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Antonians have the edge over Trinity in limited over match

CRICKET: St. Anthony's College, Kandy, will once again have the edge when they take on their traditional rivals Trinity College in their 27th annual clash for the Sir Richard Aluwihare Trophy which will be powered by Dialog Telecom and played at Katugastota on Saturday commencing at 9.30 a.m.

Former St. Anthony's College cricket captain and Sri Lanka Test cricketer and national spin and fielding coach Ruwan Kalpage will be the Chief Guest.

Ruwan Kalpage was one of the finest cricketers to come out of the portals of the school by the Mahaweli and he captained the school for two years in 1988 and 1989 and was in the national cricket pool as a schoolboy. A top class spinner and an aggressive bat and also a fine fielder in any position and his place in any side is worth for his fielding alone.

The 1989 side which he led was so strong that three players from this side played together in a test match against South Africa. These players Ruwan Kalpage himself, Piyal Wijetunga, and the worlds greatest off spinner Muthiah Muralitharan and they were all coached by Sunil Fernando - a record which is hard to emulate.

A peep into the records tells us that this limited over series started in 1980 with the Antonians dominating in the initial years but the lions caught up in the later years.

Somewhere in the nineties the Sir Richard Aluwihare trophy went missing - a sad state of affairs and the limited over clash was played without a trophy for many years till it was replaced with a new trophy about three years ago for the 150th year celebrations of St. Anthony's College. In the first year of offering the Antonians led by Angelo Liyanage made 276 for 8 in 50 overs and beat Trinity by a margin of 150 runs.

Of the 26 matches played todate, the Antonians have won the clash 14 times against 11 times by Trinity while one match ended in a 'No Decision' duo to rain. The Antonians are the present custodians of the trophy having won it last year. Trinity last won the trophy in 2005 under Chathuranga Munaweera.

The umpires officiating in this match must deal firmly with any miscreants with the powers vested in them and the school authorities should also ensure there is no invasion into the playing are while the match is in progress as it could upset a batsman's concentration or deprive the fielding side of getting a player dismissed if they are in a position to do so.

It must be also recalled that Ruwan Kalpage played for St. Anthony's College and was a fifth year coloursman and was the recipient of the coveted Eagle. He also excelled at Athletics and won his colours in that sport too.

Though the mornings are bright, the weather up in the hills is unpredictable in the late afternoon and one would only hope that the weather gods will be kinder to the cricket fans.

St. Anthony's College (from) Selwyn Jamion (Captain), Harshana Medagoda (Vice Captain), Shameer Munas, Gimhan Dissanayake, Peter Samarakoon, Sahan Palihakkara, Adil Reyal, Jerome Siegertsz, Malindu Perera, Sumindan Subramaniam, Kasun Ekanayake, Hiran Wickremasekera, Arvinda Premaratne, Jeewa Liyanage, Vinod Yogarajan, Erande Seneviratne.

Trinity College (from) Sachith Pathirana (Captain), Arinda Bulunuwewa (Vice Captain), Romesh Perera, Wasika Munasinghe, Dilan Gangoda, Sanka Auwardt, Rushan Jaleel, Derrick Joachin, Lasith Jayatillake, Hasitha Illangaratne, Bion Perera, Dinuk Weeraratne, Rajitha Bandara, R. Thewa Hitoshan, Kovin Weeraratne, Ranitha Galwaduge, Suresh Wickrama and M. Mugunthan.

Former Dharmaraja College and Central Province cricketer Mahinda Pethiyagoda will be the Match Referee.

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