What started as a dream for S. Thomas’, ended with a Royal party at the end of day 1 at the 144th Battle of the Blues at the Sinhalese Sports Club Grounds.
Proving it was the right decision to bowl first the Thomian fast bowlers picked up three Royal wickets inside the first 9 overs with the crowds back after a two-year drought.
The first to go was Rehan Peiris, who was caught down the leg-side by Senesh Hettiarachchi off Akash Fernando in just the 4th ball of the day. Nathan Caldera’s magnificent in-swinger shattered the stumps of the dangerous Sineth Jayawardena for 1 before, Uvindu Weerasekara (3) hauled out to deep mid-wicket as Royal were reeling at 20 for 3
- Thomas’ with a slight edge; Royal not to be underestimated
- WATCH – Royal batting & Thomian bowling to decide the outcome? | 144th Battle of the Blues – Preview
Just as Ovina Ambanpola and captain Dasis Manchanayake were putting together a partnership (43), Akash Fernando bowled Ambanpola for 30 (63 for 4). At lunch, Thomians were on top with Royal struggling at 83 for 4 in 23 overs, but the pitch was converting into a batting paradise.
However, after lunch it was the Dasis Manchanayake – Ramiru Perera show, dominating the Thomian bowling, where they added 106 runs without losing a wicket in 25 overs (189 for 4). Manchanayake and Perera were not out on 80 & 60 respectively – the partnership at 126 runs.
After tea both the set batters went on their merry way breaking record after record in the process. Manchanayake raised his century off 120 balls, with a boundary off Dineth Goonewardene. He became the first Royal captain to score a century at the Big Match since Anushka Polonowita in 1996. Ramiru Perera too reached his century with a boundary off 168 balls.
By the time Manchanayake was bowled by Kavindu Dias for 137 (150 balls) with the score of 292, the partnership had registered as the highest for the 5th wicket by either team. 229-run (296 balls) partnership had broken the previous Royal record of 165* by Vijaya Malalasekara & C.M. Fernando in 1963 & the Thomian record of 187 by P.I. Peiris & Geoff Wijesinghe in 1953. Manchanayake, who at the toss said it was a good toss to lose, had 17 fours at a strike rate of 91.33.
Royal lost three wickets after that, including the wicket of Ramiru Perera for 128 (186 balls) which included 15 fours and two magnificent sixes. As bad light stopped play, Royal were 326 for 8 in 74 overs. For the Thomians it was Akash Fernando who bowled his heart out picking 4 for 55 in his 13 overs while the somewhat erratic Kavindu Dias took 3 for 58.
|Rehan Peris||c Senesh Hettiarachchi b Akash Fernando||4||4||1||0||100.00|
|Sineth Jayawardena||b Nathan Caldera||1||3||0||0||33.33|
|Ovina Ambanpola||b Akash Fernando||30||71||1||0||42.25|
|Uvindu Weerasekara||c Nathan Caldera b Kavindu Dias||3||13||0||0||23.08|
|Dasis Manchanayake||b Kavindu Dais||137||150||17||0||91.33|
|Ramiru Perera||c Romesh Mendis b Kavindu Dais||128||186||15||2||68.82|
|Sandesh Ramanayaka||lbw b Akash Fernando||0||4||0||0||0.00|
|Sanvidu Senartharachchi||not out||8||8||0||0||100.00|
|Bulan Weerathunga||b Akash Fernando||2||3||0||0||66.67|
|Nethwin Dharmarathne||not out||0||5||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||13 (b 8 , lb 0 , nb 3, w 2, pen 0)|
|Total||326/8 (74 Overs, RR: 4.41)|
|Abheeth J Paranawidana||10||0||39||0||3.90|
|Senadhi Bulankulama||c Sanvidu Senartharachchi b Ranuka Malaviarachchi||40||104||5||0||38.46|
|Thishen Ehaliyagoda||c Sandesh Ramanayaka b Bulan Weerathunga||5||7||1||0||71.43|
|Dineth Gunawardena||lbw b Sandesh Ramanayaka||10||26||2||0||38.46|
|Romesh Mendis||c Sandesh Ramanayaka b||4||9||1||0||44.44|
|Nathan Caldera||c Dasis Manchanayake b Ramiru Perera||20||25||3||0||80.00|
|Charuka Peiris||c Sineth Jayawardena b Sandesh Ramanayaka||17||66||2||0||25.76|
|Mahith Perera||c Sanvidu Senartharachchi b Bulan Weerathunga||30||43||5||0||69.77|
|Senesh Hettiarachchi||c b Sineth Jayawardena||9||33||1||0||27.27|
|Akash Fernando||not out||1||9||0||0||11.11|
|Kavindu Dais||st Sanvidu Senartharachchi b Sineth Jayawardena||0||6||0||0||0.00|
|Abheeth J Paranawidana||b Bulan Weerathunga||0||4||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||17 (b 6 , lb 0 , nb 2, w 9, pen 0)|
|Total||153/10 (55 Overs, RR: 2.78)|
|Sineth Jayawardena||lbw b Akash Fernando||4||5||1||0||80.00|
|Ovina Ambanpola||c Romesh Mendis b Akash Fernando||5||11||0||0||45.45|
|Uvindu Weerasekara||b Akash Fernando||28||43||2||1||65.12|
|Dasis Manchanayake||b Akash Fernando||57||49||6||0||116.33|
|Ramiru Perera||not out||46||34||3||2||135.29|
|Sanvidu Senartharachchi||not out||11||16||0||0||68.75|
|Extras||17 (b 11 , lb 0 , nb 2, w 4, pen 0)|
|Total||168/4 (26 Overs, RR: 6.46)|
|Thishen Ehaliyagoda||lbw b Ranuka Malaviarachchi||0||3||0||0||0.00|
|Dineth Gunawardena||c Uvindu Weerasekara b Sandesh Ramanayaka||15||44||1||0||34.09|
|Romesh Mendis||lbw b Bulan Weerathunga||12||20||2||0||60.00|
|Senadhi Bulankulama||c b Nethwin Dharmarathne||13||39||2||0||33.33|
|Nathan Caldera||b Nethwin Dharmarathne||18||40||1||0||45.00|
|Mahith Perera||lbw b Dasis Manchanayake||7||8||1||0||87.50|
|Senesh Hettiarachchi||c Dasis Manchanayake b Sineth Jayawardena||46||87||7||0||52.87|
|Charuka Peiris||b Ramiru Perera||22||86||3||0||25.58|
|Akash Fernando||c Uvindu Weerasekara b Ramiru Perera||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Kavindu Dais||lbw b Sineth Jayawardena||14||19||3||0||73.68|
|Abheeth J Paranawidana||not out||0||8||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||14 (b 8 , lb 4 , nb 2, w 0, pen 0)|
|Total||161/10 (58.5 Overs, RR: 2.74)|