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14th March 1999

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A gleeful rush to the pavilion.
Unbeaten Thomian batsman Heshan Peiris heads to the pavilion, helmet in hand, at the end of the Thomian innings. St. Thomas' won the 120th Battle of the Blues cricket encounter against Royal. Pic by Dunstan Wickramaratne
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Royal crash to 80 in their second innings... their lowest total in 38 years.

Peiris spins Thomians to victory

By Marlon Fernandopulle

A sensational spell of left arm leg spin bowling by vice captain Suranga Peiris helped S. Thomas' to register an incredible victory over Royal in the 120th Battle of the Blues encounter at the SSC grounds yesterday.

After playing second fiddle to their opponents on the first two days, and conceding a 30 run first innings lead, S. Thomas' staged a magnificent fightback through their bowlers on the third day to send Royal crashing to all out in their second innings.. their lowest total in 38 years.

The Thomians then knocked off the required 111 runs required in 29.2 overs to notch up their 32nd victory in the series and send their supporters berserk. Both young and old Thomians were seen in their numbers waving blue and black flags in the stiff breeze at Maitland Place while Royal supporters were in the Blues, unable to come to terms with their team's dramatic bating collapse in the morning session, where the last nine wickets fell for just 35 runs.

The day's proceedings began with Royal sitting pretty on 41 for 1 and a lead of 71 runs. However with the first dismissal of the morning - where Thotuwilage was caught at fine leg hooking medium pacer Lakmal Fernando - the Royal wickets fell like ninepins.

Ruchira Jayasuriya ran himself out without troubling the scorers while skipper Amarasuriya was picked up by Fernando and suddenly, Royal slipped to 45 for 4. It was at this stage that vice captain Suranga Peiris came into action. Bowling a nagging line and occasionally flighting the ball, Peiris teased the Royalists with a mixture of intelligent leg breaks which had the Royalists guessing. He picked up the 5th and 6th Royal wickets and then polished the tail, taking the last three wickets as Royal plunged to 80 all out. His 5 for 18 was only his second five wicket haul for the current season where he had 25 wickets in 15 games.

Chasing 111 for victory, the Thomians list opener Kanaka for 17 with the total on 28. However, a determined 49-run stand for the second wicket between Heshan Peiris (44 n.o.) and Shanaka Caldera (24) ensured that the Mt. Lavinia lads could cruise to their target safely.

They had a few hiccups on their way when they lost a couple of quick wickets, but opener Heshan Peiris held one end up to guide his team to a memorable four-wicket victory.

Yesterday's victory by the Thomians would not have been possible if not for that splendid century on Friday from their middle order bat Melshad Peiris.


Royal 1st Innnings: 288/3 decl

S. Thomas 1st Innings: 258/9 decl

Royal 2nd Innings: 41/1 overnight

Ravi Peiris lbw Ratwatte 0

Malinga Thotuwalage ct John b Fernando 20

Thushan Amarasuriya ct Kanaka b Fernando 22

Ruchira Jayasuriya run out 0

Andrew Perera st Kanaka b Gunawardena 20

Angelo Perera lbw b S Peiris 4

Harith Rajakaruna ct H Peiris b S Peiris 7

Harshana Rajakaruna ct M Peiris b S Peiris 0

Fazal Ahamed ct M Peiris b S Peiris 3

Sanjeewa Udumalagala b S Peiris 0

Rangana Rajapakse n o 0

Extras (3 lb, 1 nb) 4

Total (all out in 38.4 overs) 80

Fall of wickets 1-8, 2-45, 3-45, 4-45, 5-53, 6,-77, 7-77 8-77, 9-77.

Bowling Naren Ratwatte 2-2-0-1, Gihan Fernando 3-0-21-0, Lakmal Fernando 9-3-11-2, Rajiv Gunawardene 10-6-7-1, Suranga Peiris 13.4-8-18-5, Sudarshan John 3-0-18-0

S. Thomas' 2nd Innings

Zakir Kanaka b Harith Rajakaruna 17

Heshan Peiris not out 44

Gihan Fernando lbw b Harshana R. 0

Melshad Peiris ct Perera b Udumalagala 5

Naren Ratwatte b Rajapakse 8

Suranga Peiris st Perera b Rajapakse 8

Dilshan Gunawardene not out 0

Extras (8 b, 2 lb, 2 nb) 12

Total (for 6 wkts in 29.2 overs) 111

Fall of wickets 1-28, 2-77, 3-77, 4-88, 5-107, 6-109

Bowling: Sanjeewa Udumalagala 7-1-28-1, Harshana Rajakaruna 5-2-16-1, Rangana Rajapakse 9-0-30-2, Harith Rajakaruna 5-1-13-1, Fazal Mohamed 3.2-1-12-0.

