ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday March 23, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 43

A battle of uncertainty

By Gamini Mahadura Our Galle Sports corr.


The 103rd Battle of the Lovers -- one of the oldest ‘big matches’ in Sri Lanka the cricket stalwarts of Galle – Mahinda and Richmond will take place at the Galle International Stadium on the 28th and 29th March.

However both teams are short of match practice this year, owing to the hampered season experienced by them.

The inaugural encounter of this clash took place way back in 1905. So far in the series Mahinda leads the tally with 21 wins against the 20 registered by Richmond. Mahinda last won this encounter in 1976, while Richmond’s last win was in 1969. This means neither side have tasted success during the past thirty two years.

Among the noteworthy happenings of this series the haul of 10 for 44 by Mahinda’s S. Ambawatte takes pride of place among the bowlers. In batting Sirisena Hettige of Mahinda scored 155 and in 1972 Richmond’s Prasad Kariyawasam challenged the status-quo and scored 156 runs. Ironically in the same match P.H.K.H. Ranasinghe scored 162 runs and brought back the batting record to Mahinda within a few hours.

Both schools have produced many cricketers who have gone on to don the national jersey. From Mahinda there is – the current fast bowling ‘star’ Lasith Malinga, Athula Samarasekera, Upul Chandana, Jayananda Warnaweera and the late D.L.S. de Silva. At the same time Richmond boasts of Champaka Ramanayake and Chamila Gamage among those who have represented the country in Cricket.

Richmond Team

Fifth year coloursman Rajith Priyan leads Mahinda this year while Asitha Weerasuriya who is also a fifth year coloursman will skipper the Richmondites.

Mahinda from: Rajith Priyanjan (captain), Chamika Mahesh (vice captain), Denuwan Rajakaruna, Romesh Bhuddika, Sajith Kelumpriya, Aruna Shaminda, Udaya Jayasanka, Yoshitha Lakshan, K.P. Gunasinghe, Isuru Dilshan, Udara Lakmal, Nisala Duluin, Pramod Thameera, Charith Chinthaka, Prageeth Chamara, Priyanga Sumathipala, Malith Sameera, Geeth Hemal, Mayura Dilhara, Prabhoda Srimal, Laksitha Lahiru, Tharaka Nimesh, N.T. Gamage, Janidu Tharaka and Chathura Dias.

Richmond from: Asitha Weerasuriya (Captain), Supun Wijewardena (vice captain), Yohan de Silva, Kasun A. Pussewela, Chinthana Wedamulla, Hemil Sarathchandra, Visith Weerasinghe, T. Nadeera, Mahesh Niroshan, Yasodha Lanka, Lahiru Godakanda, Thisun Rangana and Kusal Prabhoda.

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