Vice-Captain Ravindu Kodituwakku missed out on a well-deserved century in the 138th Battle of the Blues as S. Thomas’ College leveled the Royal College first innings score on day two at SSC grounds.
Only 61.3 overs were possible on day two as S. Thomas’ made 255 for 4 in reply to Royal’s score of 255 yesterday. Play resumed today at 9.42am with the score on 33 for no loss and the left-handed Thomian opening pair, Kodituwakku and Dulith Gunarathne continued to milk the Royal bowling adding 127 runs for the first wicket.
Left-arm seamer Kalana Perera starred for S. Thomas’ College with a brilliant five-wicket haul on day one in the 138 th Battle of the Blues…
Kodituwakku was dropped on 51 by Pasindu Sooriyabandara at first slip off Ganith Sandeepa in the 20th over as the stylish left-hander capitalized on the reprieve smashing 14 elegant boundaries during his 149-ball stay. Just before the lunch break, Royal fast-bowler Himesh Ramanayake struck first blood when Gunarathne was caught behind for a well-constructed 91-ball 35.
Kodituwakku was unfortunately dismissed on 98, as Ramanayake induced an outside edge which was pouched smartly by Ganith Sandeepa at gully. The spirit and brotherhood was displayed when the Royal fielders rushed to Kodituwakku to congratulate him and console him right after he was dismissed on an excellent innings which had class written all over it.
With Kodituwakku back in the hut, Royal made a mini comeback towards the second session when right-handed Dinura Gunawardena (16) was caught at cover point off Sandeepa while Dellon Peiris (3) was caught and bowled by fresher left-arm spinner Manula Perera inside five overs as the Thomians were restricted to 174 for 4 at one stage.
Skipper Romesh Nallapperuma joined wicket-keeper batsman Sithara Hapuhinna as they yielded 81 runs from 120 balls for the fifth wicket. Hapuhinna reached his half-century in 64 deliveries and went on to score 54 while Nallapperuma struck four boundaries during his unbeaten 32.
Bad light stopped play at 3.45pm and play was officially called off 90 minutes later. Day three promises exciting cricket tomorrow with a 9.30am start and 113 overs are scheduled to be played.
Royal – 255 all out in 71.3 overs: Ronuka Jayawardene 32, Pasindu Sooriyabandara 35, Kavindu Madarasinghe 38, Himesh Ramanayake 41, Ganith Sandeepa 42, Kalana Perera 5/47, Pavith Rathnayake 2/69.
S. Thomas’ – 255/4 in 72 overs: Ravindu Kodituwakku 98, Dulith Gunarathne 35, Sithara Hapuhinna 54*, Romesh Nallapperuma 32*, Himesh Ramanayake 2/57, Ganith Sandeepa 1/47, Manula Perera 1/37.