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School Cricket Review:

Ananda in superb win over Peterites

Ananda College have done it again. This time in a more spectacular manner. Last week they brought down the star studded St. Peter's College team by two wickets with a brilliant performance on their home grounds at Ananda Mawatha.

Their success had a great amount of significance as they cruised to their sixth outright victory from nine outings in the current inter school under 19 cricket tournament. In addition the manner in which they went about their task was really outstanding.

The Anandians had their backs to the wall at one stage and were struggling to keep their unbeaten record this season. This was after a dismal batting performance where they were skittle out for a paltry 59 runs in the first innings.

But the Anandians never gave up hopes and looked a determined side altogether on the second day of the match. They were able to turn a certain defeat into a memorable triumph as they reached the victory target of 225 runs with two wickets to spare.

No other team has chased over two hundred runs in their second innings and won the match in a similar manner. The Anandians were able to perform the near impossibility thanks to an unbeaten knock of 81 from Sachin Devage.

The solid middle order batsman rose to the occasion and guided them towards absolute safety after they had lost half of their side for a low score. Ananda were heading towards disaster when their top order collapsed again in the second innings.

However Sachin Devage came into their rescue with a stubborn batting performance that helped Ananda College to turn the game in their favour. Matheesha Perera and Madumal Jayaratne are two other experienced players who performed a key role towards their success with the latter claiming a matchbag of ten wickets.

St. Peter's v St. Sebastian's

St. Peter's College put aside their humiliating defeat against Ananda College to bounce back and beat the formidable St. Sebastian's College outfit by ten wickets in their inter school under 19 cricket tournament match worked off at Bambalapitiya.

This was a tremendous recovery from the Peterites as they proved that they have the mental strength to get off the floor and fight back. No other team would have had the determination to bounce back and win a match by a convincing margin after having experienced a terrible situation a couple of days ago.

But St. Peter's College have proved that they have the talent and the potential to win a match under different conditions which will be of great use for them in the up coming games this season. Their success was achieved almost by an innings because their victory target was a mere 27 runs.

This was a fantastic bowling effort from the Peterites considering the fact that St. Sebastian's College have always produced some top stroke makers over the years. In fact last week they proved it by notching up over three hundred runs in the game against St. Joseph's College.

However this time they were unable to produce a repeat performance and were dismissed for under two hundred runs in their two innings. The Sebastianites of course made a desperate attempt to save the game after they had been asked to follow on.

But the Peterites were more determined on the field with Chatura Peiris, Vinod Perera and Nirochana Perera sharing the bowling honours. The former in fact had a highly successful game as he also contributed a valuable half century in their formidable first innings total of 282 runs.

Royal v Nalanda

Royal College produced a clinical performance to down their arch rivals Nalanda College by 62 runs in their annual inter school under 19 cricket tournament match worked off at Reid Avenue last week.

Royal achieved their victory largely due to their bowlers where they performed admirably to dismiss the opposition for a low score in both innings. In fact Nalanda College managed to collect only 97 runs during their run chase with Maneesha Thanthirigoda claiming a five wicket haul.

But it was Bhanuka Rajapaksa who actually opened the gates for their victory while producing a splendid all round performance. His half century in the second innings total of 136 runs was worth more than that because the entire team was under tremendous pressure.

This was after he had claimed a four wicket haul to get rid off the Nalandians for 155 runs in the first innings. But the sheer disappointment for Royal was that they could not take advantage of the situation and build up a much bigger lead.

In the first innings too Royal somewhat failed to put up a decent score on the board with only Kithruwan Vithanage making a notable contribution of 83.

S. Thomas' v Isipatana

S. Thomas' College completed a successful outing as they defeated Isipatana College by four wickets in their inter school under 19 cricket tournament match worked off at Mount Lavinia last week. The Thomians of course did not win the match as convincingly as they would have expected but yet they would take it especially after their setback against St. Benedict's College at Kotahena in their previous outing.

In fact their batting looked pretty ordinary once again and had to concede a surprise first innings lead as they were shot out for just 125 runs. S. Thomas' College were little fortunate because Isipatana College did not have the capability of exploiting this situation and to extend their lead beyond their opponents reach.

Instead Isipatana College managed to score only 107 runs in their second innings while allowing the home side to reach their target with plenty of overs to spare. Even then S. Thomas' College will be quite concerned because they lost six wickets while chasing a modest total of 133 runs.

The fact is that S. Thomas' College have lost some of their top players following the under 19 ruling from this season and are depending heavily on Saleem, Nilushan and Chamal Fonseka who had a very good game with both bat and ball.

St. Joseph's v Wesley

St. Joseph's College settled for a draw in their inter school under 19 cricket tournament match against Wesley College worked off at Campbell Park last week. This was a satisfying outing for the Wesleyites because they were able to restrict the strong Josephian batting line up for 227 runs.

The lads from Darley Road were fresh after their heroics against St. Sebastian's College last week where they rattled up over three hundred runs in a high scoring encounter.

But this time they just could not get their act together well with none of their top order batsmen been able to make a big score.

They eventually got pass the two hundred run mark largely due to a fighting half century from middle order batsman Nishika de Silva.

St. Joseph's College of course hit back strongly by dismissing the Wesleyites for 149 runs with Sameera Weerasinghe causing most of the damage. However they just did not have enough time to set their opponents a target and decided to occupy the crease for some useful batting practice in the second innings.

Trinity v Kegalle MV

Trinity College cruised to their second outright victory this season when they trounced Kegalle MV by an innings and 49 runs in their inter school under 19 cricket tournament match worked off at the Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy last week.

Spinners Akila Jayasundera and Rushan Jaleel did the initial damage with four wickets apiece while medium paceman M. Shehan added the finishing touches to bundle out the opposition for just 89 runs in the second innings.

St. Anthony's v Kingswood

St. Anthony's College cruised to their fourth outright victory this season as they outplayed home town rivals Kingswood College by an innings and 97 runs in their inter school under 19 cricket tournament match worked off at Katugastota last week.

The Antonains were able to completely rattle their opponents with Adil Reyal producing a superb all round performance following some splendid batting from the openers Hiran Wickremasekera and Dulash Kumarasinghe who were associated in a stand of 143 runs.

Moratu MV v Karandeniya Central

Moratu MV notched up their sixth outright victory this season as they defeated Karandeniya Central by a massive margin of 130 runs in their inter school under 19 cricket tournament match worked off at Moratuwa during the weekend.

Moratu MV were able to score only 120 runs in the first innings but they really made amends in their second attempt while piling up 291 for 9 that set up an easy victory at the end.

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