The 93rd Battle of the Maroons – annual cricket encounter between Ananda College and Nalanda College is all set to be played on the 4th and 5th of March at the SSC Grounds in Colombo.
For the first time in two years, this annual fixtured will be played in front of the spectators following the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions which were in place in 2021 and 2022.
Last year, Nalanda College won back the Dr. N.M Perera memorial trophy after 69 years registering a historic win. Ananda College last won the trophy way back in 2003 under the leadership of Daminda Kularatne. The annual fixture played between two prestigious Buddhist schools in Colombo began in 1924 and since then Ananda has registered 12 wins whilst Nalanda has won on 7 occasions. All the other 73 games have ended without a result.
The Ananda lads will enter this year’s battle under the leadership of pace bowler Nethma Samaraweera, who is representing the 1st XI team for the third season.
This season, Ananda has had a forgettable season with four outright losses. However, they come into this game on the back of an outright win. In the U19 Division 1 Tier B tournament conducted by SLSCA, Ananda is currently in the quarterfinals.
Left-handed opening batter, Viduna Wijebandara is the most valuable player in the batting front for Ananda College. The 18-year-old wicket-keeper batter Wijebandara, who is set to make his big match debut, has scored 493 runs with 4 half-centuries.
On the other hand, vice-captain Iruth Gimshan, who has scored more than 400 runs this season, and Kithma Vidanapathirana, who is still 14 years old, are in very good form.
Vidanapathirana, who bowls right-arm off-spin, has taken 42 wickets this season, with a best of 5 wickets for 13.
Ashinsa Nainayake, Ayesh Shashimal, and Isuru Ayesh have taken 37 wickets, 28 wickets, and 27 wickets respectively.
Janudika Sriyapala, an experienced coach, is the head coach of the Ananda team this time, while Sanjaya Devapura acts as the assistant coach.
Nethma Samaraweera (Captain), Iruth Gimshan (Vice-Captain), Isuru Weerasuriya, Ayesh Shashimal, Vilash Karunaratne, Viduna Wijebandara, Yehan Gunasinghe, Ashinsa Nainayake, Kaweesha Mendis, Pulindu Kiriella, Kithma Vidanapathirana, Maleesha Perera, Kanchana De Livera, Ruvishan Perera,
- Ramith’s all-round performance leads Maris Stella to an innings win
- Chamuditha claims match bag of 8 wickets for St. Servatius’
- Uvindu hits marathon 196 for De Mazenod
- Eranga, Minod guide Nalanda to an innings win
- WATCH – Awards Ceremony – 60th Battle of the Brothers
Chanul Athukorala, a third year coloursman, will lead the Nalanda team this year. He will feature in his second Battle of the Maroons encounter. and this is going to be his second big match. This season, Nalanda have played 15 matches and registered 3 first innings wins and 2 outright wins against Dharmapala College and Dharmaraja College. They, too, have suffered two outright losses this season.
Right-handed opening batter, Rusiru Vilochana is the leading run scorer for Nalandians and is closing on the 1200-run mark in 15 matches. Also, Vilochana is the first and the only batter to cross the 1000 run mark this season. He has two centuries and seven fifties under his name.
Apart from that, Sadew Samarasinghe, Yasiru Samarakoon & Eranga Jayakodi, have all scored over 500 runs this season. These batters will need to contribute heavily in the coming weekend for Nalanda to repeat last year’s performance.
Right-arm off-spinner, Minod Caldera, who has claimed 46 wickets in 15 games, is by far the best bowler out of the Nalanda squad. He will be assisted by left-arm spinner Sajitha Vithanage and Janula Indusara, who have taken 39 wickets and 28 wickets, respectively.
Malinga Surappulige is the Head Coach of the Nalanda Cricket Team along with Ruwan Dissanayake, who is the assistant coach of the team.
Chanul Athukorala (Captain), Sajitha Withanage (Vice-Captain), Eranga Jayakodi, Minod Kaldera, Kushmitha Silva, Yasiru Samarakoon, Rusiru Vilochana, Janula Indusara, Sadew Samarasinghe, Senesh Wijesinghe, Akesh Manoratne, Thisara Dewdunu, Sathmina Serasinghe, Risath Jayaratne, Osanda Pamuditha, Thimath Herath, Malinga Surappulige (Head Coach), Ruwan Dissanayake (Assistant Coach)
Don’t miss any action from the 93rd Battle of the Maroons; Watch LIVE on ThePapare.com, Dialog TV Channel No. 22 and Dialog ViU app.