"Battle of the Saints"

Gunasekara saves the day

Middle order batsman Sean Gunasekara struck an imposing half century just when it mattered most to save St. Peter's College from certain defeat on the final day of the "Battle of Saints" big-match against arch rival St.Joseph's College at the Sara Stadium yesterday.

Gunasekara was at the crease with his team struggling at 113 for 5 in the face of a follow-on and a first innings deficit of 122 runs. He paid scant respect to the Josephian bowlers as he tore into their attack playing shots all around the wicket.

He clobbered as many as 10 fours in making 84 after initially stroking what was easily the shot of the day when h superbly square-drove a ball from medium pacer Sanka Rupasinghe that raced in lightning speed to the boundary.

After the Josephians bundled out the Peterites for just 130 in the morning session, the match was wide open by tea with Peterites reeling at 125 for 5 at tea in their second innings. But Gunasekara and his partner Gavin Ludowyke slammed the door on the Josephians as they shared in decisive 74 run stand to steer the Peterites away from the threat of defeat.

Loduwyke's contribution was 26.

The Peterites made a token declaration at 228 for 9 to leave the Josephians with the impossible task of scoring 105 runs to win from a mere five overs.

They were 25 for one and the occasion marked another draw for the 21st year running.

Earlier in the day Peterites resuming from 94 for 6, progressed to 127 without further loss when a passing rain cloud opened up to disrupt the game. But on resumption the Peterites batted as if practising at the nets playing some rash shots against the spin on Dinraj Fernando and Anuk Wijeratne who took five and three wickets respectively.

Leg-spinner Fernando had a match haul of nine wickets to record a personal best while stand-in wicket-keeper Johannes Jayasuriya also took home sweet memories of another record of seven victims behind the stumps.


St. Joseph's College first innings 252 or 5 dec. (Dilhan Ramanayaka 100 n.o)

St. Peter's College first innings 94 for 6 overnight

Angelo Fonseka c G. Perera b Hettiarachie 4

Jehan Jayasuriya c Hettiarachie b D.Fernando 27

Mahesh Perera c Ramanayake b D. Fernando 2

Sean Gunasekara b Rupasinghe 1

Suranga Pinto b D. Fernando 17

Kaushalya Lokuarachie c sub b D. Fernando 20

Gavin Ludowyke c Jayasuriya b D. Fernando 34

Dilshan Rupasinghe st. Jayasuriya b Wijeratne 17

Aman Samsoodeen not out 4

Chryshantha Peiris b Wijeratne 0

Nirmal de Silva c Ramanayake b Wijeratne 0

Extras 4

Total all out 130

Fall: 12, 32, 33, 41, 56, 79, 126, 126, 130

Bowling : Roshan de Silva 9-2-34-0, Ishan Hettiarachie 8-2-18-1,

Sanka Rupasinghe 4-1-11-1, Dinraj Fernando 16-3-36-5,

Asanga Fernando 3-0-18-0, Anuk Wijeratne 9. 1-3-9-3

St. Peter's College second innings

Suranga Pinto st. Jayasuriya b Fernando 4

Jehan Jayasuriya b Hettiarachie 43

Mahesh Perera c Jayasuriya b Wijeratne 34

Angelo Fonseka c Jayasuriya b Rupasinghe 5

Sean Gunasekara st. Jayasuriya b Fernando 84

Kaushalya Lokuarachie run out 11

Gavin Ludowyke c Ramanayake b Wijeratne 26

Dilshan Rupasinghe c sub b Fernando 1

Aman Samsoodeen not out 12

Chryshantha Peiris c Jayasuriya b Fernando 6

Extras: 2

Total : 228

Fall: 16, 83, 89, 113, 187, 213, 226 Bowling: Roshan de Silva 6-1-24-0, Ishan Hettiarachie 11-2-29-1,

Dinraj Fernando 23-10-48-4, Asanga Fernando 4-1-26-0,

Anuk Wijeratne 23-2-63-2, Sanka Rupasinghe 3-1-19-1,

Danuka Pathirana 3-0-17-0.

St. Joseph's College second innings

Danuka Pathirana c M. Perera b Pinto 0

Jehan Jayasuriya not out 4

Dilanka Perera not out 12

Extras : 9

Total :(for one wicket) 25

Fall : 0

Bowling : Suranga Pinto 2-0-8-1, Aman Samsoodeen 2-0-7-0-,

Dilshan Rupasinghe 1-0-2-0.

Result - Match drawn

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