This year’s March Madness was one of the best seasons we have ever witnessed. It was as mad as it could get. The limited overs leg of big matches in particular, produced a few nail-biters to remember for a long time. Here is a recap of the top 5 thrillers in case you missed it. (Only one-day matches)
The 34th annual one-day encounter between the rivals from Moratuwa was played at the De Zoysa Stadium Moratuwa and ended in favor of the Cambrians as they won the match by a mere 5 runs according to the D/L method.
Chasing a target of 218 set by St. Sebastian’s College, Prince of Wales’ College looked to be in the driving seat for the first 20 overs.
But after the end of a promising opening partnership between Tharindu Amarasinghe and Omesh Mendis and after Prince Fernando’s injury, the match turned on its head and runs suddenly dried up.
Watch: Five-for for Suwath Mendis
Wickets started to fall as the Cambrians panicked trying to match the required run rate, but their skipper Suwath Mendis launched an intelligent knock, stealing singles every now and then, keeping the scorers busy.
They had to take out the Duckworth Lewis sheets as rain was imminent and a few blows in last two overs before the skies opened sealed the match for Price of Wales’ College by just 5 runs.
The Battle of the North One-day encounter produced a close contest which finally ended in favor of the hosts at St. John’s College grounds in Jaffna.
Replying to the target of 221 by Jaffna Central College, the home side were comfortable at 180-4, on the back of half centuries by Sukethan Antonypillai and Abinash Murfin.
A sudden collapse then reduced them to 203 for 8 needing, another 19 runs to win.
But Theivendram Dinoshan took the responsibility of the finisher role and smacked two sixes to guide his team to a thrilling two wicket win.
In the 45th battle of the Saints one-day encounter, St. Joseph’s College recorded an unlikely win to triumph over St. Peter’s College. The winning margin was 10 runs but that doesn’t quite explain how the game panned out that day.
The Josephians opted to bat first after winning the toss but by the 19th over, they were gasping at 61 for 6 due to a brilliant spell of bowling by Tariq Saboor and two runouts.
Following the early set back, Lakshan Gamage and Sachintha Mahindasinghe put on an excellent partnership to revive the Josephian innings. The duo added 179 runs (Joe-Pete One Day record for the highest partnership for any wicket) taking their team from 61/6 to a surprising yet commanding 250.
Under 19 batting juggernaut Santhush Gunathilaka’s fighting half century came in vain as St. Peter’s chase was cut short by rain when they were 10 runs behind the D/L target.
24th Battle of the Rocks – limited over encounter produced one of the best finishes in this season as the Annites somehow defended 168 at the Welagedara Stadium in Kurunegala.
Kavindu Ekanayake and Pasindu Thennakoon made life difficult for the Maliyadeva middle order as the chase of 168 became slow paced. But the Devans were able to hang in there as the final over arrived, needing 7 runs to win with only 2 wickets in hand.
Two suicidal runouts in the very first deliveries of the 50th over, sealed the deal for St. Anne’s College as they won by 6 runs.
Arguably the best of the lot is the 44th Mustangs Trophy Encounter where we witnessed nothing short of a miracle to see the Royalists claim the trophy at SSC Grounds, Colombo.
The Thomians posted a strong 255 on the board to defend their title and till the 98th over of the match, they had reasons to believe they would get the job done.
When the equation came down to 66 runs from 46 balls, Kamil Mishara was joined by Lahiru Madushanka and kept Royal in the game until Mishara was dismissed for a valiant 68 runs just short of victory.
Royal were reduced to 235 for 9, needing 21 to get in 3 overs and the fastest bowler of the Sri Lanka u19 setup Kalana Perera was given the ball. Madushanka hit 3 sixes off Perera’s bowling, eventually sealing the match for Royal College. In the midst of the carnage, Kalana Perera went from bowling pace to spin but couldn’t stop the storm caused by Madushanka.
Do you agree with our list of best thrillers of MarchMadness?
Read : Best of March Madness 2019