By M. Shamil Amit
The Under-19 Inter-Schools Cricket Tournament (Division One, Division Two and Division Three) which came to a standstill due to the Coronavirus pandemic is set to recommence once the green light is given by the Ministry of Sports and Ministry of Education after the reopening of schools on July 6.
In the Division One category, the eight teams to qualify were defending champions St. Joseph’s, Mahanama, Colombo, Gurukula MV Kelaniya, Trinity, Nalanda, Prince of Wales, St. Thomas’ Matara and St. Anthony’s, Katugastota.
The surprise of the tournament was the exit of the last year’s runners-up S. Thomas’, Mount Lavinia who lost to Gurukula MV in the pre-quarter finals on points after the match ended in a no decision.
- The surprise of the tournament was the exit of the last year’s runners-up S. Thomas’, Mount Lavinia who lost to Gurukula MV in the pre-quarter finals
In the other pre quarter-final matches, defending champions St. Joseph’s, Mahanama, Colombo, Trinity, Nalanda, Prince of Wales, St Anthony’s, Katugastota and St. Thomas’ Matara recorded wins against St. Anne’s, Kurunegala, Richmond, De Mazenod, St. Sebastian’s, Moratuwa, Royal, Colombo, Maliyadeva and D. S. Senanayake College respectively.
Meanwhile, seven players had the honour of reaching the 1,000-run milestone for the season which is a vast improvement from last year of two players.
Pawan Ratnayake of Mahanama, Colombo came out on top when he made 1,227 runs which had an unbeaten double century, five centuries and three half centuries.
Pawan also achieved a unique feat in the match against Prince of Wales with his unbeaten double century and then followed it up with an unbeaten century in the second innings.
Behind Ratnayake was Muditha Premadasa of Maliyadeva where he achieved his feat with three centuries and six half centuries.
Avishka Perera of Nalanda has so far made 1,161 runs inclusive of four centuries and eight half centuries, Dunith Jayatunga of St Sebastian’s, Moratuwa made 1,092 runs with two centuries and seven half centuries, Sheran Fonseka of St. Joseph’s chalked-up 1,036 runs with two centuries and eight half centuries, Muditha Lakshan of D. S. Senanayake made 1,033 runs with an unbeaten double century, three centuries and three half centuries and Avishka Tharindu of St. Anthony’s, Wattala ended with 1,014 runs with a top score of 350, a century and four half centuries.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka youth player Navod Paranavithana of Mahinda, Galle created a new schools batting record when he slammed a swashbuckling 409 against Dharmasoka MV, Ambalangoda.
Navod’s marathon knock came off just 327 balls which included 39 boundaries and 19 sixes that helped Mahinda amass a mammoth 679 runs in only 132 overs which is also a new schools record.
Navod was not available for the most part of the season due to National duty with the Sri Lanka Under-19 Team at the ICC Under-19 World Cup.
Navod in fact eclipsed the record of 350 made by Avishka Tharindu of St. Anthony’s, Wattala which he scored one month earlier.
However none of the bowlers were able to reach 100 wickets for the season so far in this Division.
St. Thomas’, Matara left-arm spinner Sineth Dissanayake is within a chance of achieving this milestone as so far he has taken 95 wickets with a best of eight for 19 against St. Mary’s, Kegalle and he has also claimed three 10-wicket hauls.
Dharmasoka MV, Ambalangoda all-rounder Lohan Aroshana has 83 wickets to his credit and has scored 801 runs with three centuries followed by Nimnaka Jayatileke of St. Anthony’s, Katugastota (79), Imtiaz Slasa of Zahira, Colombo (75) and Abhishek Anandakumar of Trinity (71).
Praveen Nimesh of Gurukula MV, Kelaniya has the best bowling return of nine for 13 which he achieved against St. Thomas’, Matara.
The quarter-final line-up:
St. Joseph’s vs Mahanama, Gurukula MV vs Trinity, Nalanda vs Prince of Wales, St. Thomas’ Matara vs St. Anthony’s Katugastota.