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Royal out to give Joes a strong fight

Royal College will be hoping to bring an end to a sixteen year long wait when they take on St. Joseph’s College in their 112th annual inter school under 19 cricket tournament match which begins at the newly laid turf in Darley Road today.

Royal College had the better of St. Joseph’s College way back in 1993 and since then they have failed to break the deadlock. The match will be of great significance for Royal coach Gamini Perera who in fact was the captain of the 1993 victorious side.

In contrast St. Joseph’s College had the satisfaction of overcoming Royal College during the 2005 inter school cricket season under the captaincy of Hashan Gunatilleke. The Josephians have certainly dominated the series between the two schools with a total of 27 victories to their credit against their opponents 20.

But this time Royal College seem to have a great chance of pulling off the game considering their present form and the amount of experience available in the side. They are also fresh after a morale boosting outright victory over Nalanda College having earlier triumphed against St. Sebastian’s College.

In contrast St. Joseph’s College have recorded outright victories against two weak opponents Isipatana College and Maris Stella College, Negombo while drawing against Wesley, St. Sebastian’s, St. Benedict’s and D. S. Senanayake College.

This match should turn out to be a battle between Royal’s formidable batting line up and the Josephian bowling attack which has looked quite impressive throughout the season.

The key player will be Bhanuka Rajapaksa who has turned out to be one of the most consistent players for Royal along with Kithruwan Withanage and Sri Lanka under 19 cap Kusal Janith Perera.

This time however they will be up against the four pronged pace attack comprising of Chaturanga Kumara, Trishen Rajasuriya, Nishika de Silva and Dinal Dhambarage. They will be joined by skipper Shameera Weerasinghe who has developed into a fine all rounder in the side.

Will Ananda make six in a row

Ananda College will be chasing a record sixth outright victory in a row when they confront S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia in another key inter school under 19 tournament fixture which commences at Ananda Mawatha today.

The Anandians are on a rampage this season having notched up five successive victories against D. S. Senanayake College, Lumbini MV, Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala, St. Peter’s College and Richmond College, Galle respectively.

The Thomians too will take the field brimming with confidence having defeated Isipatana College outright by four wickets in their previous encounter. Even then the Anandians will be the favourites to pull off this game considering their present form and the all round capabilities.

Captained by Sri Lanka under 19 wicket keeper batsman Dinesh Chandimal Ananda College have looked unbeatable this season apart from their high profile match against St. Peter’s College which they scraped through by a narrow margin.

The pressure no doubt will be on S. Thomas’ College who will be up against a tough opposition for the first time in the current inter school season. The biggest challenge will come from the left arm spinner Matheesha Perera who has been the most successful bowler for Ananda College.

The Thomians will depend heavily on their three most experienced players Chamal Fonseka, Saleem and Nilushan who have rescued them on more than a couple of occasions this season.

Petes depend on bowlers

St. Peter’s College will be looking to maintain their outstanding form when they take on Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa in their inter school under 19 cricket tournament match which begins at Bambalapitiya today.

The Peterites seem to have recovered following their shock defeat at the hands of Ananda College and have bounced back into recognition with a ten wicket victory against St. Sebastian’s College.

The strength in the Peterite camp will be their bowling attack which has shown the capability of dismissing the opposition twice for low scores. Their biggest achievement this season probably came when they skittled out the Anandians for a paltry 59 runs in the first innings.

This was mainly due to some magnificent bowling from Vinod Perera, Niroshana Perera and Chamara Peiris who will be keen to carry on with their excellent work with the ball. The Cambrians too have a very good side on paper and they did prove this by rattling up over three hundred runs in the match against D. S. Senanayake College last week.



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