Petes look for repeat while Joes are out for revenge

As it happens every year during the month of March the Saints are ready to march on the cricket field for their annual “Battle of the Saints” clash for the Fr Maurice Le Goc trophy which is the 77th in the series to be played on March 4 and 5 at the P. Sara Stadium.

Of the 76 matches played so far the Joes are in the lead with 12 wins with eight for the Peterites with the Josephians last win being in 2008 under the leadership of Ruwantha Fernandopulle and the Peterites last being in 2010 under Chathura Peiris.

The Peterites who broke a 31 year old jinx last year will go all out to retain the trophy for another year. But even then the two teams posses’ talented players and no doubt a close tussle is expected.
According to the form of the two teams this season the Josephians led by Rosco Thattil are unbeaten having played 16 matches winning three and the rest drawn while the Peterites led by Denham Perera have played 14 matches with one win and a loss with the rest drawn.

The two teams posses players who represented the Sri Lanka youth side with St Peter’s having Lahiru Jayaratne and St Joseph’s Chathuranga Kumara and Supeshala Jayatileke who will be the sides key players.

The batting department of both sides are on par with each team having four centurions. The Peterites have in skipper Denham who has scored three tons with opener Shehan Fernando and Lahiru Milantha with two tons to their credit and Nilochana Perera being the other.

The four Josephinas to make tons are skipper Rosco, opener Kevin Bernadus, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Chathuranga Kumara. The Peterites have four players who have scored over 500 runs in Shehan (786), Denham (718), Sasheen Fernando (559) and Nilochana (552).
In contrast the Josephians posses two in Rosco (618)and Vidusha Jayasinghe (569). So with the two teams possessing players of that calibre there is no doubt that the supporters will be expecting something big this time.

Apart from the four batsmen there is depth in the bowling department too in the two sides with the Josephians being spearheaded by skipper Rosco who has been their top wicket taker with over 65 wickets followed by former skipper Dinal Dambarage, Sri Lanka youth player Supeshala Jayatileke and Chathuranga.

The Peterites mainstay is Julian de Zylva who is their top wicket taker with over 40 wickets who along with Dushan Hemantha, Nilochana Perera, Lahiru Jayaratne and Ranitha Liyanarachchi will have to combine with effect to curtail their opponents.

For the record the highest score in the series is by St Joseph’s of 382 which they made in 1982 when the side was led by Ken Serpanchy with St. Peter’s best being 345 for 9 in 1938 under Percy Perera.
The lowest score of the two sides is St Joseph’s 56 in 1938 and St Peter’s 36 in 1972. The highest individual score of the series is 204 by Clive Inman which he achieved in 1954 and the best bowling returns is 9 for 41 by Shenal Warnakula of St Joseph’s in 1997.

Though the two sides are on equal terms this season the Peterites will no doubt look for a repeat of last years performance while the Josephians will come into the game seeking revenge.-MSA

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