Not always do two batsmen from the opposition score centuries at the Reid Avenue fortress, let alone nearing the 400 landmark after reeling 5 down at 136. Not only was the recovery remarkable, but it also came at a rapid rate, heralded by lackluster bowling.
Mahanama College defied the odds, dominating their way to a first innings victory against Royal College, moreover forcing a follow on to the home side. Malindu Maduranga (115) and Eshan Hettarachchi (102) dazzled with the willow while Royal’s response was spearheaded by Ronuka Jayawardena’s 95 but it had little support from the rest. At Wattala, the visitors, the joint defending champions, St. Sebastian’s College Moratuwa gained first innings points against St. Anthony’s College.
Winning the toss, Mahanama decided to bat first. Royal seemed like they were grabbing the upper hand of the game by sending half of the side back for 136. But what followed was a turn of the tables with a sheer response from the visitors. Malindu Maduranga and Kavindu Munasinghe capitalized on Royal’s inability to sustain the momentum. Sloppy bowling resulted in severe punishment while Heshan Hettiarachchi later joined Maduranga to pile up the misery. Resuming from their overnight score of 361/8, they were subsequently bowled out for 398, after a healthy run rate of over 4 runs per over. For Royal, Ganith Sandeepa took 3 for 51.
Royal with hopes of securing first innings points, faced the uphill task. Wickets at regular intervals hampered them at 139/4. Ronuka Jayawardene held his nerve for a grappling 95 but he had little support from the other end. The home side was bowled out for 220. Hashan Sandeepa grabbed 3 for 95. In the eventual follow on, Royal stood at 45/3 at close. So far it has been a taxing season for this young Royal side. For a hopeful revival, they require sufficient strengthening in all three departments, and above all, a positive mindset to face a crucial first term.
Mahanama College 1st innings – 398 all out (89 overs) Malindu Maduranga 115, Heshan Hettiarchchi 102, Kavindu Munasinghe 53; Ganith Sandeepa 3 for 51, Abhishek Perera 2 for 41
Royal College 1st innings – 233 all out (73.2 overs) Ronuka Jaywardana 95, helitha Vithanage 43; Hashan Sandeepa 3 for 65, Vihan Mudalige 2 for 37, Mahela de Silva 2 for 22
Royal College (F/O) – 45/3 (11 overs) Gayan Dissanayaka 24*, Hashan Sandeepa 3 for 13
Result – Match drawn
St. Anthony’s College, Wattala vs St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa
St. Sebastian’s collected first innings points against St. Anthony’s Wattala that resulted in a draw. Responding to St. Sebastian’s 195, St. Anthony’s was bowled out for 150 runs. Leg-spinning all-rounder Tharusha Fernando took 4 for 30.
In their second essay, St. Sebastian’s amassed 318/7 at close, which was spearheaded by vice-captain Nimesh Bandara’s sublime 132. Tharusha Fernando made 74 while the Anthonian Kavindu Hettiarachchi took 3 for 72, adding to his match bag of 7 wickets.
St. Sebastian’s College 1st innings – 195 all out (56 overs) Thashik Perera 49, Dulaj Silva 44, Tharusha Fernando 37; Kaveesha Dulanjana 4 for 54, Kavindu Hettiarachchi 4 for 64
St. Anthony’s College, Wattala 1st innings – 150 all out (65 overs) Eranga Madushan 32, Shanka Madushan 25; Tharusha Fernando 4 for 30, Nimesh Bandara 2 for 35
St. Sebastian’s College – 318/7 (50.5 overs) Nimesh Bandara 132, Tharusha Fernando 74, De Dyzer 51; Kavindu Hettiarachchi 3 for 72
Result – Match drawn