By: M. Shamil Amit
The end of the second day’s play of the 140th Battle of the Blues saw S. Thomas’ College guided by Kalana Perera and Umayanga Suwaris, taking the upper hand against traditional rivals Royal College, at the SSC ground.
Left-arm pacie Kalana continued to torment the Royal batting for the second time with a deficit of 138 runs to erase as he bagged two of the four wickets to fall to have Royal struggling on 148 for four.
Royal openers Isiwara Dissanayake who failed to make any impression in the first inning, and Kamil Mishara this time around, gave them a solid start putting on 54 runs before being separated with the dismissal of Kamil who made 34.
Isiwara did not last long as he followed his partner 14 runs later and was able to make a contribution of only 20 runs, which took him 77 balls. Skipper Kavindu Madarasinghe and Ahan Sanchitha were making steady progress and the pair succeeded to post the 100 runs on the board.
But they lost two wickets within the space of 11 runs losing the wickets of skipper Kavindu who made 25 and Ahan (26) who together added 37 runs for the third wicket forcing Royal to go on the defence.
The fifth wicket pair of Bhagya Dissanayake and Kavindu Pathiratne held on from there on denying any success for the Thomian bowlers. The duo successfully negotiated just under 11 overs and in the process adding 37 runs between them for Royal to end the day on 148 for four.
However these two players have a big responsibility on their shoulders to take the side out of the tricky position they are in, when play gets underway on the final day today and with Royal having only a lead of just ten runs with six wickets remaining, they will have to put down their head and take the side to safety.
Pasindu Sooriyabandara is the only recognised batsman left for Royal and his contribution is no doubt going to be crucial for them and on the other hand the Thomians are in the box seat and they will leave no stone unturned with the aim of pulling off a victory at the earliest.
Earlier in the day Kalana Perera after his six-wicket haul on day one put in another heroic performance when he and Umayanga Suwaris who both made identical knocks of 62 helped S. Thomas’ to come out on top against traditional rivals Royal on day of the 140th Battle of the Blues big match played at the SSC ground.
The pair joined together after the Thomians resuming from their overnight score of 158 for six, lost two quick wickets for the addition of only 11 runs. Kalana who was much quicker as his knock of 62 came off just 59 balls, which had nine boundaries and a six while Umayanga took 109 balls for his 62 that included nine boundaries.
Kalana who came in at number ten in fact was severe as he sent the Royal bowlers on a leather hunt and Umayanga at the other end held on to his wicket whilst frustrating the opponents.
Royal bowler Kavindu Pathiratne gave the breakthrough for Royal after the pair had added 91 runs for the ninth with and in the process equalled the best Thomiasn ninth-wicket partnership of the series of 91 between Mahinda Halangoda and C.P. Richard achieved in 1979 but fell short of the series record of 96 set by the Royal pair Thiran Dhanapala and Hasitha Samarasinghe in 2014.
Later, to add salt to the wound the last man Shannon Fernando and his senior partner Umayanga further frustrated the Royal bowlers with the duo putting on 36 runs for the last wicket before Umayanga ran himself out as the Thomians ended their innings with a formidable score of 296 runs giving them a healthy lead of 138 runs.
1st Innings Royal College 158 (Kamil Mishara 36, Kavindu Pathiratne 35, Kaushan Kulasuriya 28, Ahan Sanchitha 15; Kalana Perera 6/54, Shannon Fernando 4/27)
S. Thomas’ College 158/6 overnight
Sithara Hapuhinna c Kulasuriya b Mishara 14
Shalin de Mel lbw b Pathiratne 21
Ryan Fernando c and b Mishara 60
Yohan Perera c Madarasinghe b Balasuriya 49
Kishan Munasinghe b Mishara 08
Dellon Peiris b Balasuriya 04
Ravindu de Silva b Madusanka 02
Dilmin Ratnayake c Madarasinghe b Pathiratne 03
Umayanga Suwaris run out 62
Kalana Perera c Kulasuriya b Pathiratne 62
Shannon Fernando not out 05
Extras (nb2, w4) 06
- Total (all out: 78.5 overs) 296
- Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-35, 3-132, 4-153, 5-155, 6-158, 7-162, 8-169, 9-260, 10-296
- Bowling: Kavindu Pathiratne 16-5-63-3, Lahiru Madusanka 9-1-37-1, Kamil Mishara 19-4-70-3, Gishan Balasuriya 23-8-68-2, Kaushan Kulasuriya 10.5-2-28-0, Thithira Weerasinghe 1-0-14-0
Isiwara Dissanayake b de Mel 20
Kamil Mishara c de Mel b Perera 34
Kavindu Madarasinghe c de Mel b Fernando 25
Ahan Sanchitha c Hapuhinna b Perera 26
Bhagya Dissanayake not out 16
Kavindu Pathiratne not out 20
- Extras (b2, lb2, nb3) 07
- Total (wickets 4: overs 51)148
- Fall of wickets: 1-54, 2-68, 3-105, 4-111
- Bowling: Kalana Perera 15-2-63-2, Shannon Fernando 6-0-18-1, Dellon Peiris 12-2-29-0, Kishan Munasinghe 4-3-6-0, Dilmin Ratnayake 3-2-5-0, Shalin de Mel 6-3-8-1, Yohan Perera 5-0-15-0
Pix by Pradeep Dilrukshana