Isipathana skipper Dimuth Warapitiya continued his consistency as he along with Deshan Jayakumar rescued Isipathana to make a formidable 254 on the opening day of their 48th Big Match against traditional rivals Thurstan at the SSC ground yesterday.
This was after Thurstan skipper Thisura Madurapperuma who won the toss and invited Isipathana to take first lease and was struggling at 59 with their top four batsmen back in the pavilion.
Right arm pacie Ranga Wijewickrama gave the first breakthrough for the Thustanites as he dislodged Chenutha Wickramasinghe with the score on 13. One run later Ranga’s partner right arm pacie Kavin dealt another blow by taking the wicket of one down batsman Ruvindu Jayawardena.
|Isipathana skipper Dimuth Warapitiya who was unbeaten on 58 in action against Thurstan. Pic by Ranjith Perera
Nilusha, one of the two experienced batsman of the Isipathana side, found run making a hard task being unable to get the runs as usual. He did not last long as he became the second victim of Ranga after making 15 runs.
Skipper Dimuth along with Harith Wanigarachchi seemed to be settling down collecting the single and two’s and the occasional boundary. But they were unable to go that far as left arm spinner Rajitha Perera separated the pair.
It was from this point when Isipathana was reeling on 59 for 4 that skipper Dimuth and Deshan began the rescue act. Thurstan’s mis-fielding too added to their misery during the latter stages of the pre and post lunch session.
Thurstan let themselves off the hook after having their opponents struggling. The two batsmen taking advantage of the shortcomings made full use of it as the pair frustrated the Thurstan bowlers by putting on a valuable 130 runs stand for the 5th wicket Dimuth made 96 which had 14 boundaries and a six while Deshan chipped in with a 63 with nine boundaries. Later in the inning Samith Sulochana made a useful knock of 48.
For the Thurstanites left arm spinner Rajitha Perera was their top bowler with figures of 4 for 50 and right arm Praboda Arthavidu supporting him with a three wicket haul.
Thurstan in reply ended the day by making 45 for 1 with opener Supun Navaratne remaining unbeaten on 35 which had five boundaries.
The match seems to be heading for a draw unless something extraordinary takes place on day two today.