A keen tussle is on among three Junior National cricketers for the Best Batsman’s award, in the Premier Schools segment, with two of them passing the 1,000 runs mark.
Sri Lanka Under-19 skipper Nipun Dananjaya Perera of St. Joseph’s Vaz College, Wennappuwa, who was on National duty, missed a major part of the schools season.
This elegant right handed batsman has scored 696 runs off 14 innings from nine outings, including two centuries.
A tower of strength for his alma mater and his motherland, this National player is a treat to watch when in full flight.
He gets into stride very early in the innings, working the ball to all corners of the field.
The second national cap is Sri Lanka right handed opening batsman, Nishan Madushka Fernando of Moratu Vidyalaya.
With plenty of international experience from representing the country in the Junior World Cup and Asian Junior Championship, this free scoring batsman was the first in the island to reach the 1,000 runs milestone on 02.02.19.
He had five tons and a highest score of 172 runs.
At the end of the season, Fernando had scored 1,386 runs from 20 innings in 13 matches, and 6 centuries in all.
As an opening batsman Fernando prefers to go after the bowling from the start, which makes the task easy for the batsman who follow.
Peterite ace batsman Santhush Gunatilleke, another Junior National cricketer, is a batsman who makes use of his height to meet the ball on the front foot, making the ball to pass the fielders with power.
Gunatilleke prefers to score in front of the wicket, in a 'V' shape.
His elegant stroke-making has earned 1,223 runs in 17 innings off 15 matches.
His unbeaten 252 against Ananda College, which consisted of 29 hits to the boundary and eight over the fence, is his highest score for the season.
With three not outs his average is a handsome 87.36. Gunatilleke is the second fastest batsman to reach 1,000 runs, a day after Madushka reach the coveted mark, but he is faster in terms of number of innings.
Gunatilleke’s total includes a double ton, five century knocks and two half-tons.
In the Emerging Schools the batsmen recommended are Ishara Maduwantha of Karandeniya Central College, Chamod Sandaru of Piliyandala Central College and Sohan de Livera of Sri Devananda College, Ambalangoda.
Ishara Maduwantha with a highest score of 148 runs, has a total of 1,103 runs, including four centuries, which came from 26 innings off 14 matches.
He average stands at 42.42 per inning.
Devananda College’s Sohan Sathsara de Livera, with a total of 1,130 runs stands at the top.
With the aid of four centuries, with a highest score of 138, the lad led the Devananda College batting right through the season.
Playing in 14 matches and batting in 25 innings, Livera has been consistent with his excellent stroke-play.
De Livera is not mindful of the situation when he walks into bat, he gets down to business in firing the ball all over the field.
The third in the 1,000 runs club is Chamod Sandaru of Piliyandala MMV.
Sandaru amassed 1,068 runs, batting in 25 innings six 'not outs'.
With a highest score of 138 runs, his average stands at 45.2 per inning.
His excellent footwork to go down the wicket to get to the pitch of the ball, and his ability to lift it over, is the trademark of this hard hitting batsman’s ability.
Seethawaka MMV’s Kalana Madusanka, with a total of 361 runs in two innings off two matches, which includes a double ton and a ton with an average of 180.5, stands at the top.
Kithnuka P. Amarasinghe of St. Thomas’ College, Bandarawela with a total of 648 with two centuries and an average of 53, and Hemantha Bandara Ekanayake of Nugawela MMV with a total of 973, occupies the top spot.
His total includes a double ton and a ton with an average of 58.81.
These three are the contenders from the Up-and-Coming Schools for the Best Batsman award.
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