|Wednesday, 8 January 2003|
SCHOOL CRICKET REVIEW :
Sebastianites in sensational win
by Chris Dhambarage
St. Sebastian's College stunned the more fancied Nalanda outfit by an innings while Royal powered their way to their second straight win in the Elephant Lemonade Cup inter school cricket tournament matches worked off last week.
In a game completely dominated by one side, the Sebastianites simply underlined their all round potential with a magnificent performance with bat and ball. Their success was always there from the moment they bundled out the Nalandians for a miserable first innings total of 63 runs. The home side never looked back from there onwards and wrapped up the game with nearly two sessions to spare.
Manjula Silva and Dunil Abeydeera were the matchwinners for St. Sebastian's College. The former returned splendid figures of 5 for 17 while the latter was equally brilliant capturing 4 for 32 in the second innings. The Sebastianite batting line up also produced an impressive performance compiling nearly three hundred runs and that too against a strong bowling attack.
Royal continued their run of success with a smashing eight wicket win over Dharmaraja College Kandy on their home grounds at Reid Avenue. If last week's win over St. Benedict's College was a morale booster for the season, then their latest triumph could be described as sheer hard work. But again the individual brilliance of Ganganath Ratnayake did make a sterling impact in the final outcome of the game. The former skipper seem to be really enjoying his role in the side although the opposition is somewhat struggling whenever he is batting or bowling. This is exactly what occurred at Reid Avenue last week as the Rajans succumbed after a marvellous all round performance from Ganganath Ratnayake. His unbeaten century came at a vital stage of the innings when Royal had lost half of their side for a mere 15 runs.
Ganganath Ratnayake took over from there onwards and with the assistance of Tharaka Kottahewa they completely changed the situation with a sixth wicket stand of 226 runs. Kottahewa was unfortunately dismissed three runs short of a century but certainly a valuable knock which saved his team from disaster. But Ganganath Ratnayake went on to complete the three figure mark in even time and his contribution was more than half of the teams total which is a clear indication of his talent and potential.
His effort with the ball was also quite outstanding and his four wicket haul helped Royal dismiss the opposition for the second time in the match. But Royal made a complete mess of it while chasing a victory target of just 94 runs losing six wickets in the process. Skipper Rochana Wijeratne not for the first time in the season then came into their rescue with a responsible knock of 40 to seal the game in their favour.
St. Peter's College were stalled of a probable victory for the second successive week as they were held to a draw by St. Benedict's College at Kotahena. The Peterites did everything right on the opening day and had the game almost wrapped up after taking a first innings lead of over 150 runs. But for the second time in the current season they struggled to dismiss the opposition twice and had to be satisfied with a first innings win.
The Benedictines took all the honours on the second day while occupying the crease during all three sessions of play. They did it in style by compiling an impressive 259 for 7 in their second innings. They were under tremendous pressure and were facing their second straight defeat following last weeks setback against Royal. This time however they were more cautious in their approach and gave a fine lesson to their opponents with Lasantha Hettiarachchi leading the way.
He played probably his best innings for the season even though he may be somewhat disappointed that he missed a hundred by three runs. The entire Benedictine batting order rallied around the individual brilliance of Lasantha Hettiarachchi as they fought back magnificently to force a creditable draw.
Meanwhile Nalanda came out with an improved performance as they figured in a high scoring draw against S. Thomas' College Mount Lavinia at Campbell Place. There were only batting points to take in this game with both teams scoring well over three hundred runs in their first innings. Nalanda's total of 304 for 6 was not enough to challenge the Thomians who in reply raced to 340 for 9 during an exhilarating batting performance.
Sachithra Madawala carried the Nalandians towards their imposing total with a controlled knock of 115. He also received good support from Gangodawila and Abeyratne. Thomian skipper Arjuna Rajawasam then took the opportunity to prove his capabilities stroking a majestic 110 from 148 deliveries.
Rajawasam gave a fine display of batting under pressure and building up an innings through sheer determination. The most significant fact is that he did not take any risk but yet he kept the score moving at a steady pace. He made batting look much easier with a series of shots around the wicket and was backed up well by Navin Perera, Isuru Warnakulasuriya, Kaushal Silva and Sanjive Mendis.
Ananda had a satisfying outing as they beat Maliyadeva College Kurunegala on the first innings at Ananda Mawatha. The Anandians did well to defend their modest first innings total of 221 and bowled out the visitors for just 187 runs. Charitha Jayaweera did the most of the damage with excellent figures of 5 for 30. Earlier P. Boteju hit a top score of 78 as Ananda were restricted to 221 runs in their first innings. D. Kularatne also had a good game with contributions of 41 and 70 in the two innings respectively.
Wesley College caused a minor upset as they beat the more fancied Prince of Wales team on the first innings in a low scoring encounter at Campbell Park. The Wesleyites successfully restricted the strong Cambrian batting line up for 163 F. Maharoof and A. Kumara sharing eight wickets between them. Sri Lanka youth cap Sahan Wijeratne had a good game for Prince of Wales with a four wicket haul and a top score of 46.
St. Sebastian's College snatched a thrilling three runs first innings win over St. Joseph's College in their inter school match played at Moratuwa. The Josephians were cruising along at one stage after Tharindu Ariyawansa had completed a solid half century. But the Sebastianites had confidence on their bowlers and kept on trying until the end through Nuwan Perera and Dunil Abeydeera.
The duo did not let the side down and captured four wickets each as the Joes were dismissed for 202 runs, three runs short of the Sebastianites total.
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