Royal and St. Anthony’s battle out a thrilling draw

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The traditional cricket encounter between St Anthony’s and Royal ended in a draw after a thrilling performance by 15 year old Nimnaka Jayathilaka in the 1st innings, at Royal College Colombo grounds.

Being asked to bat first, Royal lads folded under pressure as their wickets fell at regular intervals. Excellent bowling, backed up by Antonian fielders, restricted  Royal batsmen to 170 all out in their first innings. 15 Year Old Nimnaka Jayathilake was the chief destroyer as he picked up 7 crucial wickets to trouble the Royal lads in their own home.

After bowling out the Royalists for a total of 170 runs, a quickfire innings by St. Anthony’s College saw them racing to 153/2 before the end of the first day’s play.

After a brilliant first day, the Antonians capitalized the advantage they had over Royal College to pull off a win this year. Royal was in deep trouble as the Antonian batsmen started to fire all over the park. However, Royal managed to take wickets at regular intervals. In need of a win, St. Anthony’s declared their innings when they scored 260 all out on day 2. Dion Strouter topped the batting side with his knock of 59 followed by Sunera Jayasinghe’s 55, Theeksha Gunasinghe’s 44 and Thamashana’s unbeaten 40.

Royal, coming in trailing by 90, showed a good fight in their second innings to eat up as much time as possible to force a draw in the match. They lost 4 quick wickets when they come up for the bat but Royalists Gayan Dissanayake and Pasindu Sooriyabandara managed to stop the fall of wickets for a while. It was enough for them to take the match to a draw. Gayan Dissanayake scored an unbeaten 87 while Pasindu Sooriyabandara was dismissed for 58.

They were bowled out during the call of day 2’s play for 194 runs in 65.5 overs, 104 runs ahead St.Anthony’s’ first innings total. Bottom order batsmen helped their side by scoring some crucial runs. With the ball in hand, for the Antonians, Nimnaka Jayathilaka bagged 3 for 74 while Asitha Wanninayake took 4 wickets for 17 runs in the end.

With no overs remaining, the match ended in a draw setting up St. Anthony’s College a consecutive first innings victory over Royal College following the win in their last season. Nimnaka Jayathilaka finishes the match with a bag of 10 wickets for 136. Currently, he is one short of 50 wickets in the season.

Brief Scores

Royal College, Colombo 170 (60.4) Bhagya Dissanayake 41, Pasindu Sooriyabandara 33, Kaushan Kulasooriya 32, Kavindu Pathirathne 30, Nimnaka Jayathilaka 7/62 & 194 (65.5) Gayan Dissanayake 87*, Pasindu Sooriyabandara 58, Thevindu Senarathne 23, Asitha Wanninayake 4/17, Nimnaka Jayathilaka 3/74, Navodya Wijekumara 2/23

St. Anthony’s College, Kandy 260/8d (56.2) Dion Stouter 59, Sunera Jayasinghe 55, Theeksha Gunasinghe 44, Thamashana Abeykoon 40*, Manula Perera 3/72, Kamil Mishara 2/57 

Result – Match Drawn (St. Anthony’s College won the First Innings)