a beating these Thomains took on this day, fifty runs came in just 17 minutes; Harindra hammered them to all corners of the field, excelling in the covers. He was unbeaten with 47, which came in just twenty minutes.

This as the weak point, Trinity could have declared at tea, had they changed their batting order. At the fall of the first wicket, Harindra went in followed by Glen, Trinity would easily have got the Thomains chasing 250 runs for victory. If Trinity had declaration soon after tea, they only added 22 runs had they declared at tea the Thomian target would have been 196 for victory in 120 minutes.

This would have given the Trinity bowlers sufficient time, at least and a god attempt could have been mad to get the Mt. Lavania boys out. Instead, the Thomians were set the impossible task of getting 217 in 105 minutes.

Not to be outdone by the Trinitians, the Thomians went for the runs, opener Mohan Jayasekara slammed the first ball from Glen to the square leg boundary. Two balls later the other opener Perera, was run out trying to steal a single. Tenekoon opened out; then nicked a ball for Glen to take a fine left-handed catch.

Sriyantha Rjapakse, the Vice captain, continued the impossible chase along with Mohan Jayasekara who was out for 22, having sent the 50 up in just 40 minutes. Rajapakse was out shortly afterwards, trying to hit a ball out of the ground, but only to be caught at the covers by Harindra.

At this point the Thomians were in a bad way but Kariyawasam with some solid hitting, and R.M. de Silva put on 32 runs and held out till stumps with the total 112 for 7.

Trinity - 198 and 153 fro 2 declared - S Thomas' 134 and 112 for 7.

Trinity - Harindra Dunuwille, R.A. Hearth, Chandra Amunugama, Glen Valengenberg Nihal Marambe, Himendra Ranaweera, Dudley Dissnayake, E. Warne, S.Boange, Ajith Abeyarthne, Lucky Abeyarthne,

S Thomas' - Anura Tenakoon, A.M. Perera, S. Rajapakse, T. Baines, T.M de Silva, D.R.Chanmugam, J. Bandaranayake, Robin Mendis, P.L.D. Kariyawasam, S. Condegama, Mohan. Jayasekara
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