Oshada guides St. Sebastian’s

61st Battle of Gold’s in Moratuwa
By M. Shamil Amit

St. Sebastian’s star batsman Oshada Fernando cracked an unbeaten knock of 129 to guide his side to record a comprehensive ten wicket victory over traditional rivals Prince of Wales in their 61st ‘Battle of Gold’s’ encounter concluded at De Zoysa Stadium yesterday.

Action at St. Sebastian’s Ground - Pic by Ranjith Perera

Sebs in the process broke a long standing series hoodoo of 33 years without a positive result and also a 44 year old hoodoo of having won the Battle of Gold’s. Their last win in the series was way back in 1966 when the side was led by Sarath Perera.

The scale at the end of the first day’s play was in favour of the Sebs who finished the day making a bold reply of 235 for 3 in reply to the Cambrians score of 201. Oshada tightened the grip further when play began on day two yesterday morning as he continued from his overnight score of 72 went on to blast the Cambrians attack and added 57 more runs in this session.

Oshada’s knock coming in just 138 balls comprised 15 boundaries and a six helped St. Sebastian’s resuming on their overnight score of 235 for 6 posted a formidable score of 363 for 3 declared having faced 18 overs.

Oshada was also associated in three fruitful partnerships first of 101 runs for the third wicket with Charith Fernando which was followed by a 62 runs stand for the fourth wicket with Sanitha de Mel and the last of 75 runs for the fifth wicket with Anuk de Alwis.

The Cambrians batting the second time with a deficit of 162 runs were 123 for 3 just after lunch with Shehan again being in the runs and coming to their rescue. Shehan who made a knock of 82 in the first inning was the only stumbling block for the Sebs. But his dismissal for 79 almost shut the door for the Cambrians who struggled to survive.

With five of their top batsmen back in the pavilion with the score on 138 the Cambrians had little to offer while the left arm spin combination of Sebs Amila Aponso and Anuk de Alwis had things under their control.

With the writing in the wall being there the Cambrians innings did not last long after Amila had undone the top order batting Anuk ran through the late order as they lost their remaining five wickets for the addition of just 38 runs being bowled out for 176.

This left the Sebs just 17 runs for victory which they needed only 2.3 overs to reach the target and break the long standing hoodoo.

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