Countdown to 75th Joe-Pete encounter:
Milroy Brohier on the biggest Joes victory of the series
The Josephian-Peterite match is one game which always produce bright
and entertaining cricket and a match always played according to its rich
traditions and right spirit. Further it is a match like the Royal-Thomian
which is much looked forward to by spectators from many walks of life.
Once again it is 'Big-Match' time! Many a Joe and Pete will have
something significant in this year since it is the 75th year that both
teams are meeting each other and it is certainly going to be a two days
of entertaining cricket and certainly St. Peter's look likely to take
sweet revenge from St Joseph's since they lost to the latter last year
by an innings and 42 runs.
Milroy Brohier during
As we go down memory lane of the Joe-Pete cricket encounters the 18th
encounter of the series in 1952 takes much precedence since it is the
biggest victory in the series so far where St. Joseph's beat St. Peter's
by an innings and 216 runs at NCC grounds. Incidentally in 1952 both St.
Joseph's and St. Peter's had two of the strongest college cricket teams
of the year and were led by two of the leading Nondescript cricketers
Ken Serpanchy (St. Joseph's) and H.I.K. Fernando (St. Peter's) both of
whom have performed well in Saravanamuttu Trophy cricket during that
In 1952, Peterites looked a much better outfit since they had
defeated the mighty Thomians by an innings and having the better of most
of their other games. However the Josephians had to taste two unexpected
defeats at the hands of Wesley and St. Thomas' , Although they won the
rest of their other games by an innings and also topped the 350 mark on
In the two camps there were players who were to adorn the Sri Lanka
(then Ceylon) cap in the next few years. So the stage was set for an
exciting game of cricket. I had the rare privilege of meeting Milroy
Brohier, a fine allrounder produced by the Darley Road School who was
virtually the hero of this historic battle of the Saints cricket
The toss was won by Ken Serpanchy and without any hesitation he
elected to bat first on placid and a perfect batting track. Blessed with
a fair share of luck, combined with some sound stroke play, and
calculated aggression the Josephian openers the 'two terrible Ws' of
school cricket at that time put the Peterite bowlers to the sword and
went on to make a record partnership of 197.
"The only option available to separate them was a run out," quipped
Milroy Brohier, who also played in that match. As expected both Maurice
Wanigaratne and 'Willie' Wimalaratne in full flow and when Wanigaratne
got run out in a very unlucky fashion which cost him a well deserved
century by a mere 3 runs. This opening stand also constituted a record
in the Joe-Pete series. Incidentally Wimalaratne went on to make a fine
"From then on the Josephian batsmen went for runs with aggression
with Ken Serpanchy making a hard hit 67 and me and Roy Perera
contributing handsomely to the record total of 382.
Also tailenders Ralph Bolling and Shirley Rangalla used the long
handle chipping in with some quick runs which further frustrated the
Peterites," said Brohier with a hearty laugh.
The Peterite bowlers had to toil hard but fresher Maurice Salgadoe
was the most outstanding and economical by capturing two wickets for 75
runs in his 30 overs.
Patrick Muthumuni took 4/48 in his 11 overs." Petes had 25 minutes to
bat but they negotiated well to be 24 without loss. The drama started on
the following day where the Josephian bowlers took a firm grip of the
Peterite strong batting line up including the man inform captain H. I.
K. Fernando (later Dr. H. I. K. Fernando who opened the batting for the
country), where leftarm paceman Roy Perera bowled him with an absolute
beauty." Observed Brohier who then did the rest by taking 5 wickets for
21 with his leg breaks in his nine overs.
"The Petes were bowled out for 96 in their first innings and asked to
follow on did not fare better being bowled out for 70." Brohier claimed
3 wickets for 11 and had a match bag of 8 for 33 in addition to his
quickfire 36 in the Josephian innings. The match was a one way traffic
and St Joseph's were victorious by an innings and 216 runs which todate
stands as the biggest victory in the series.
Milroy Brohier was known as a punishing batsman with a penchant for
the square cut. He had two admirable performances in the two previous
encounters of this series and in later years he took his fame with him
along to India and pulverised Indian test bowlers to the tune of a
masterful century which earned him lavish praise from Indian stars.
Brohier looked a very satisfied man since on both the Peterite innings
he took their master bat Clive Inman for identical score of 9.
"There was a gloom cast over the entire ground at the tea interval on
the second day of the match when the death of Ceylon's first Prime
Minister D.S. Senanayake was announced the two teams observed two minute
silence and then in few minutes it was all over bar the shouting of the
J-O-E-S. Leaving St Joseph's victorious" concluded Brohier.
The champion Josephian team: Kenneth Serpanchy (capt), Willie
Wimalaratne, M. Wanigaratne, Rienzie Perera, Roy Perera, Milroy Brohier,
Chrys Fernando, Shirley Rangalla, Ralph Brohier, Tuan Ismail and Ralph
After leaving St Joseph's Milroy Brohier turned out for Nondescript
cricket club and his employer State Bank of India with much distinction.
He had a special word of thanks to his coach late Malcolm Spittel and
the Master in charge late E. C. Gunasekera.