S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia completed an emphatic victory beating arch rivals Royal College by 11 runs to retain the 42nd Mustang’s trophy in a nail-biting affair at the SSC.
After winning the toss, the Royal skipper invited the Thomians to take the first lease of the wicket in a rather surprising move.
The Thomian’s sent out Dulith Gunarathna and star batsman Ravindu Kodituwakku to open the batting.
Despite having an early run out scare, the duo put on a handsome first wicket partnership of 59. Yet another mix-up caused the downfall of the pair as Dulith Gunerathne was sent back to the pavilion for 15. The Thomians made their intentions clear as they promoted the hard hitting Sithara Hapuhinna. At the other end Ravindu Kodituwakku continued from where he left off last weekend as he delighted the gathered with some crisp stroke play.
Kodituwakku and Hapuhinna added another 25 runs to the Thomian tally as before Sithara Hapuhinna was castled by Helitha for 08. Rumesh Nallaperuma was the next batsman to be elevated up the order as he walked into join Kodituwakku who had two partners in the middle.
Kodituwakku and Nallaperuma built a solid platform to launch for the lower middle order. After going past a well-deserved half century, Kodituwakku once again fell agonizingly short as he was caught in the deep for 95.
The Thomian skipper Nallaperuma was entrusted with the majority of the responsibility as the senior marksman. Ishen played second fiddle to his skipper quite well as they kept the scoreboard ticking. The 4th wicket partnership bought up a half ton as Nalleperuma too reached a personal milestone of 50 runs.
Helitha brought himself into the attack once again and straight away claimed the prized wicket of his opposite number. Nallaperuma’s woodwork was disturbed as Helitha claimed his second victim.
Ishen Perera put on a late surge with the lower order to carry the Thomian’s over the psychological barrier of 250. Eventually, the Thomian innings concluded at 258/7 at the end of their allocated quota. Royal skipper Helitha was the pick of the bunch in respects of the bowling as he finished with figures of 4/41.
The Royalists got off to a rather poor start losing Krishikan Ravrindranathan cheaply as he didn’t bother troubling the scorers. Ahan Wickramasinghe and Lakindu Nanayakkara were tottering in the middle as the score stood at 19/1 at the conclusion of the first 10.
The Royalists took a few chances and rode their luck as they piled on 51 runs in the next five overs. Sadly, just as they gathered some momentum, Ahan and Lakindu both departed cheaply with the latter falling short of a much deserved half century.
Royal lost two of their most accomplished middle order batsmen in quick succession as Pasindu Sooriyabandara and Kavindu Madarasinghe left the crease with Royalist reeling at 103/5.
Skipper Helitha Vithanage and Thevindu Senarathne were left with a mountain to climb. The pair rose to the occasion as they piled on a breathtaking partnership of 86 before Helitha was held in the deep by Dinura Gunawardena off Pavith Rathnayake.
Thevindu Senaratne played the innings of his life as he led the charge in great style for the Reid Avenue lads. Unfortunately, the fairy-tale wasn’t to be as Thevindu fell short of the final holding out to Romesh Nallaperuma who took a brilliant running catch.
Kalana Perera and Shanon Fernando saw off the game in style as the Thomians completed the four-peet in cliff hanger finish.
S.Thomas’ College – 258/7 in 50 overs – Ravindu Kodikuwakku 95, Romesh Nallaperuma 53, Ishen Perera 36, Helitha Vithanage 4/41.
Royal College – 247/9 in 50 overs – Thevindu Senarathne 71, Lakindu Nanayakkara 44, Helitha Vithanage 33, Pavith Rathnayake 3/38, Kalana Perera 2/47.
Thevindu Senarathne (Royal College)
Ravindu Kodituwakku (S. Thomas’ College)
Helitha Vithanage (Royal College)
Pavith Rathnayake (S. Thomas’ College)
Thevindu Senarathne (Royal College)
Man of the Match
Ravindu Kodituwakku (S.Thomas’ College)