By P. D. De Silva
Richmond’s positive and skilful approach helped them clinch a thrilling six-wicket win in the 114th Lovers’ Quarrel Inter-School Big Match against the traditional rivals Mahinda College worked off at the Galle Stadium.
A captains’ knock of an unbeaten 99 off 92 deliveries by Thaveesha Abhishek and 42 runs off 42 deliveries by Dilum Sudeera helped Richmond turn tables on the experienced Mahinda Team.
Chasing a target of 215 runs to win, Richmond reached it with six wickets in hand and three balls to spare. Thaveesha was named Best Batsman as well as Man-of-the-Match.
Richmond needed 215 runs in 45 overs and they took up the challenge with Thaveesha and Dilum putting on a match-winning 123-run partnership.
Dilum was unfortunately run out with 11 runs needed in the penultimate over. Sandun Mendis joined his skipper and with eight runs needed in the final over Thaveesha struck successive boundaries in the second and third ball to win the game and give Richmond an undisputed lead in the series.
Invited to take first lease of the wicket, Mahinda were contained to 197 runs by spinners Sandun Mendis, Dimuth Sandaruwan and Dilum Sudeera.
Nipun Malinga topped the score card with 44 runs while opener Kawshitha Kodituwakku chipped in with 36 runs.
Although the Richmond bowlers did their duty the batsmen could not perform as expected and the Richmondites were in dire straits at 56 for six when Sandun Mendis and Vimud Sapnaka figured in an unbeaten 33-run partnership to help them avert the follow-on and reach 99 for six at stumps.
The duo went on to add 62 runs for the seventh-wicket. Richmond were all out for 144 conceding a first innings lead to Mahinda.
Left arm spinner Kushan Madusha captured five wickets and was given the honour of leading the Mahinda Team back to the pavilion.
It was nine years ago in 2010 that Mahinda last secured a first innings lead over their Big Match rivals.
Mahinda declared their second essay at 161 for nine, 25 minutes before tea, giving Richmond a victory target of 215 to be scored in a minimum of 45 overs.
The most experienced player to take the field at this encounter, Hansika Welihinda contributed 71 off 82 deliveries and opener Navod Paranavithana made 30 off 39 deliveries while the rest failed to make an impression.
Dilum captured four more wickets to end with a matchbag of nine for 106 to be named as the Best Bowler.
Mahinda Skipper Vinura Dulsara figured in three dismissals behind the stumps and was named Best Fielder.
Best Batsman: Thaveesha Abhishek (Richmond).
Best Bowler: Dilum Sudeera (Richmond).
Best Fielder: Vinura Dulsara (Mahinda).
Man-of-the-Match: Thaveesha Abhishek (Richmond).
N. Paranavithana lbw b Mendis 26
K. Kodituwakku c Kavindu b Sudeera 36
D. Induwara lbw b Sudeera 09
H. Welihinda c Vinuja b Mendis 00
N. Malinga b Mendis 44
V. Dulsara c Thaveesha b Sandaruwan 27
A. Kandambi b Sudeera 16
K. Madusha c Thaveesha b Sudeera 03
P. Pethangoda c Dilum b Sandaruwan 11
K. Randeepa c Thaveesha b Sudeera 05
S. Rajapaksa not out 08
- Extras (3b, 7lb, 4nb) 12
- Total (all out, 63.3 overs) 197
- Fall: 1-58, 2-72, 3-73, 4-77, 5-129, 6-151, 7-157, 8-183, 9-184
- Bowling: Amshi de Silva 5-0-34-0, Kapila Nethsara 5-0-19-0, Sandun Mendis 18-3-53-3, Dilum Sudeera 23.3-5-49-5, Dimuth Sandaruwan 12-03-33-2
N. Paranavithana b Nethsara 30
K. Kodituwakku c Adithya b Mendis 13
H. Welihinda c Adithya b Nethsara 71
V. Dulsara ct Amshi b Sudeera10
N. Malinga lbw b Nethsara 05
K. Maliyawadu c Thaveesha b Sudeera 01
A. Kandamby run out 18
D. Induwara c and b Sudeera 01
P. Pethangoda not out 00
S. Rajapaksa lbw b Sudeera 05
- Extras (2b, 1lb, 4wd) 07
- Total (9 wkts declared, 24.3 overs) 161
- Fall: 1-25, 2-70, 3-83, 4-100, 5-107, 6-151, 7-154, 8-156, 9-161
- Bowling: Sandun Mendis 7-01-38-1, Dilum Sudeera 13.4-0-57-4, Dimuth Sandaruwan 1-0-7-0, Amshi de Silva 4-0-24-0, Kalpa Nethsara 9-0-32-3
A. Siriwardena st Vinura b Madushan 20
V. Kiriella b Maliyawadu 06
B. Manohara b Madusha 13
T. Abhishek st Vinura b Madusha 06
D. Sandaruwan lbw b Kandambi 01
D. Sudeera c Vinura b Kandambi 00
S. Mendis b Paranavithana 36
V. Sapnaka lbw b Paranavithana 21
A. de Silva c Kawshita b Madusha 05
C. Dilsara c Hansika b Madusha 15
K. Nethsara not out 03
- Extras (10b, 2lb, 2nb, 4wd) 18
- Total (all out, 45.2 overs) 144
- Fall: 1-34, 2-39, 3-49, 4-56, 5-56, 6-56, 7-118, 8-123, 9-127
- Bowling: Nipun Malinga 10-1-35-0, Pasan Pethangoda 4.5-0-21-0, Kaweesha Maliyawadu 6-1-20-1, Navod Paranavithana 9-3-21-2, Kushan Madusha 8.3-3-20-5, Subhanu Rajapaksa 5-3-7-0, Ashen Kandambi 2-1-8-2
A. Siriwardena lbw b Rajapaksa 26
V. Kiriella c Ashen b Madusha 01
B. Manohara b Pethangoda 40
T. Abhishek not out 99
D. Sudeera run out 42
S. Mendis not out 02
- Extras (4b, 1wd) 05
- Total (4 wks, 44.3 overs) 215
- Fall: 1-7, 2-56, 3-81, 4-204
- Bowling: Nipun Malinga 10.3-0-53-0, Ashen Kandambi 3-1-14-0, Navod Paranavithana 8-1-40-0, Kushan Madusha 12-0-60-1, Subanu Rajapaksa 5-0-13-1, Pasan Pethangoda 6-0-31-1