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Royal Thomian Match Stories and memories of the greatest match ever

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Old 14-03-16, 06:12 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Thomians have a slight edge 137th Battle of the Blues

Thomians have a slight edge
137th Battle of the Blues
March 9, 2016, 9:17 pm



by Reemus Fernando

S. Thomas’ brimming with confidance after a successful First XI season will have a slight edge against their arch-rivals Royal, who have had a rather bleak tailend to an otherwise prosperous season when the two powerhouses of cricket meet in the historic 137th Battle of the Blues encounter at the SSC ground in Colombo today.

After being compelled to honour tournament commitments, both Royal and S. Thomas’ played over 20 matches this season and both teams were ahead of their counterparts providing little to seperate the equally talented teams. But the game against Trinity, one of the leading teams this season, provided a clue as Royal’s battling crumbled in that game. Royal conceeded an innings defeat in Kandy.

Thomians led by coloursman Sachitha Jayathilaka are an unbeaten team, continuing in their upward rise since coming under Dinesh Kumarasinghe’s tutelage. They played home to most of their matches taking under their belt seven outright victories (St. Anthony’s Katugastota, St. Joseph Vaz’s, President’s, St. Benedict’s, Wesley, Nalanda, De Mazenod) and also did well in their limited away matches. The boys from Mount Lavinia have also reached the semi-finals of the Under-19 tournament.

Royal seem to have taken precautions as they played their traditional match against Prince of Wales at the SSC in an unprecidented move.

Royal, skippered by coloursman Geeshath Panditharatne, have under their belt four outright victories in 21 matches(St. Anthnoy’s, Katugastota, St. Joseph’s, De Mazenod, Royal, Panadura) and their only blemish this season was against Trinity.

Panditharatne and Tiran Danapala are two of the very few batsmen to have scored over 1000 runs this season. Panditharatne has three centuries and three half-centuries in his tally. The former Sri Lanka Under-19 player, Danapala (1107 runs- 4x100s, 4x50s) has maintained an average closer to 50 runs. Naveen Vidanapathirana (over 800 runs- 1x100s) and Pasindu Sooriyabandara (over 600 runs- 2x100s) are the others who have maintained an average over 30 runs this season, while Ronuka Jayawardena too has topped 600 run mark.

The Thomian batting line up does not have any batsman who has topped the 1000 runs milestone for the season. But Rashmika Opatha (over 800 runs- 2x100s, 5x50s), Yohan Mendis (over 700 runs- 1x100s, 4x50s), skipper Jayathilaka (over 700 runs- 7x50s), Ravindu Kodituwakku (over 700 runs- 1x100s, 4x50s) and Dilendra Gunathilake (over 600 runs) who has scored over 80% of his runs with boundaries have helped the Thomians survive formidable attacks.

Royal’s bowling armoury has a spinner who has taken more than 100 wickets for the season. That is only the second time in history. The stage is set for Sri Lanka discard Lasith Embuldeniya (118 wickets) to produce something special. He was prolific this season though was not among the pick of the bowlers during the last few encounters.

The left-armer will have the services of off spinner Ganith Sandeepa (closer to 40 wickets) in the spin department, while former Sri Lanka Under-19 paceman Himesh Ramanayake (over 30 wickets), Helitha Vithanage (over 25 wickets) and Duvindu Hettiarachchi share new ball duties.

The Thomians pace attack comprises Yohan Perera, Shenal de Silva, Hansaka Liyanarachchi and Rashmika Opatha.

Skipper Jayathilaka has been their key striker. The off-spinner has a tally of over 70 wickets and joins left arm chinaman bowler Ravindu Thilakaratne to make a strong spin combination. Thilakaratne has taken over 50 wickets this season. Dellon Peiris is the other left arm spinner and he too has taken over 40 wickets.

(Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)



The 2 teams invited by the PM to Temple Trees for tea yesterday….31/3/2016
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Last edited by sriyanj; 01-04-16 at 12:02 PM.
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  #2  
Old 14-03-16, 06:20 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsHbiyXQ3qU


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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Old 14-03-16, 06:24 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default 137th Battle of the Blues Marathon man Sooriyabandara defies Thomians

137th Battle of the Blues
Marathon man Sooriyabandara defies Thomians
March 12, 2016, 12:00 pm

by Reemus Fernando

Fresher Pasindu Sooriyabandara anchored the Royal batting line-up with an unbeaten 97 runs as they recovered from being 96 for four wickets at one stage to reach 280 for seven at stumps in reply to Thomian’s 350 for five wickets declared on day two of the 137th Battle of the Blues at the SSC on Friday.

Royal batted patiently in the morning but young paceman Yohan Perera could provide the first breakthrough and take two quick wickets at the stroke of the lunch to place them at 96 for four. Number three batsman Sooriyabandara rose to the occasion with a marathon innings that had lasted 382 minutes by the stumps. He was involved in a 139 runs stand for the sixth wicket with another fresher, number seven batsman, Malith Kariyawasam who scored 78 runs.

The duo made sure that Royal avoid the follow on and reach a position that will put pressure back on their opposition who entered the annual battle as slight favourites.

