The mayhem of March has come to an end so here’s a look back at some of the outstanding performances with both bat and ball during the all-important big match season.
Charana Nanayakkara & Naveen Gunawardana
All-rounder Charana Nanayakkara and left-arm spinner Naveen Gunawardana were the main contributors in the Battle of the Brothers which ended in a stalemate. Thurstan College took major honours against their counterparts Isipathana College, going on to win first innings points rather comfortably. Dashing right-hander Charana Nanayakkara smashed twin fifties (58,55) to help the Thurstanites, while Naveen Gunawardana claimed a match bag of 8 wickets (5/33, 3/31) to give Thurstan College a chance to claim an outright win.
The Peterites had gobbled up the key top order batsmen in the Josephian lineup but they did not count on the young man, who had shown promise from a very young age, still out there fighting it out for his alma mater. St. Joseph’s were 5 wickets down for only 9 runs when their savior Jehan Keeth Cion Daniel smashed an unbeaten 124, which included 12 glorious fours and 5 massive sixes, during the knock of his life to save St. Joseph’s in the 83rd battle of the Saints.
Ravindu Kodithuwakku & Kalana Perera
The Thomian vice-Captain Ravindu Kodituwakku missed out on a well-deserved century having been dismissed for a classy 98 in the 138th Battle of the Blues. S. Thomas’ took the upper hand in the encounter as the stylish left-hander stroked 14 boundaries during his 149-ball stay.
Kalana Perera, the left-arm seamer dismantled the Royalists with some hostile pace bowling as he bagged a 5-wicket haul in the first innings and he also picked up 2 scalps in the second innings to restrict the Royal batting line-up. His height and robust run-up swept the Royalists off their feet as he unsettled the Reid Avenue lads during their first essay.
Stylish left-hander Lakshitha Rasanjana struck a magnificent 113 not out in the second innings to help Nalanda College to a fighting draw in the 88th Battle of the Maroons. Rasanjana’s efforts in the second innings guided the Nalandians to 280/5, carrying them to safety.
Vishwa Chathuranga & Praveen Jayawickrama
Hard-hitting left-hander Vishwa Chathuranga and left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama produced outstanding performances in the 67th Battle of the Golds. Prince of Wales managed to claim 1st innings points in a thrilling encounter. Cambrian Skipper Chathuranga stroked a stylish 88, while experience left-armer Jayawickrama grabbed 5 scalps (5/62) for St. Sebastian’s College.
Hasitha Boyagoda & Shanogeeth Shanmuganathan
Hasitha Boyagoda and Shanogeeth Shanmuganathan got together and put up a brilliant partnership in the centenary Trinity-Antonian encounter which ended in a draw due to bad weather conditions. Boyagoda missed out on a century in the 100th encounter as he made an elegant 90, while Skipper Shanogeeth also came up with a brisk 83 to give the Trinitian first innings some respectability. The weather gods intervened in a game which seemed to be heading for a result.
Vimukthi Wijesiriwardana & Ganindu Kaushalya
Some sparkling performances by Vimukthi Wijesiriwardana and Ganindu Kaushalya steered Kingswood College to a thrilling first innings win in a low scoring encounter at the “Hill-country Battle of the Maroons”. Wijesiriwardana got Kingswood to a fighting total with an unbeaten 87, as his team-mate Ganindu Kaushalya did the needful with his crafty off-spin wreaking havoc in the Rajans batting line-up with (7/62) to get them a first innings win.
Dhananjaya Lakshan & Kamindu Mendis
Dhananjaya Lakshan made a swashbuckling century while skipper Kamindu Mendis made a solid 92 for Richmond College as the 112th Lovers’ Quarrel ended in a tame draw. Both Mendis and Lakshan were the run machines for the Richmond-ites throughout the season and they proved too good for the Mahinda College bowling attack. The two left-handers blasted their way to a 168-run partnership in quick time. This was also the highest ever opening partnership of the series eclipsing a record of 162 runs set in the year 2015.
Randeera Ranasinghe & Pubudu Ganegama
Randeera Ranasinghe and Pubudu Ganegama were in the spotlight at the 34th Battle of the Rocks as St. Anne’s College, Kurunegala overcame Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala in the first innings. Ranasinghe came ever so close to a big match century before unfortunately falling for a well-deserved 98. Ganegama was the standout performer with ball for St. Anne’s as he captured 5 for 62 to ensure that the Anne-ites claimed a convincing win over a strong Maliyadeva outfit.
Lumbini College paceman Pasindu Nadun was the chief destroyer and the match winner as he grabbed seven Bandaranayake wickets for only 49 runs while chipping in with 2 wickets in the second innings. Lumbini bagged an innings and 9 run victory against their counterparts Bandaranayake College, Gampaha in their 4th annual Battle of the Blues and Greens encounter.
The all-rounder Muditha Lakshan was the standout performer for DS Senanayake College. Lakshan was the anchor in the innings scoring a patient knock of 98 runs, unfortunately missing out on a deserved century. His patient innings helped DS Senanayake grind out a draw against their arch rivals Mahanama College in the 11th Battle of the Golds at the P Sara Oval.
Right arm seamer Kabilraj was the man destroying Jaffna Central College to hand a resounding win for St. John’s College in the 111th Battle of the North encounter. The deadly right-arm fast bowler took a match bag of 10 wickets to rattle the opponents. He claimed 4 wickets for 39 in the first innings and followed it up with 6 wickets in the second essay for only 28 runs to wrap up matters in St. John’s favor.