Ananda College walk into the final of the Under 19 Schools Cricket two-day league 2017 as the underdogs as they take on tournament favourites Richmond College on the 8th and 9th May at Thurstan grounds.
The final in 2016 was not played due to organizational shortcomings which meant St. Sebastian’s and St. Peter’s were declared joint champions.
Unfortunately the 2016 Joint champions were dumped out of the tournament in the first round and semi-finals respectively displaying the competitiveness of the school’s premier cricket tournament.
Ananda College ended the group stage as leaders in group B, in the process of booking their place in the final, Ananda managed to get the better of Maris Stella in the quarter final and St. Peter’s in the semi-final.
Captain of the side and the opening bower, Kavishka Anjula was a star with both bat and ball. He managed to bag close to 40 wickets and struck over 1000 runs for his team. He will undoubtedly be hoping to bring the coveted trophy to his school at the end of the two days.
1000 run scorer Sahan Suraweera will be solely missed as he has left the country to gain exposure in the English county circuit. All-rounder Asel Sigera will play a vital role in the team as a crafty left-arm spinner and a handy middle order batsman. Sigera has scored over 400 runs in the season and captured 40 wickets.
Dileepa Jayalath will lead the bowling attack for the lads from Ananda as he managed over 50 wickets. Having represented Galle in the SLC Super Provincial tournament, star all-rounder Sammu Ashan will undoubtedly be another key figure for Ananda in the final.
Kavishka Anjula (C), Kamesh Nirmal, Asel Sigera, Sammu Ashan, Dileepa Jayalath, Kalana Perara, Supun Waragoda, Kanishka Ranthilakage, Kavindu Gimhana, Chamikara Gunasekara, Akila Iranga / Daminda Reshan.
Richmond College had a memorable season this year winning the limited over title beating Thurstan College in the finals. Richmond ended as the leaders of group A advancing to the second round with a positive frame of mind. They will be coming into the finals after defeating Mahanama in the quarter-finals and a strong Thurstan team in the semis.
Sri Lanka youth skipper Kamindu Mendis will be the shining light as he will be returning for the finals after the Australia tour. The Richmondites are gifted with many all-rounders this year. Dashing left-hander Dananjaya Lakshan has accumulated over 550 runs in the season and scored a magnificent century in this year’s big match. Chamikara Hewage and Adithya Siriwardana will power the batting line-up as they both stroked over 450 runs in the season.
Off- spinner Sandun Mendis will lead the bowling department with over 50 wickets this year and he will be ably supported by left-arm spinner Ravishka Wijesiri who has captured 34 scalps.
Wiry seamer Thilanga Udeshana will handle the new ball and he has 43 wickets to his name in the season with a best of 6 for 38 runs.
Kamindu Mendis (C), Dananjaya Lakshan, Chamikara Hewage, Adithya Siriwardana, Sandun Mendis, Avindu Theekshana, Sandun Mendis, Tilanga Udeshana, Thaveesha Abishek, Duveen Sasindu, Ravishka Wijesiri.
On paper, Richmond College boasts a substantially stronger side than Ananda College but in the uncertain game of cricket, the possibilities are endless since it’s the all-important finals.