After five appearances in finals Trinity finally took hold of silverware by winning the Twenty20 tournament which saw the conclusion of the 2010/11 school cricket season last week. With a well balanced outfit for the season Trinity’s cricket team made frequent headlines in the local media but according to its coach winning a championship has given the gritty players a perfect validation to their efforts.“It’s really encouraging for a team to win a title. The boys dedicated themselves to the matter and worked hard to achieve this feat. It marks a perfect end to a successful first XI cricket season,” said Sampath Perera, the coach.
|The jubilant Trinity team.
Trinity faced five opponents in the tournament and eliminated four of them before reaching the final to play against St. Joseph’s. Trinity got the opportunity to gain sweet revenge from the same opponents who beat them in the final of the limited overs competition two weeks earlier. They remain as the only unbeaten team in the Twenty20 contest after winning four out of the five-match limited overs final.
“The boys had the pain in the back of their minds after losing to St. Joseph’s in the limited overs final. In the recent times it was the only match our performance was below par the expectations. I think our batting let us down very badly on that encounter which gave St. Joseph’s an easy chase of 81 in a 50-over match. The boys had that harsh experience in their heads and they performed brilliantly throughout the tournament with the sole aim of clinching the title,” Perera added.
Before winning the Twenty20 championship Trinity had reached four other finals and failed to execute their game plans correctly, thus emerging runners-up. The fifth occasion proved to be perfect for Trinity.
In addition to their great feat Trinity performed greatly in the recent couple of seasons in the two-day tournament. They won ten and lost a game in twenty matches to be named as the second best school cricket team in the country next to St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa in the 2009/10 season.
But this year Trinity performed an extraordinary feat in addition of achieving the similar number of wins in 17 matches. They won eight games consecutively from the beginning of the season to take hold of a new school cricket record to their name.
“The previous best for successive wins was six games at school level. We achieved eight and could have won over ten wins at a stretch. But we had to reschedule certain games and even could not play three fixture games due to the unexpected rainy season. More than records I’m really pleased with the improvement of skill level of the players. At present they have a very good cricket sense which is essential to achieve wins,” Perera who introduced up-to-date coaching methods at the leading school of hill capitals added.
According to Perera who took over as coach in 2008 he had to change the entire way of thinking of Trinity cricketers in order to help the team achieve dominance which was held by leading Colombo schools. His new strategies in coaching were well accepted by the players who showed great potential for the coming years. As a result Trinity cricketers became a dangerous outfit and they converted into a hard team to beat in the recent couple of years.
“If I may start with the shortcomings of Trinity cricket, the school officials were great supporters of the game but the players lacked that reliability on the field. They were not doing well in fielding and bowling and the number of practice sessions they had per week was very poor in comparison to other leading cricket playing schools. I actually took these shortcomings as an advantage to improve the thinking pattern of players. I got them involved with more practice sessions and gave them the much needed motivation by building up these players into potential national prospects. Today they have the skills to make their own moves on the field, similar to a professional team,” a highly contented Perera said.
During the past two seasons Trinity had groomed players to take their team into great heights. Skipper Akila Jayasundera who is a skilled leader and an all-rounder was well supported by.
wicketkeeper/batsman Niroshan Dikwella and seasoned all-rounders Janishka Premasinghe, Aamil Anas and Tissa Bandara. Trinity had a strong and well combined batting line up with left and right-handers. They are gifted with the most essential blend of left and right arm seamers and spinners in their bowling department. Perera further explained the importance of having players of all sorts.
“Trinity comes out with different strategic plans for each tournament of a season. We do a lot of planning ahead of these tournaments and almost everyone in the camp is highly involved with great motivation. In addition the team has all varieties of players who could fit into a cricket team. Each year there is someone to take over when there is a vacuumed position. We have a very good feeder in our junior structure and with this momentum our cricket is in safe hands for several seasons ahead. We could always be certain of performing better than a previous season. This year we did it and in the following year we could expect much better outcomes,” he asserted.
“The team had good names. But I would rather like to give the credit to every member who played their given roles with the true spirit of sportsmanship. None of them let the team down and someone would rise to the occasion and become the star. In that case I can boast that Trinity was the most balanced team and they deserve to be given the correct recognition for their achievements”.