St. Servatius’ College, Matara will take on their arch rivals, St. Thomas’ College, Matara at their annual encounter on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of March.
History at a glance
The second oldest battle of Sri Lanka was first fought in the year 1900. In the 118 battles since then, St. Thomas’ College, Matara has won 33 times against their counterpart’s 28 victories.
In this prestigious battle, Greshan Liyanage of St. Servatius’ College holds the record for the highest score in an innings for his unbeaten 207 runs in the year 1981.
In the year 2001, Nadeesh Wickramasinghe picked up a stunning eight-fer for just 11 runs. This tremendous performance remains the best bowling figure till date.
St. Servatius’ College, Matara
The boys from St. Servatius’ College had a successful season this year. They finished 3rd in their group and qualified for the knockout stages of the Singer U19 division one cricket tournament. They have 5 outright wins out of their 16 games this season. Adding up to that, are 7 first-innings wins, 2 outright losses and a first-innings loss.
St. Servatius’ college will be steered by the third-year player Charith Dayarathna. The all-rounder has scored 230 runs and captured 18 wickets this season.
The strength of the batting will be Chethaka Denuwan who has scored over 800 runs this season with two centuries to his name. The all-rounder has also taken 50 wickets this season and plays a crucial role in stabilizing the team composition. Supporting him with the bat will be the wicket-keeper bat, Risira Lakwin. With close to 800 runs this season, Lakwin is a reliable batsman and anchors the innings for St. Servatius’.
Youth national player Shashika Dulshan will be Dayarathna’s deputy this year. The left-arm spinner is the most impactful player of the lot. He can turn a game upside down with both bat and ball. Dulshan has scored over 500 runs this season coupled with his 60 scalps.
Keshara Nuwantha and Pasindu Manupriya will be two main names when considering the bowling of St. Servatius’ College. Nuwantha is a right-arm off spinner and Manupriya will handle the new ball for St. Servatius’ College.
St. Thomas’ College, Matara
The Thomians had a tough season this year with 3 outright wins and 6 first-innings wins against the 3 outright losses and 4 first-innings losses in the Singer U19 division one cricket tournament. They finished 8th in their group.
Skipper, Mihisal Amoda is the key player of the team and shoulders a lot of weight. The right-hand bat has scored over 750 runs with a century and four half-centuries to his credit during the season. He has also picked up 25 wickets this season.
Vice captain Gishanthika Jayaweera and opener Harindu Jayasekara will be the ones trusted by Amoda to do the bulk of the batting. Harindu has scored over 650 runs this season while Gishanthika has over 600 runs to his name.
Off spinner, Sachira Rashmika is the highest wicket-taker for St. Thomas’ this season. Rashmika has picked up 70 wickets and will be threatening the batsmen at the big match. He will be backed by the seamer Kavindu Ridmal and left-arm spinner Sineth Sithara to strengthen the bowling for St. Thomas’. Sithara has claimed 52 scalps this season while Ridmal has 47 wickets under his belt.
St. Servatius’ College will be a very confident camp with the kind of performances they have put up this season. If they are to end the 42-year long win-less drought, this will be a year. On the other hand St. Thomas’ have found the winning spirit towards the latter end of the season. They’ll look to reinstate their glory and try to retain the trophy.
It will be a tough battle between bat and ball but the experience of players like Shashika Dulshan and the fine form of Chethaka Denuwan gives St. Servatius’ a slight edge above the Thomians.