St. Sylvester's Vs Vidyartha 47th encounter
Another draw on the cards!
By Aubrey Kuruppu
Stalemates have been the order of the day in the St. Sylvester's - Vidyartha Big matches and the 47th edition which takes place on the 4th and 5th of March at the Asgiriya Stadium should follow the established pattern.

The Sylvestrians last won in 1998 while Vidayartha has to go down memory lane to savour the moment of their last triumph. No doubt, the Sylvestrians are the more formidable team, but superiority on paper does not necessarily translate into victory on the field. Vidyartha should give a good account of themselves and, though a victory might be too far-fetched, are quite capable of stringing the game towards a draw.

Eranga Ganegoda, a centurion and their most capable batsman who has recently emerged from a lean trot, Ganegoda is the foremost bowler as well. Brothers Moduka and Janaka Weerasekera have made good contributions most times. The latter is also the stumper.

Deputy skipper Shakila Narankotuwa is a useful batsman. He bowls off cutters and has been among the wickets. Ruwan Gunaratne and Jagath Samaratunga are the opening batsmen.

The team is not short of spin bowlers and they have two left arm spinners in Dilan Samaranayake and Nadun Ramanayake. Asiri Karunaratne, a tallish left-arm seamer is the opening bowler and will share the new ball with Sandakelum Chandrasena. Karunaratne has been a little disappointing as a bowler.

The Sylvestarians led by Tharanga Jayatissa were functioning smoothly until they were almost derailed by the Sebastianites. A batting revival second time round saved them from defeat. However, batting remains the strong point of the St. Sylvester's team. They haven't produced a centurian, but most of the front liners have contributed constantly.

Tharanga Jayatissa leads the Sylvestarians. He has not hit peak form so far, but this big occasion could act as the spur. Shanaz Najurdeen has been their most accomplished player with both bat and ball. Najurdeen is a right hand bat and off spinner.

Dhananjaya Karunaratne has been in the thick of things as has been Mohamed Feshal. Rajitha Wickremaarachchi opens the batting with Ranaweera. The former who is also the stumper of the side, has been in good form. Lahiru Manchanayake can also open. Thusitha Wijesekera and Ravi Karunaratne open the bowling. Karunaratne now among the wickets. Chanaka Silva is the leftarm spinner.

The Sylvestarians beat Carey outright, lost on first innings to St. Sebastian's and beat the other six teams on first innings. Vidyartha beat Royal Panadura outright and lost on first innings to Kingswood, Dharmaraja and Trinity. There were two no decisions in their remaining 7 games.

Vidyartha (from) Eranga Ganegoda, Janaka Weerasekera, Dilan Senanayake, Jagath Samaratunga, Asiri Karunaratne, Sandakelum Chandrasena, Nadun Basnayake, Ruwan Gunaratne, Madusanka Wijeratne, Kasun Ekanayake, Eraj Chandrasekera, Samantha Aluvihare, D. Kaushalya (Coach - Bandula Ranasinghe).

St. Sylvesters' (from) Tharanga Jayatissa (capt.), Ravi Karunaratne, Rajitha Wickremaarachchi, Shanaz Najurdeen, Mohamed Feshal, Chanaka Ranaweera, Dhananjaya Karunaratne, Lahiru Manchanayake, Thusitha Wijesekera, Mohamed Rumy, Roshan Jayatissa, Chanaka Silva, Amila Dissanayake, Yasira Chanaka, P. Colombage (coach - Tudor Gunaratne).


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