Thurstan favourites against inferior Isipathana

56th Battle of the Brothers - Preview

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The fight for the ‘Blackham Wijewardene Memorial Trophy’ between Thurstan College and Isipathana College will take center stage on the 22nd and 23rd of February at SSC,  marking the start of the “March Madness!”.

There will always be uncertainties heading into a big match. But, this year, if nothing else, there will at least be one thing that you can certainly expect, some LEFT-ARM SPIN!

Both teams are led by two left-armers who could be nightmares for batsmen. Not just them, both teams are expected to field at least 5 left-armers altogether. There will definitely be bulks of those overs thrown in from at least one end. In fact, Ayesh Harshana has bowled 377 overs and Sandaru Dias has bowled a ball short of 340 overs this season! 

The encounter has ended 46 times in a draw. Thurstan College is leading the tally as they have managed to taste victory five times. Isipathana College has won the battle four times and will be looking to even things out with their arch-rivals.

Current Season

When comparing the two teams, Thurstan College definitely did have the better season this year. Inexperienced Isipathana College batting was depleted with the exit of their top guns like Ayana Siriwardena and Sanjula Abeywickrama.

Thurstan College has recorded five outright wins and three 1st-innings wins this season while facing three 1st-innings losses. They ended as the second in their group and are also gearing up for the knockout stage.

On the other hand, Isipathana College was at the receiving end. They managed only one outright win and three 1st-innings wins against their three outright defeats and six 1st-innings defeats.

The impressive record of the five outright wins of Thurstan College came at the expenses of St. Anthony’s College, Wattala, Dharmapala College, Pannipitiya, St. Mary’s College, Kegalle, St. Anne’s College, Kurunegala, and St. Thomas’ College, Matara.

Isipathana College had a woeful season this year. The batting had been a long-lasting issue for the Pathanians. They only managed to pull out one outright win while they have been clobbered by most of the teams. The lone win came against Lumbini College in their traditional match.

With all that said and done, there is something that both teams have to take note of. The aforementioned are mere numbers and that will have zero effect on the outcome of this clash. When the two teams cross the ropes at SSC on 22nd, it is completely a different ball game. The team which assesses the situations quickly and tackle them right are the ones who will leave home victorious.

Key Players

Thurstan College

Thurstan batting will hugely rely on their last year’s saviour, Jayavihan Mahavithana, who architected a match-saving century to save Thurstan from humiliation. Though Mahavithana is not the highest scorer for Thurstan this season, he is a man for the big games. He is also one of the two centurions this season with the other being Bavantha Jayasinghe.

Definitely, there will be a lot expected from the top run-getter, Yohan Liyanage while Ranesh Silva and Bawantha Jayasinghe will also keep the camp at ease when they are at the crease.

The spin twins, Ayesh Harshana and skipper, Sandaru Dias, are going to be the demons to fear for the Pathanians. The pair have collectively bowled almost twice as much as the rest of the team and managed to average 14.57 and 17.29 respectively.

Bawantha Jayasinghe will be a crucial player for Thurstan College as he will be the man to turn to when in crisis. The all-rounder may not top either of the lists, but he is the silent threat for any opposition.

NAMEBOWLING STYLECOLOURSMANMATCHESOVERSMAIDENSRUNSWICKETSAVGBEST FIGURES5W10W
Ayesh HarshanaLeft Arm Orthodox Spinner3143779910357114,578/160501
Sandaru DaisLeft Arm Orthodox Spinner414339.5769345917.296/4207
Bawantha JayasingheRight Arm Fast Bowler212157314322318.74/10

 

PLAYERBATTING STYLECOLOURSMANAGEMATCHESINNINGSNOT OUTTOTALHSAVG50S100S
Yohan LiyanageLeft Hand Batsman21420025238529.050402
Jayavihan MahavithanaRight Hand Batsman312170239510626.301
Ranesh SilvaRight Hand BatsmanFRESHER1415023725928.6102

 

Isipathana College

If it is Bawantha for Thurstan, it is Ravindu for Isipathana. Ravindu Rathnayake is a genuine all-rounder who has the capabilities of opening the innings with both bat and ball. His elegant stroke-play and his effortless bat flow make the left-hander a treat to watch. With a wide array of shots all around the park, he is someone who can counter attack the spin bowling front of Thurstan College.

Next in line is the hard-hitting opener, Thevindu Dickwella. His knock upfront is very vital in terms of the mind-game Isipathana will have to play. He can shatter the confidence of the new-ball bowlers and put them on the stretchers for the rest of the day. 

Isipathana will turn to Ashen Gunewardena for stability as the left-hander plays the anchor-role to perfection.

It is yet another pair of spinners who will lead the bowling department. Skipper, Madushika Sandaruwan and Savindu Uthsara have been the wicket-taking option for Isipathana throughout the season. The two left-arm spinners have bowled well in tandem where Sandaruwan does the penetration while Uthsara keeps the pray quiet and trapped.

Isipathana also is armed with a pair of gusty pacemen in the form of Ravindu Rathnayake and Kaliq Amath. Rathnayake usually has a beautiful shape away from the right-hander while Amath can seam the ball off the surface.

PLAYERBATTING STYLECOLOURSMANMATCHESINNINGSNOT OUTTOTALHSAVG50S100S
Ravindu RathnayakeLeft Hand BatsmanFresher132266311330.1351
Thevindu DickwellaLeft Hand Batsman313224765721.634
Ashen GunawardanaLeft Hand Batsman2122024577125.384

 

NAME BOWLING STYLECOLOURSMANMATCHESOVERSMAIDENSRUNSWICKETSAVGBEST FIGURES5W10W
Madushika SandaruwanLeft Arm Orthodox513303.5728914818.566/142
Ravindu RathnayakeRight Arm Fast BowlerFresher13132.1214252616.345/291
Savindu UthsaraLeft Arm Orthodox212155.2225172124.615/441

 

Final Say

The Thurstanites have been the bat-first-put-pressure team this year. They prefer to bat first and once. Put a substantial score on the board and get the opposition out twice. But, with the 60 overs per side rule in play, Thurstan will have to look for other options. 

Thurstanites have clearly struggled when batting second as all their first-innings deficits have come batting second in the game. But they also have looked to be a batting unit who can compile big totals and bat deep.

On the other hand, Skipper, Madushika Sandaruwan has been a lone warrior for the double-greens with the ball. He has consistently been among the wickets but still lost many games without enough support. Hence, it is a must for Rathnayake to score big in this game to give his skipper some space to breathe. Both Dickwella and Rathnayake being left-handers is an advantage for Pathana has the core of Thurstan bowling attack are two left-arm spinners.

Squads

Isipathana College

Madushika Sandaruwan (Captain), Leshan Amarasinghe, Thevindu Dickwella, Dinath Dissanayake, Chalana Ayeshana, Savee Dantha, Menura Perera, Lisura Veenath, Dihan Siriwardane, Isuru Sandamal, Amaan Thaha, Tharusha Perera, Kavindu Lakshitha, Yasiru Shashadara, Themiya Nethmika, Khaliq Amath, Ashen Gunawardana, Ravindu Rathnayake

Thurstan College

Sandaru Dias – Captain, Nimesh Perera, Ayesh Harshana, Senuth Nandinu, Yohan Liyanage, Chathra Senevirathne, Jayavihan Pradeeptha, Anju Karunanayake, Dasun Jayawardena, Avishka Kaushal, Shalaka Bandara, Rashmika Hiripitiya, Prithuvi Thrukshaya, Bimara Ranathunga, Ravindu Anupama, Senura Shanikya

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