Maliyadeva College and St. Anne’s College will fight the 36th Battle of the Rocks over 22nd and 23rd of March, followed by the 24th One Day game on the 24th of March.
History at a glance
The first ever Annite-Devan encounter was played way back in 1950. But due to various reasons, the series saw long halts which have allowed only 35 encounters till present. Maliyadeva College has won 5 times so far whereas the Annites have never won.
The 24th limited overs cricket encounter…..
The last result the two-day game saw was in 2014 when Maliyadeva won under the leadership of Kusal de Silva.
The highest individual score in an innings of the Battle of the Rocks was recorded by Sudarshana Guruge way back in 1980 when the Maliyadeva batsman struck an unbeaten 156 runs.
>> MARCH MADNESS <<
The best figures in an innings remains the 6 for 26 by Damith Gunathilake of Maliyadeva which he achieved in 2001. Gunatilake bettered the previous best which was set by fellow Devan, ‘left-arm lovable’, Rangana Herath, in the year 1997. Herath recorded 6 for 27 runs with the only hat-trick in the Battle of the Rocks history.
Maliyadeva College ended 6th in the group in the Singer U19 division one tournament. They had a modest season overall with only 1 outright win to stand next to their 3 outright losses. They also recorded 4 first-innings wins in their 16 games this season.
Skipper Kaveen Bandara will be an all-round expectation for the Devans as the right-hand batsman has 484 runs and also earned 25 wickets with his slow left-arm orthodox.
The 1000-run getter, Supun Sumanarathne will be the batsman whom Maliyadeva will depend largely on. Sumanarathne has been a consistent performer throughout the season for the Devans. The right hander has scored 1042 runs in 16 games this season and looks to be in great shape for the upcoming big game. Sri Lanka youth cap, Muditha Premadasa will make that batting line-up heavier as the young wicket-keeper batsman comes into the game with 981 runs and will look to complete 1000 runs this season in the big match.
The left-arm spinner Maduranga Naveen will lead the bowling pack for the Devans. He has picked up 70 wickets in 11 games this season. Assisting him will be the opening bowler Vidath Batepola. The right-arm seamer has also picked up 32 wickets this season. Skipper Bandara will be the second spinner for Maliyadeva while Brian Karunanayake will share the new ball with Batepola.
Coming into division one cricket after 8 years, St. Anne’s College did struggle to find their feet this season. They finished 7th within the group and had a painful season throughout. With a majority of freshers in the playing XI, much wasn’t expected from them. Somehow, they managed to remain in the top league with some good performances late in the season. They managed only 1 outright win while losing 3, with 1 first-innings win and 10 first-innings losses.
Photo Album : St. Anne’s College U19 Cricket Team Preview 2018/19
The Annites are led by a top-quality all-rounder, Kavindu Ranasinghe. Ranasinghe has managed 680 runs this season along with 33 wickets to make it a fair season this year. Ranasinghe is the highest run-scorer of the season for St. Anne’s College while he has Lasith Warnakulasuriya with 640 runs behind him as his go-to man with the bat.
Left-arm spinner Pasindu Thennakoon has been outstanding with the ball throughout the season. Thennakoon has picked up 58 wickets this season including a hat-trick. The second spinner will be the skipper Ranasinghe with his tidy leg breaks. Fresher, Manaan Musammil is also an exciting talent to look out for. The young off-spinner has got the ability to consistently hit the right areas. The pace department includes the experienced Mayaas Musammil and the all-rounder Rishitha Perera to take the new ball.
Maliyadeva College has dominated this encounter in the past, specially, in the last few years. Maliyadeva has regularly had the upper hand of coming into the game with better preparation, facing better teams at the U19 schools tournament, playing in the top tier. But, this time around, St. Anne’s College has also got the taste of top tier of schools cricket. They have been a good cricketing unit over the past few months since their promotion.
St. Anne’s College looks brittle but they are capable of staging an upset, They have been a low-scoring team the entire season and have barely reached the 200-run mark. On the other hand, Maliyadeva has a strong batting line-up notching up some big scores this season. Both teams will depend heavily on their spinners for wickets.
Photo Album : Maliyadewa College U19 Cricket Team Preview 2018/19
Exciting young talents like Muditha Premadasa, Supun Sumanarathne, Kavindu Ranasinghe and Lasith Warnakulasooriya will attract attention at the stadium. These names will be the ones to look out for at the Welegedara grounds on the big day.
Watch all the live action of the One-Day Encounter on the 24th of March, between Maliyadeva College and St. Anne’s College on ThePapare.com from 9.20am onwards.