Royal fast bowler Chamika (9/87)bags the man of the match and best bowler awards as they end the six year wait  By David Stephens A S. Thomas’ College fleet, which had been navigating troubled waters throughout their second innings, was sent plunging to a seven-wicket defeat by a ferocious bowling barrage from Reid Avenue, as [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Royal charge leaves ‘Thora’ black and blue


Royal fast bowler Chamika (9/87)bags the man of the match and best bowler awards as they end the six year wait 

By David Stephens

A S. Thomas’ College fleet, which had been navigating troubled waters throughout their second innings, was sent plunging to a seven-wicket defeat by a ferocious bowling barrage from Reid Avenue, as Royal College roared to victory at the 134th Battle of the Blues, to clinch the D.S Senanayake Trophy at the SSC grounds yesterday.

Chamika Karunaratne took a match bag of nine wickets to steer Royal. - Pics by Amila Gamage

Royal’s triumph brings their tally of victories to 34, leveling the score with their traditional rivals, who have also secured 34 wins, and ending a six-year result drought. The Thomians, who were bowled out for 192 during their first innings, were blitzed out for a paltry second innings total of 132 after they were put in to bat by the Royalists, who began the day with a 68-run lead following their first innings declaration at 260 for 5.

Chamika Karunaratne continued with his lethal first innings’ form, tormenting S. Thomas’ batsmen with a host of unplayable deliveries to finish the day with 4 for 32, to end his Royal-Thomian adventure with an astounding match bag of 9 wickets. His performance earned him both the Man-of-the Match and Best Bowler accolades, and effectively propelled his team toward the finish line. The only fact worth bragging about for S. Thomas’ was Devin Jayasinghe’s Best Batsman award, but that will do little to soften the blow of this humiliating defeat.

Royal deputy skipper Milan Abeysekara jumps with joy after hitting the winning boundary

S. Thomas’ were bullied throughout the day, and lost Nipuna Gamage in only the sixth over of the day when he had his stumps rearranged by Hashen Ramanayake. The Royalists followed their early breakthrough with another decisive blow two overs later, when Devin Jayasinghe, who scored 74 in the Thomians’ first innings, was sent marching back to the pavilion for a duck after he hooked a delivery off Ramanayake straight to Roanaka Ahangama.

This brought skipper Javed Bongso to the crease, and for a while he and opener Deelaka Herath steadied the ship with some clever and controlled strokeplay. However, the time had come for Karunaratne to announce his presence, and he did it with a scorcher of a delivery which bulleted into Bongso and trapped him in front of the wicket for 19, leaving S. Thomas’ on 60-3.

The warning sirens were wailing for the Thomians, and reached an ear-splitting pitch when Herath, who had played sensibly for 25, was caught behind by keeper Milan Abeysekera and Tilaksha Sumanasiri joined him back in the pavilion after being run out by a brilliant throw into the stumps by fresher Harith Samaringhe for 5.

S. Thomas’ were struggling at 78-5 by lunch, holding only a very flimsy 10-run lead. Royal was now clearly in the ascendancy and the pressure was beginning to pile on S. Thomas’ batsmen. It eventually told on Helakamal Nanayakkara when he edged to leg slip off Poorna Aluthge for 3 runs.

The only ray of hope for S. Thomas’ came from Sanesh de Mel, who had come to the crease after the departure of Herath and was battling it out with that time-honoured Thomian grit. However, Royal Captain Devind Pathmanathan- (the nephew of Gajan Pathmanathan, who played for Royal in 1971 and 1972 and represented the University of Cambridge and the UK Combined Universities team) together with Aluthge were slowly tightening the screws on S.

Triumphant Chamika with the man-of-the match award


They eventually crumbled within the space of a few overs, as Madushan Ravichandrakumar (1) and Ravindu Tillakaratne (0) were dismissed in quick succession to have S. Thomas’ hobbling at 100 for 8.

De Mel was still the lone warrior for S. Thomas’ and was edging towards a half century. His only problem was that he was running out of partners as new man Sahan Wijesinghe, who had crawled to 5 off 30 balls, was bowled by leg-spinner Harith Samarasinghe.
With the score on 132-9, de Mel was one run short of his fifty. His haste to reach the milestone may have contributed towards the end of his team’s innings, as he rushed for a single that was never there. The result: his latest partner Ishan Kularatne was run out for 0, leaving Royal a total of 65 for victory.