Their sensible batting either side of the tea break proved vital for them and frustrating for the opposition as no other batsmen could top 30 runs.

Sooriyabandara scored just 13 fours in his knock for which he faced 283 balls.

Kariyawasam’s knock included 12 fours.

Perera was the pick of the bowlers. The paceman bowled two superb spells before lunch taking a wicket in the first over of each spell in the morning session. Perera accounted for opener Naveen Vidanapathirana and Royal skipper Geeshath Panditharatne in the first over of his first two spells. He had both left handers caught at slips. Vidanapathirana was the first to depart caught by Ravindu Kodituwakku at slips for 24 runs (5x4s).

Left-arm spinner Dellon Peiris had the other opener Ronuka Jayawardena playing upishly to be caught by Shenal de Silva for two runs. Sooriyabandara and skipper Panditharatne were repairing the damage when Perera was reintroduced to the attack in the last over before lunch. He had Royal skipper edging one to slips where Rumesh Nallaperuma held a low catch to dismiss him for 26 runs. He scored four fours and a six in his 26 runs. Royal sent tail-ender Lasith Embuldeniya instead of Tiran Danapala to face the last few balls before lunch. But the gamble did not pay off as he was given out lbw to a Perera delivery in the same over.

Hansaka Liyanarachchi picked up two wickets, while Sachitha Jayathilaka picked up one wicket.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPbs...0&spfreload=10

Last edited by sriyanj; 14-03-16 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 14-03-16, 06:33 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Thomians stunned as Royal fight back to win

Thomians stunned as Royal fight back to win
March 14, 2016, 12:54 am


 

by Reemus Fernando

Royal College fought back on day three to pull off a stunning four-wicket victory over archrivals S. Thomas’ as paceman Himesh Ramanayake, fresher Pasindu Sooriyabandara and Malith Kariyawasam played the roles of heroes for the winners in the 137th Battle of the Blues at the SSC on Saturday.

Paceman Ramanayake played the key role in turning the match on its head as he took four wickets to reduce the formidable Thomian batting line-up to 127 runs, a far cry from the Thomians’ dominant first innings feat of 350 for five wickets declared. That left Royal with a target of 150 runs to chase in 49 overs.

In their run chase, Royal were 79 for four wickets at one stage but Kariyawasam held the middle-order together with an unbeaten 38 runs to seal the victory with light metres almost out at around 6.05 p.m.

The Thomians who came to the match as slight favourites were still holding the edge when the match commenced on the third day. But it all started to slide when Royal decided to declare their innings still trailing by 22 runs.

Ramanayake accounted for both openers, the first innings centurion Rashmika Opatha caught by Panditharatne for eight runs and Yohan Mendis bowled for 18 runs. From then on there were wickets at regular intervals as all five bowlers used by the Royal skipper took at least one wicket each.

Thomians bargained to promote bowling all-rounders up in the batting order, ahead of established batsmen, namely, Dilendra Gunathilaka and Sachitha Jayathilaka, but the ploy backfired as the former were out cheaply in the face of tight Royal attack.

The Thomians were 60 for five at lunch and when Jayathilaka and Gunathilaka finally came in to bat as number eight and nine respectively, they found the pressure too much to handle and were out cheaply.

Jayathilaka was unlucky to be given out lbw to a Lasith Embuldeniya delivery, while Gunathilaka became Ramanayake’s fourth victim caught by Jayawardena for six runs. Dellon Peiris, with 22 runs, and Senal de Silva, with an unbeaten 28, were the leading scorers for Thomians as they batted for 46 overs to post 127 runs. Embuldeniya and Duvindu Hettiarachchi took two wickets each.

Commencing from the overnight score of 280 for even, Sooriyabandara went on to complete a decisive debut century as Royal scored 328 for nine wickets declared. He scored 123 runs (309 balls) inclusive of 17 fours. He came to bat early on the second day morning and had stayed at the crease for 383 minutes when he was bowled by Ravindu Kodituwakku. The number nine batsman Helitha Vithanage provided valuable support adding 59 runs for the ninth wicket with Sooriyabandara. Vithanage scored 23 (65 balls) with three fours and a six.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T70YwIs4Iy8


Royal cricketers celebrate after beating S. Thomas’.
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Last edited by sriyanj; 14-03-16 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 14-03-16, 06:52 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default When Royal shattered Thomian hopes

Sixteen-year-old debutant Pasindu Sooriyabandara of Royal College receiving the Man of the Match award from S. Thomas’ College Warden Rev. Marc Billimoria.


Rashmika Opatha of S. Thomas’ College receiving the Best Batsman award from former Royal College skipper Eardley Lieversz.


Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe handing over the D. S. Senanayake Memorial Shield to Royal skipper Geeshath Panditharatne after they beat S. Thomas’ College by four wickets in the 137th Battle of the Blues cricket encounter at the SSC grounds on Saturday. Dialog Axiata Group CEO Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, Royal Principal B. A. Abeyratne and Warden S. Thomas’ College Rev. Marc Billimoria are also present. (Pix by Herbert Perera)
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Last edited by sriyanj; 14-03-16 at 06:55 PM.
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