Sri Lanka U19 caps Hasitha Boyagoda and Thisaru Dilshan starred with the bat and ball respectively, as Trinity College Kandy were placed in a strong position at the end of day one of the 101st Hill Country Battle of the Blues against St. Anthony’s College, Katugasthota on Friday at Asgiriya Satdium.
The 101st Hill Country Battle of the Blues cricket encounter between Trinity…
Skipper Boyagoda won the toss and put the visiting Antonians to take the first lease of the track at the Asgiriya Cricket Stadium. Trinitian bowlers responded superbly right from the start of play extracting good bounce with the new ball. Left arm pacer Thisaru struck in the first over of the game sending Sunera Jayasingha back to the pavilion for a duck.
Trewon Weerasooriya bounced out Dion Stouter in the fourth over and the Antonians gifted two more wickets in the form of run-outs in consecutive deliveries. Things were looking bleak for the Katugastota lads with their best batsman Theeksha Gunasinghe back in the hut and the scoreboard reading 15 for 4.
Experienced opening batsman Mohomad Abzar and fresher Nawodya Wijayakumara steadied the ship with a 55-run partnership before getting dismissed in the same over. Medium pacer Ruvin Peiris’ double strike left the Antonians reeling and Thisaru came back to dismiss the opposition skipper Janidu Himsara at the stroke of lunch to make things worse for the visitors.
Thisaru returned again after the lunch to clean up the tail with two more wickets as St. Anthony’s College had to settle for only 115. He ended with best figures of 4 for 30 while Ruvin Peiris grabbed 3 wickets for 31 runs. Nawodya top-scored for the visitors with 32 and only three of their batsmen managed to reach double figures.
Trinity’s batting didn’t start well either as they lost both their openers for only 2 runs. Opening bowlers Nawodya and Satheesh gave a positive start for the Antonians picking up one wicket each but the experienced campaigner Boyagoda stroked a master-class fifty, taking Trinity closer to the Antonian total. Offie Kalhara Senarathne broke the 93-run partnership dismissing Boyagoda for a run-a-ball 72.
Another one followed as young left arm spinner Nimnaka Jayathilaka dismissed Abishek Anandakumara for a duck and then returned to bowl Jeff Weerasinghe who made a patient 86-ball 37 but Trinity comfortably went past the Antonian total. Wicketkeeper batsman Ashan Lokuketiya remained unbeaten on 21 runs as the day’s play ended prematurely due to bad light.
Trinity ended the day well on top with 150 runs on board for the loss of 5 wickets. Nimnaka was the pick of the bowlers as he claimed 2 wickets for 45 runs. Play will resume tomorrow (17th March) at 9.45am for second day’s play.
St. Anthony’s College, Kandy – 115 (37.2)
Nawodya Wijayakumara 32, Mohomad Abzar 29, Thisaru Dilshan 4/30, Ruvin Pieris 3/31
Trinity College, Kandy – 150/5 (39)
Hasitha Boyagoda 72, Jeff Weerasinghe 37, Ashan Lokuketiya 21*, Nimnaka Jayathilaka 2/45