With tea a little less than an hour away, Royal were almost assured of victory, barring a sudden shower which did not appear to be coming. Paceman Nanayakkara, did his best to deliver a miracle with figures of 3 for 30, claiming all of Royal’s second innings wickets, but a Royal victory was now beyond doubt and Abeysekera sealed proceedings with a cracking four off one his loose deliveries.
Upon the Royal victory a spokesman for Royal College said that in keeping with tradition the school will declare a holiday for its students on Monday due to the Royal victory.

Jubilant Royal cricketers with the prestigious D.S. Senanayake Memorial Shield

ScoreboardS. Thomas’ 1st innings 192 all out in 73.2 overs (Devin Jayasinghe 74, Ravindu Tillakaratne 26 n.o., Helakamal Nanayakkara 24; Chamika Karunaratne 5 for 55, Poorna Aultge 2 for 44)
Royal 1st innings 260 for 5 wickets in 63 overs (Sampath de Silva 61, Milan Abeseykara 50n.o, Hashen Ramanayake 43, Roanaka Ahangamage 40, Poorna Aluthge 21n.o, Heshan Kumarasiri 20, Isuru Kularatne 2/44)
S. Thomas 2nd innings
Deelaka Herath c Abeysekara b Karunaratne 25
(Attempted drive, thick outside edge to the wicketkeeper)
Nipuna Gamage b Ramanayake 13
(Left a gap between bat and pad while trying to defend a quicker delivery)
Devin Jayasinghe c Ahangamage b Ramanayake 0
(Hooked a rising delivery into the deep)
Javed Bongso lbw b Karunaratne 19
(Ball pitched on off and swung in)
Thilaksha Sumanasiri run out (Samarasinghe) 5
(Calls his partner for a quick run from the non-striker’s end, sent back)
Sanesh de Mel not out 49
Helakamal Nanayakkara c Sooriyabandara b Aluthge 3
(Attempts to flick, mistimes and caught at leg slip)
Madushan Ravichandrakumar c de Silva b Karunaratne 1
(Great outswinger, tries to cut and edges to first slip)
Ravindu Tillakaratne b Karunaratne 0
(Tries to play down, finds the inside edge and hits middle and leg)
Sahan Wijesinghe b Samarasinghe 5
(Defends, ball brushes the bat and hits middle and off)
Ishan Kularatne run out (Kumarasiri 0
(Suicidal single to let unbeaten de Mel reach 50, but falls short of the crease)
Extras (b4, lb3, w5) 12
Total (all out; 58.5) 132
Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Gamage), 2-22 (Jayasinghe), 3-60 (Bongso), 4-63 (Herath), 5-73 (Sumanasir), 6-89 (Nanayakkara), 7-98 (Ravichandrakumar), 8-100 (Tillakaratne), 9-121 (Wijesinghe), 10-132 (Kularatne)
Bowling: Chamika Karunaratne 17-6-32-4, Hashen Ramanayake 10-3-36-2, Anupa Thillkeratne 1-0-7-0, Poorna Aluthge 15-5-27-1, Devin Pathmanathan 10-4-19-0, Harith Samarasinghe 5.5-4-4-1
Royal 2nd innings
Roanaka Ahangamage c Herath b Nanayakkara 16
(Cuts, edges to first slip)
Isuru Gunathilake c Jayasinghe b Nanayakkara 12
(Rising delivery, tries to pull and top edge to mid on)
Sampath de Silva c Herath b Nanayakkara 13
(Another rising delivery, pulls and caught at mid wicket)
Milan Abeysekara not out 22
Hashen Ramanayake not out 0
Extras (nb 4) 4
Total (3 wkts; 10.5) 67
Fall of wickets: 1-27 (Gunathilake), 2-30 (Ahangamage), 3-62 (de Silva)
Bowling: Sahan Wijesinghe 2-0-11-0, Ishan Kularatne 4-0-20-0, Helakamal Nanayakkara 3.5-0-30-3, Devin Jayasinghe 1-0-6-0

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