As the curtains draw upon the school cricket season, the school where river, lake and mountain meet, Trinity College fine tune themselves in time for the centenary Hill Country Battle of the Blues against St. Anthony’s College that will take place on the 10th of March.
A trip down the memory lane
The Red, Gold and Blue took up the gentlemen’s game in the year 1893 and during the age of Principal Fraser in 1914, the Lions met the Antonians for the first time for a friendly two-day encounter. This friendly rivalry has continued to exist since as the encounter celebrates its centenary match this year.
In a timeline of over 100 years in the game, the gates of Trinity have witnessed many great individuals who excelled in the sport and later went on to become colossal figures in the game. Notable alumni include former national pacer Ravi Ratnayeke together with super-legend Kumar Sangakkara. The modern age has seen a considerable number of Trinitians making it to the national jersey that includes Sachith Pathirana, Niroshan Dickwella and most recent Lahiru Kumara.
Trinity Cricket’s glory days are not distant from the present with 2010 marking the start of a new era for the school. From becoming league champions for 2010/2011 under Akila Jayasundera, Trinity achieved the impossible triple-crown winning the league, limited overs and the t20 trophies under the captaincy of Niroshan Dickwella. Dickwella went on to break the 25-year-old big match hoo-doo to record the first big match victory for the 21st century.
Since then Trinity has continued to be a predominant force in the school arena producing an ample amount of talent who later have progressed to be greater figures in the sport in the country.
Trinity might not have had the best of seasons this year with a relatively young outfit in the red, gold and blue jerseys. Having won three outright victories against two losses, the Trinity camp should be confident of a result following a successful campaign at Reid Avenue where the Lions took the first innings honours.
Players to watch
Leading from the forefront, captain Shanogeeth Shanmuganathan has been Trinity’s main man both in the batting department and in bowling. The fourth year lionsman has with him 1000+ runs in his season with an important knock of 65 against Royal College.
From being a standalone batsman, Shanogeeth has evolved to be a stand-out bowler picking up 75+ wickets in this 2016/2017 season. His 75 wickets include best figures of 6/85 against the Peterites earlier in the year.
Sri Lanka under 19 cap Hasitha Boyagoda has stood out for the country in the recently concluded tours and later turning up for Trinity scoring a total of over 700 runs this season. His knock of 139 against Royal College just before the centenary game puts him in fine form.
The other Sri Lankan cap, Thisaru Dilshan has taken a while to get his usual form back in the schools’ circuit but looks confident of getting momentum going forward. He along with freshman Trewon Weerasooiya have collected over 50 wickets in the past season.
After the departure of the experienced Sampath Perera, former Trinitian Kavinda Jayasooriya has had control of the Lions for the last two seasons. He along with former Trinity captain and current consultant Rushan Jaleel will look at getting his team over the line at the 100th encounter against St. Anthony’s at Pallekelle.
With Trinity comprising of a youthful outfit this season, the Lions will have an uphill task going into the 100th Big Match encounter against St. Anthony’s College while Shanogeeth’s 1st XI side will be going all out to bring back the title that was the last victory in 2012 by Niroshan Dickwella.
Trinity College squad
Shanogeeth Shanmunganathan (Captain), Hasitha Boyagoda, Hasintha Jayasuriya, Shuaib Salahudeen, Poorna Wanasekara, Channaka Bandara, Thiyagarajah Banugoban, Vimukthi Kotikawatte, Tanka Chandrarathne, Trewon Weerasooriya, Rashmika Thisaru, Himanga Sooriyampola