The Peterites who came into the 76th Battle of Saints encounter as favourites against traditional rivals kept up to the expectations of their supporters when they coasted to an easy ten wicket victory at the P. Sara Stadium yesterday with more than a session of play remaining.
Petes in ecstasy as the last Josephian batsman walks back to the Pavillion (Pic By Ranjith Perera)
The Peterites after making a formidable score of 293 bowled out the Josephians to scores of 158 and 164. Then they were left with a simple target of 30 runs which they needed only 8.5 overs.
The win also saw them break a 31 year old hoodoo of having won the traditional match which was way back in 1978 when the side was led by Suraj Abeysekera.
They dominated from the first ball was bowled on day one. Of course the hero for the Petes on the first day was no doubt opener Shehan Fernando who blasted a 68 ball knock of 83 which laid the foundation for their easy win.
After young Shehan had done the good work skipper Chathura Peiris broke the backbone of the Josephian batting in the first inning. He had the Josephians struggling to survive as they ended the day on 132 for 7.
Resuming on the second day the Josephian inning lasted only eight overs with Chathura picking two of the three wickets to fall. Josephians made to follow on with a deficit of 135 runs were again made to struggle and were tottering on 36 for 4.
They went into lunch with the score on 77 for 4. Coming back they lost three quick wickets for the addition of just six runs before Vidusha Jayasinghe and Rosco Thattil made a recovery act putting on 64 runs for the eight wicket.
That was all they could do as the separation of the pair saw them making only a further 17 runs before being bowled out for 164. The only consolation was that they were able avoid an innings defeat but not prevent the Peterites from laying their hands on the Rev, Fr. Maurice Legoc trophy.