When we talk of the very first cricket playing schools in Sri Lanka, Mahinda College is one of the names which comes to mind.
With more than 100 years of rich history in cricket, Mahinda College has been a pillar in the School cricket arena for decades. Upul Chandana and Lasith Malinga are two world renowned cricketers who were nurtured and brought up inside the walls of Mahinda College.
This school has been playing U19 cricket in the top tier over many years but haven’t won a championship title recently. This year too they have struggled to show consistency but they will be determined to win the “Lovers Quarrel” against their arch rivals Richmond College.
Season so far
These boys from down south are currently in 8th position with 1 match left in the league. From the 7 matches they’ve played so far, they have earned first innings points on three occasions: against Zahira College, Royal College Colombo and Mahanama College.
Mahinda was dominated in their match against St Joseph’s College which they lost by an innings and 6 runs; a batting collapse helping the Josephians earn that victory. They were also very unlucky to see their matches against POW and Maristella College washed off, not helping their cause.
Players to look out for
Skipper Pasindu Dilshan has shown his all-round skills right throughout this season, taking 23 wickets bowling his right arm seamers while scoring close to 250 runs. To add to those runs and wickets, 4th year colorsman Pasindu has taken 12 catches showing his brilliance in all three disciplines. 3rd year colorsman Gihan Dhanushka is the highest run scorer for the team with 420 runs in 8 matches while Hansika Welahinda has shown good form in the last couple of matches. His run tally is closing in on the 300 run mark after only 6 matches.
Their hero with the ball has been 2nd year colorsman Krishan Rangajith who has taken 27 wickets, including one five wicket haul against Zahira College; his best figures being 8 for 82, bowling his left arm leg spinners. Right arm off spinner Vinura Dulsara has taken 20 wickets and he is the other player to have taken a fifer this season for Mahinda College.
People behind the scenes
Harsha Munasinghe is the head coach for Mahinda College. His second in command Raj Sriyawansa is in his second year in the position, after coaching the junior teams for a few years. DWK Hettiarachchi is the Master in Charge who takes care of all the administrative work for these boys.
It was a disappointing season for Mahinda with no outright victories under their name but as every other school they have their big match to look forward to. The 111th Battle of the Lovers will be hosted by Richmond College at the Galle International Stadium. Mahinda College will have to turn things around with their performances if they are to give a fight to their arch rivals, who will be led by U19 National Captain Charith Asalanka.