The Anandians walk in as favorites into the tie with their recent run of good form. The Nalandians however have a psychological edge over their old foes with a recent one day success. The story will unveil on the 19th of March at the SSC, as the Nalanda lads will be determined to break their 7-year hoodoo against their arch rivals Ananda College.

History of the Encounter

This prestigious battle between Ananda and Nalanda in the one-day format has been played since 1975. The Anandians have won the last six one-day encounters, while in 2014 the match was not played. They will be aiming for the 7th consecutive victory this year. Anandians are leading the tally with 26 wins and Nalanda are sitting behind with 12 wins in the limited over series.

Ananda College last won in 2016 under the leadership of Nisal Francisco and Nalanda College last won the encounter in the captaincy of gun all-rounder Nipun Karunanayake in 2009.

Summary of the 88th battle of the Maroons

Nalanda College batting first was restricted to a below-par 144 with Kavishka Anjula bagging 3 wickets. In response, the Anandians declared their innings at 190 for 8 with senior batting sensation Sammu Ashan top scoring with 67. Lakshitha Rasanjana’s heroics with the bat drove Nalanda to 280 for 5 at close of play with Rasanjana making a magnificent 113 in the second innings. Nalanda managed to put up a late resistance and drew the game but Ananda College was handed a comfortable first innings win.

WATCH LIVE: 43rd Limited Overs Encounter

Ananda College

Sammu Ashan, a fifth-year coloursman and an under 19 national cap, stands as a key figure in the Ananda batting line-up. Sammu scored a brilliant half-ton in the big match and the hard-hitting right hander has scored 410 runs in 10 matches and has bagged 37 wickets with 2 five wicket hauls in the two-day league.

Captain Kavishka Anjula is their second highest run getter with 889 runs this season. He has 2 centuries and 7 half centuries along with 17 wickets to his name and was superb with the new ball in the big match and he will be eyeing on a repeat performance from last year, as he made a blistering century.

Hard hitting opener Sahan Suraweera is the player to watch out in the Ananda batting line up. The 18-year-old left-hander is in the elite 1000 run club having reached that feat with five centuries and four half-centuries. He will be looking for a big knock in the limited over as he failed to deliver in the big match. Asel Sigera will lead the spin attack with his crafty left-arm spinners and he will be supported by Dileepa Jayalath.

Probable XI

Kavishka Anjula, Dileepa Jayalath, Sammu Ashan, Sahan Suraweera, Sanath Dassanayake, Dushan Hettige, Asel Sigera, Kamesh Nirmal, Supun Waragoda, Chamika Gunsekara, Lahiru Attanayake.

Nalanda College

Skipper Dasun Senevirathne will be the power hitter in the top order and the Nalandians will be banking on the Big match centurion Lakshitha Rasanjana to put up another major contribution in the limited overs encounter.

U19 youth player Malinga Amarasinghe who will be another key figure in the batting department and he has scored 857 In the two-day competition and claimed 28 wickets which include a five-wicket haul.

Left arm orthodox spinner, Umeshka Dilshan will spear-head the bowling department as he accumulated 54 wickets in the two-day league and he will be ably supported by right-arm off spinner Asel Kulathunga who is the leading wicket taker for Nalanda College with 73 wickets in the season and he was a constant threat with the ball in the big match.

Nalanda College overcame Ananda College in the Singer-cup limited overs pre-quarter finals and will be eager to repeat their feet in the all-important 43rd Battle of the Maroons one-day encounter.

Probable XI

Dasun Senevirathne, Malinga Amarasinghe, Lakshitha Rasanjana, Suhanga Wijewardena, Kasun Sandaruwan, Kalana Kathriarachchi, Rashmika Madushan, Asel Kulathunga, Umeshka Dilshan, Kalana Perera, Avishka Perera.

Final say

The teams on paper, paint an ominous picture for the Nalandians, however the unpredictable beauty of the gentlemen’s game deem that the outcome is unpredictable as the weather around.