The 84th Battle of the Saints cricket encounter between St. Joseph’s College and St. Peter’s College will be worked off at the P. Sara Oval Grounds on 2nd and 3rd March, commencing from 9.30am.

Two fun-filled, thrilling days of cricket can be expected out of these two evenly balanced Catholic schools in Colombo.

Blast from the Past

The two prestigious institutions will battle hard for the Rev.Fr Maurice Le Goc trophy, an encounter which began way back in 1933 with St. Joseph’s College winning the inaugural clash. Rev.Fr Maurice Le Goc was the rector of both institutions and the trophy for the ‘Big match’ is named in his honor. He first served at St. Joseph’s College and then went on to become the first rector at St. Peter’s College.

Robert Fernando led St. Joseph’s College in the 1st encounter while George Jayaweera led St. Peter’s College. 83 matches have been played between these two great cricketing schools and St. Joseph’s College lead the tally with 12 wins while St. Peter’s College have registered wins on 10 occasions.

St. Joseph’s College vs St. Peter’s College – 84th Battle of the Saints

The 84th Battle of the Saints cricket encounter between St. Joseph’s College and St. Peter’s College…

61 matches have concluded as drawn encounters in the past. St. Joseph’s College last won the Battle of the Saints under the leadership of Ruwantha Fernandopulle in 2008 while St. Peter’s College recorded their last win in 2016 under the leadership of Vinu Mohotty.

The highest team score recorded at the ‘Battle of the Saints’ series is by St Joseph’s; they made 382 in 1982 under the leadership of Ken Serpanchy while the highest Peterite score was in 1938 under Percy Perera where they accumulated 345 runs.

St Peter’s were bowled out for a paltry score of 36 in 1972 and that remains as the lowest score in the series; St. Joseph’s lowest score is 56 which they recorded in 1938.  The highest individual score of the series is 204 by Peterite Clive Inman (in 1954) and the best bowling figures for an inning stands at 9 for 41 by Shenal Warnakula of St. Joseph’s (in 1997).


St. Joseph’s College

Sri Lanka U19 vice-captain Jehan Daniel, last year’s ‘Big Match’ hero, will lead the Josephian unit this time around. He was only able to play 6 matches this season due to national duties but has stroked 400 runs at an average of 50. Daniel, who is touted to be a future Sri Lankan prospect, will need to bring out his ‘A’ game if the Josephians are to do well.

Vice-captain Nipun Sumanasinghe has struck over 700 runs this season and will be one of the key pillars in the Josephian batting unit while the left-handed run-machine, Revan Kelly who became the first player to cross 1000-run mark this season will no doubt be the most prized scalp for the Peterites.

Photos: St. Joseph’s College Cricket Team 2018 Preview

Kelly has struck 6 fifties and 3 centuries this season, accumulating 1189 runs with a best of 182. Sumanasinghe and Kelly entered the record books earlier in the season, adding 314 runs for the 2nd wicket against Wesley College.

The young left-arm spin bowling sensation, Dunith Wellalage is the player to watch out for as well. The 15-year old, playing his first season for St. Joseph’s, has taken over 70 wickets and struck 550 runs. Wellalage’s lower order partnerships with fast-bowling all-rounder Lakshan Gamage have bailed the Josephians out of some tough situations many times this season.

Gamage, renowned to be a hard-hitter of the ball, has scored over 730 runs at a strike rate of 77.44 and taken 43 scalps. Fresher Ashain Daniel has taken 4 five-wicket hauls and 2 ten-wicket hauls with his off-spin while left-arm spinner Miranga Wickramage has captured close to 30 scalps this season.

Players such as opening batsman Johanne De Zilva and wicket-keeper batsman Sachintha Ravindu have crossed the 500-run mark this season. The specialty in the Josephian lineup is their batting depth and if their bowlers succeed, St. Joseph’s would be in with a great chance of notching up a victory.

This season

PlayedWon OutrightWon 1st InningsNo ResultLost OutrightLost 1st Innings
1859004

Probable XI – Revan Kelly, Johanne De Zilva, Nipun Sumanasinghe, Jehan Fernandopulle, Jehan Daniel (Captain), Dineth Jayakody, Sachintha Ravindu Mahindasinghe, Lakshan Gamage, Dunith Wellalage, Miranga Wickramage, Ashain Daniel.


St. Peter’s College

Top order batsman and fast-bowler, third-year coloursman Santhush Gunathilaka, a Sri Lanka U19 cap, will lead the Peterites this season. Gunathilaka missed out on plenty of matches due to national duty yet has scored over 675 runs and taken 20 wickets during the season. Gunathilaka will need to lead from the front if the Peterites hope to make a huge impact against the well-balanced Josephian lineup.

Photos: St. Peter’s College Cricket Team 2018 Preview

The Peterite batting revolves around middle-order batsman Shalith Fernando who is also their wicket-keeper. Fernando has struck close to 750 runs this season with 4 fifties while experienced Ranmith Jayasena, a tall and lanky left-hander has notched up over 700 runs with 6 half-centuries to his name.

Youngsters such as Shanon Fernando, Sulakshana Fernando and Prabasara Herath have also contributed this season with 649 runs, 488 runs and 301 runs respectively.

The spin twins, vice-captain Miflal Ameen and off-spinner Sachin Silva have been in lethal form throughout the season as they have run through many sides to accumulate over 175 wickets. Left-armer Ameen crossed the 100-wicket mark recently and became the first Peterite spinner to achieve the feat in two consecutive seasons.

Fast-bowlers such as Shivan Perera and left-arm seamer Tariq Saboor provide cover for skipper Gunathilaka in the fast-bowling department.

The Peterites have recorded 5 outright wins this season but have lost 3 games outright.

This season

PlayedWon OutrightWon 1st InningsNo ResultLost OutrightLost 1st Innings
2057134

Probable XISanthush Gunathilake, Shanon Fernando, Sulakshana Fernando, Shalith Fernando, Ranmith Jayasena, Nipunaka Fonseka, Prabasara Herath, Sachin Silva, Ruvin Senevirathne, Miflal Ameen, Kanishka Maduwantha.

Final Say

The first innings restriction to 60 overs will once again spice up the match with a total of 210 overs scheduled to be bowled over the two-day encounter. The pitch will once again play true to its natural; helpful to the seamers early on and as the game progresses, the spinners will come into play. With two talented teams set to take the field, expect a thrilling game which will go down to the wire.

All the action from the 84th Battle of the Saints will be brought to you Live and Exclusively on ThePapare.com, Dialog Television Channel 1 and Dialog MyTV on the 2nd and 3rd of March from the P. Sara Oval Grounds from 8.30am onwards.

Live score updates, match reports and photos will be available on each day of play on ThePapare.com.

Watch Live: St. Joseph’s College vs St. Peter’s College – 84th Battle of the Saints