Colombo – Royal College completed a massive 180-run victory over the traditional rivals S. Thomas’ College shortly after tea on the third and final day of the 144th Inter-School Big Match at the SSC Grounds in Maitland Place on Saturday.
The Royal bowlers produced another splendid performance to bowl out their opponents for 161 runs after they had set an improbable victory target of 342 runs from three sessions.
Royal also regained the Rt. Hon. D. S. Senanayake Memorial Shield after a lapse of seven years having last won the Big Match way back in 2016 at the same venue under the captaincy of Geeshanth Panditharatne.
The Thomians, in their run chase, suffered an early setback while losing opener Thishen Ehaliyagoda in the second ball of the innings and from there onwards it was a real hard struggle for the lads from Mount Lavinia.
Royal never allowed their opponents to settle down and picked up wickets at regular intervals with the fielders backing up well to further frustrate the batsmen.
Skipper Romesh Mendis was trapped in front by paceman Bulan Weerathunga and Sandesh Ramanayake removed the stubborn Dinesh Goonewardene to make it 43 for three after 15 overs.
Senadhi Bulankulama and Nathan Caldera made a determined effort to stay at the crease but both fell victim to the off-spinner Nethwin Dharmaratne, who had excellent figures of two for 15 from four overs.
S. Thomas’ lost probably their last hope of saving the game when Mahith Perera was trapped by Manchanayake in the 25th over.
However, wicket-keeper batsman Senesh Hettiarachchi and Charuka Peiris delayed Royal’s victory by adding 76 runs for the seventh wicket while frustrating the opposition for nearly two hours.
Royal’s ability to pick up wickets at regular intervals proved to be crucial as they eventually broke the threatening partnership through Ramiru Perera before Sineth Jayawardena wrapped up the innings by claiming the last two wickets.
Royal 1st innings 326 for 8 decl
S. Thomas’ 1st innings 153 all out
Royal 2nd innings 168 for 4 decl
S. Thomas’ 2nd innings
Thishen Ehaliyagoda lbw b Malaviarachchi 00
Dineth Goonewardene c Weerasekara b Ramanayake 15
Romesh Mendis lbw b Weerathunga 12
Senadhi Bulankulama c Ambanpola b Dharmarathna 12
Nathan Caldera b Dharmarathna 18
Mahith Perera lbw b Manchanayake 07
Senesh Hettiarachchi not out 46
Charuka Peiris b Perera 22
Akash Fernando b Perera 00
Kavindu Dais lbw b Jayawardena 14
Abheeth Paranawidana c Manchanayake b Jayawardena 00
Extras: (nb2, lb5, b8) 15
Total: (All out, 58.5 overs) 84
Fall: 1-1, 2-18, 3-43, 4-63, 5-74, 6-76, 7-142, 8-142, 9-157
Bowling: Ranuka Malaviarachchi 10-2-33-1, Bulan Weerathunga 9-4-18-1, Sandesh Ramanayake 7-1-22-1, Sineth Jayawardena 9.5-3-14-2, Dasis Manchanayake 4-0-9-1, Nethwin Dharmarathna 10-2-27-2, Ramiru Perera 9-2-25-2
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