Another drab in the offing
Kingswood and Dharmaraja
The outcome of the 102nd Big Match between Kingswood and Dharmaraja to be played at the Asgiriya Stadium on the 7th and 8th of March seems to be pre-ordained. A draw seems the only result possible when two teams, whose forte is their batting, clash.
This would mean that the Rajans, who last won the Big match in 1980, and the lads from Randles Hill, who last tasted success way back in 1958, will have to await leaner times from the willow-wielders.
Anuradha Hettige, a left arm spinner and dependable middle order bat, leads Kingwood. The Skipper's Career has, of late, been dogged by a shoulder injury. But he showed that he was at, or near, his best when he bagged his second five wicket haul. He sat out two matches but has a tally of 25 wickets.
Vice Captain Chalitha Dharmaprema is the leading wicket-taker with 31. He delivers from a high action and is at the batsmen consistently. Coming late in the order, he has often contributed with the bat.
Krishan Silva, a free- stroking lefthander came good with a hundred against Wesley. His natural inclination is to attack the bowlers.
Prasad Senaratne has claims to be the best all-rounder in the team with 500 runs and 28 Wickets. He, too is a centurion.
Stumper Migara Bandaranaike is a good driver of the ball and can be expected to deliver both behind and in front of the stumps. The team will look for runs from Ashan Seneviratne, Chathura Kumarasiri, Madhawa Maduranga, and Amila Kangaraarachchi.
The pace attack is in the hands of the lanky duo Chandima Abeykoon and Maduranga. They could be a little more accurate. The team will bank heavily on the spinners to keep the opposing batsmen under control.
Skipper Bhuvaneka Ekanayake has had a lean season with the bat. However, a sixty in the last game may indicate that the corner has been turned. Kingswood has good reason to be worry because the left hander has scored heavily in previous big matches.
Chandimal Ratnayake-600 runs and 25 wickets is the obvious danger man. Figures of 6-14 (inclusive of a hat-trick) against Royal show what he's capable of. In addition, he has a hundred under his belt.
Left arm pacie Tharindu Balasuriya will have to provide the breakthroughs. A lively seamer, his best figures are 7-14 against Rahula Matara. He has two other five wicket hauls.
New-comer to the Dharmaraja side, Theekshana Wedagedera has also come up with a century. Opening bat Chamila Ambagaspitiya has made runs consistently, senior player Tharindu Perera, a left arm spinner is one of the Key bowlers. He has picked up around 35wickets.
The Rajans have won over Rahula Matara and St. Thomas' Matale, and drawn their other games.
Kingswood. On the other hand, have beaten Wesley and Maliyadeva and drawn the remaining nine matches.
The two old boys who coach the respective teams have happy memories of the Big Match. Priyantha Wickremasuriya (Kingswood) made hundreds in successive Big matches, while Senaka Dissanaike (Dharmaraja) scored a double hundred.
Kingswood (From) Anuradha Hettige (Capt.), Chalitha Dharmaprema (V.Capt.), Krishan Silva, Prasad Senaratne, Migara Bandaranaike, Chandima Abeykoon, Sajith Atulugama, Ashan Seneviratne, Chathura Kumarasiri, Modhawa Maduranga, Amila Kangaraarachchi, Lahiru Gannoruwa, Udara Hettige, Hasitha Dharmaprema, Hasitha Thilakasiri.
Dharmaraja (From) Buwaneka Ekanayake (Capt.) Chandimal Ratnayake (V.Capt.) Tharindu Perera, Chamila Ambagaspitiya, Tharindu Balasuriya, Rahjula Ekanayake, Prasad Amarakoon, Ramesh Bandara, Pratap Silva, Theekshana Wedagedera, Tharaka Silva, Tharindu Dandeniya, Pubudu Deniyewatte, Yohan Seneviratne.