Gurukula MV and Richmond were the cover boys

Under 19 Review
Trinity coast to eighth win
By M. Shamil Amit

It was another week of sterling performances in the ongoing Under-19 inter-schools cricket season where lesser known schools recorded outright wins over fancied teams. There were two outright victories of much significance which shocked the school cricket followers with Gurukula MV Kelaniya playing in the top division for the first time and Richmond recording outright wins over more fancied teams in Maris Stella Negombo and Prince of Wales respectively.

Action at the Ananda-St. Anthony’s game. (Pic Ranjith Perera)

Before going into details another school Trinity who have been in top form for the last two seasons continued their winning spree when they recorded two outright wins within a space of four days and in the process going chalk up eight out outright wins for the season.

In the week ending there were 11 outright wins achieved with Trinity and Devapathiraja MMV Rathgama recording two wins each and with the other victorious teams being Richmond, Gurukula MV, Thurstan, St Sebastian's, Vidyartha, De Mazenod and Sri Devananda MV Ambalangoda. Trinity recorded wins over Mahinda and Kalutara MV while Devapathiraja MMV had wins over Theraputta National School and Batemulla National School. The wins for both the teams was by an innings.

Going back to the giant killing performance of Gurukula MV and Richmond, the win by former was a great achievement due to the fact that they have showed they are not easy nuts to crack. Most probably the fancied teams confronting lesser known schools must be coming into the game with too much confidence but in the end they have to eat humble pie.

Gurukula MV in no uncertain terms have showed that they can brush shoulders with the top teams. Two weeks ago they sounded a warning when they dominated their match against S. Thomas' Mt. Lavinia and that too on the Thomians turf wicket where they rarely get to play. Nevertheless the win against Maris Stella was a morale boosting one for Gurukula MV as they shocked their opponents by bowling them out for 68 and again for 118 the second time while scoring a modest 219.

The win will no doubt be a big boost as Maris Stella had the Sri Lanka youth captain in the team along with experienced players who had performed well during the ongoing season, it shows that there is abundant talent outside the metropolis. Officials concerned should take note and give the much needed support for schools that do not have the basic facilities like Gurukula MV.

Meanwhile Richmond's win over Prince of Wales was a stunning one and here too it showed that Cambrians took the game too lightly. Richmond having dominated the opening day’s play maintained it in the second day too. During the first session of play on day two Richmond was struggling but the commitment put in by the late order batting laid the foundation for an outright win which they achieving against Prince of Wales after a lapse of 40 years.

Three teams St. Sebastian's Moratuwa, Vidyartha and De Mazenod recorded their fourth win of the season which was against Holy Cross Kalutara, Wayamba Royal and St. Aloysius Galle while Thurstan had fluctuated fortunes as on Saturday they beat Dharmapala but had to undergo the same fate against Nalanda four days later. Devapathiraja MMV Rathgama from their two wins performed a Herculean task when they amassed a score of 532 against Batemulla National School which they won by a massive innings and 400 runs.

In the drawn matches Maliyadeva, Ananda, S. Thomas', St. Benedict's, Wesley, Richmond, Dharmaraja and St. Servatius Matara dominated the proceedings over DSS, St. Anthony's Katugastota, St. Joseph's, St. Sebastian's, Kingswood, Royal, DSS and Sri Sumangala Panadura. St. Servatius too have been performing well this season as in the previous match they dominated their game against Nalanda.

Of the individual performances in the batting and bowling department, two skippers, Niroshan Dickwella of Trinity and Tharindu Kaushal both Sri Lanka youth players made top scores of their school career. Niroshan made a blistering 212 in only 158 balls against Mahinda while Tharindu cracked a 181 against Batemulla National School. In the bowling department the best came from two spinners Ananda skipper Pasindu Madushan who had a match bag of 13 wickets and Trinity's Janishka Premasinghe had a match bag of 12 wickets.

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