43rd Royal-Thomian limited overs encounter: Skipper Dellon inspires Thomians to 131-run win

This time the Thomian allrounder and skipper Dellon Peiris proved that he also is an inspiring leader. At the SSC grounds yesterday, the Thomians ended up with a huge 131-run win over Royal in their 43rd Limited Overs encounter to prove their superiority and complete their fifth consecutive win the series.

Getting full use of his strong bowling attack and agile set of fielders, the Thomian skipper had the Royal batsmen in check. Shuffling his bowlers intelligently and bringing them in short spells and always kept a pace-spin attack from both ends they had the Reid Avenue school batters at sea to be dismissed for 85 in 34.4 overs.

Skipper Dellon Peiris won the toss and elected to bat in overcast conditions. Despite the overcast conditions and the early life of the wicket the Thomian openers Dulith Gunaratne and Shalin de Mel gave a fine start for their school putting on a 59-run partnership in 16.2 overs. With the exit of both openers, a middle order collapse took place and at one stage the scoreboard read 7 for 141. Then came a match saving partnership for the 8th wicket by Tevin Eriyagama ( 36) and Kalana Perera (37 including two towering hits over the ropes and a couple of fours). Both batsmen made their exits in the last overs. Earlier Kishan Munasinghe and Meneesha Rupasinghe made worthy contributions scoring 20 and 21 respectively. At the end of their allotted 50 overs Thomians scored 216 for the loss of nine wickets.

Chasing a get-able victory target on the true SSC wicket, Thomian off spinner Munasinghe made the early breakthrough with 20 runs on the board off 7.3 overs. The biggest blow for Royal came when their skipper Pa s i n d u Sooriyabandara was run out through a direct throw by Shalin de Mel for 1. Royal lost wickets at regular intervals and at one stage they were five down for 50 in 17 overs.

A partnership of 23 runs for the 6th wicket by Kavindu Madarasinghe (23) and Kavindu Pathiratne (19 off 62 deliveries) brought some hope for the Royal supporters but Madarasinghe made his way back to the pavilion making a loose shot saw Royal innings folding up for 85 runs.

Each Thomian bowler did his part and it was off spinner Kishan Munasinghe been the main destroyer to claim five wickets for 32 runs. Sharon Fernando and skipper Dellon Peiris lending a good support to Munasinghe captured a wicket each.

Chief Scores: S. Thomas' 216 for 9 (50) (Dulith Gunaratne 30, Shalin de Mel 22, Kishan Munasinghe 20, Maneesha Rupasinghe 21 Tevin Eriyagama 36, Kalana Perera 37, Yuvin Herath 2 for 38)

Royal 85 (34.4) (Ashan Wickremasinghe 11, Kavindu Madarasinghe 23, Kavindu Pathiratne 19, Yuvin Herath 11, Kishan Munasinghe 5 for 32)

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