The Hill Captial will be draped with colour, tradition and festivities as the big match between their two illustrious schools Trinity College and St Anthony’s College march into its 100thyear. Whilst both schools and their alumni prepare to rejoice the occasion, the two sets of teams will look to keep their focus and vie for honours at this prestigious 100th battle this Friday at the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium.
Celebrating 100 years of friendly rivalry, the two schools in the hill capital, Trinity College and St. Anthony’s College will meet for the 100th occasion this yeaR..
It was in 1914 that the two schools first met at the Bogambora grounds and since then the tradition has been continued over generations and it reaches its three figure mark this year. The match was not played on a few occasions and therefore 2017 ends up as the 100th encounter.
Going back in history, the encounter saw the introduction of a trophy in the year 2005 in memory of former Trinity College cricketer and coach John Halangoda. The anecdotes read that Halangoda later became the coach of St. Anthony’s and mastered the first outright win for the Antonians in 1948.
The Lions lead the overall tally with 23 wins in total while the Antonians have with themselves 11. The last win came under the captaincy of Niroshan Dickwella for Trinity College in 2012 where the Trinitians broke the 25-year hoodoo to win by an innings and one run. The Antonians are still to win an encounter in this century with their last coming in 1991.
From last year
A fighting century by the St. Anthony’s skipper Kanishka Uggalpaya saved the day for the lads from Katugastota as the encounter ended in a draw. Despite Trinity College firing all departments, the Uggalpaya centruy allowed St. Anthony’s to proceed to 187 at the conclusion of the second day.
The centenary battle will have two experienced and talented captains who would be expected to play a pivotal role in the match to turn things around in favour of their side.
Trinity skipper Shanogeeth Shanmunganathan entered the 1000 run club last week after his 50+ score against the Royalists and will be expected to anchor the batting from the start. This is the second back to back season that Shanogeeth has achieved this feat and he would be giving his best to win the centenary.
Having been handed the responsibilities of the bowling department as well as the batting, Shanogeeth is Trinity’s highest wicket taker as well having secured 75 this season. He will lead the team’s spin attack but his counterpart also has an equal track record on the paper.
Mohammed Alfar, the wicket-keeper batsman turned bowler has the weight of the team on his shoulders. Standing 5’1 Alfar has with him a good 650 runs including a knock of 136 runs which says that he has the ability to bat long innings’. While Alfar has the gloves, he also is the team’s makeshift spinner having picked up 15 wickets already.
As the curtains draw upon the school cricket season, the school where river, lake and mountain meet..
Batting will be key at Pallekelle
The Pallekelle turf has always favoured the batsmen on many occasions and the centenary turf shouldn’t be too different. The Sri Lankan national Under 19 cap Hasitha Boyagoda will lead the batting department for the Lions. The right-hand batsman has 700+ runs with an important 139 under the name. Newcomers Hasitha Jayasuriya is the other prospect in the batting line-up and in his first season has reached a 500+ total.
The 600 club members for St. Anthony’s; Sunera Jayasinghe and Mohamemd Absar will be important utilities for the Eagles in their batting division. Sunera has a best figure of 164 runs.
Experienced bowling department for the Antonians
After a disappointing few seasons, a new look St. Anthony’s College look for a fresh start under a new mentorship….
With the Antonians retaining their bowling department from last year, they will outshine the Lions with the experience. Last year’s impact spinner Sandaruwan Dharmarathne has picked up 75 wickets in the season and will be an important asset for the Eagles.
Along with Dharmarathne, pacer Virajitha Jayasinghe will be a crucial cog in the wheel having already picked up 43 wickets under his name.
The Lions in comparison, have a new bowling line up but the under 19 campaigner Thisaru Dilshan will need to step up in his game if Trinity intends to make an impression. He has not had a good stint with the ball as of late, but with a best of 8/30 against Dharmaraja, he can turn out to be an aggressive bowler when needed.
When it comes to the Trinity Antonian game, over the past few years Trinity has always been the better side on paper but the Antonians are unpredictable. They have always been fierce in heart and it was evident last year and in 2014 as well where they won the first innings under the helm of Nimesha Gunasinghe.
Both teams have an equally poised outfit and the centenary battle is expected to be an intriguing affair at Pallekelle on the 10th and 11th.
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
St. Anthony’s College Squad
Mohemad Alfar (Captain), Virajitha Jayasinghe, Theeksha Gunasinghe, Sandaruwan Dharmarathne, Janidu Himsara, Mohemad Absar, Diyon Stouter, Sunera Jayasinghe, Nipun Ashok, Gihan Achintha, Sathish Wickramarachchi, Kevin Dhananjaya, Sasith Hirudika
ThePapare.com will bring you the action live and the match will also be on DTV Channel 1.