Jehan Daniel rescued St. Joseph’s College with a superlative, unbeaten century as the 83rd Battle of the Saints hangs in the balance after the first day’s play at P. Sara Oval Grounds.
Right-handed Daniel single-handedly carried the Josephian innings smashing 124 runs off 151 balls to lift the Josephian innings to 205 after losing half of the side for just 10 runs in the first session. In reply, St. Peter’s were 138 for 5 in 47 overs.
Earlier, the Josephian captain Harin Cooray opted to bat first on a sporty surface. The Peterite opening bowlers Santhush Gunathilake and Manelkar De Silva exploited the conditions perfectly. The opening batsman Cameron Duruge edged to slips for a duck off Gunathilake while in-form Nipun Sumanasinghe made a basic blunder of not staying behind the crease after leaving the ball as Lakshina Rodrigo had great presence of mind to throw down the ball to hand as Gunathilake picked up his 2nd wicket.
Photos of the St. Joseph’s College vs St. Peter’s College – 83rd Battle of the Saints 2017 – Day 1
Dineth Madurawala also edged to slips for just 1 while the Perera twins, Havin and Thashan were involved in two mix-ups as the Josephians were in dire straits with only 9.5 overs being bowled. Daniel partnered up with vice-captain Shewon Fonseka to add 56 runs for the 6th wicket before the latter was also dismissed courtesy a run-out. 29 runs later, the fourth run-out in the Josephian innings happened when Jehan Fernandopulle was left stranded.
Daniel and Pahan Perera put on a great partnership of 93 runs for the 8th wicket as St. Joseph’s College managed to post a par score of 205. Daniel struck 12 glorious fours and 5 massive sixes in the best knock of his life. Gunathilake and De Silva were impressive for the Peterites with the ball taking 3 wickets apiece while the spinners failed to grab a single wicket.
The Peterites lost Anishka Perera in the third over of his innings as wicket-keeper Fonseka and Daniel combined once again to inflict early problems for the Peterites. Santhush Gunathilake was trapped LBW by Ruchira Ekanayake for 10 while one drop batsman Vinul Gunawardena slammed a short delivery off Sumanasinghe straight to captain Cooray at mid-wicket as St. Peter’s were 28 for 3 at one stage.
Skipper Lakshina Rodrigo made a quick-fire 19 before Ruchira Ekanayake held onto a stunning catch off left-arm spinner Havin Perera. Middle order batsman Shalith Fernando and Manelkar De Silva built a solid stand of 83 for the 5th wicket to resurrect the Peterite innings.
All roads lead to the historic Test venue, P.Sara Oval on the 3rd and 4th of March where the 83rd Battle of the Saints
Fernando made only 4 boundaries as he consumed 119 balls for his 47 before holing out to mid-on in the dying stages on day one. De Silva struck 2 fours and a six to remain unbeaten on 40 off 62 balls as all Josephian bowlers chipped in with a wicket each.
With only 13 overs left in the Peterite innings, the first session on day two will be very interesting as the Peterites would be hoping to get a slender lead while the Josephians would want to restrict their opponents below 205.
St. Joseph’s – 205 all out in 57.2 overs: Jehan Daniel 124*, Shewon Fonseka 26, Pahan Perera 25, Santhush Gunathilaka 3/34, Manelkar De Silva 3/35.
St. Peter’s – 138/5 in 47 overs: Shalith Fernando 47, Manelkar De Silva 40*