Bens recover to avoid a Royal win

Bens recover to avoid a Royal win
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Spearheaded by their captain’s vivacious inning, the Benedictines recovered from a taxing essay to a dominant finish to curtail the Royalists from a seemingly possible victory in their Under 19 division one clash at Kotahena which ended on Tuesday.

Winning the toss, the hosts’ skipper Thulina Dilshan decided to bat first. Being at 81/5 at one point, it was Poorna Charuka’s innings which lifted up the spirits, taking them to 171. As usual, the spinners operated for Royal where Lasith Embuldeniya and Shan Tennekoon shared 6 wickets between them.

In reply, Royal scored 192/8 before declaration ensuring first innings points. Captain Geeshath Panditharathna scored 52 for the visitors. With a 21 run deficit, Bens commenced their innings with a solid opening wicket stand of 88 runs between skipper Thulina Dilshan and Dinitha Basnayake. Shan Tennekoon’s spin broke the solid foundation as he trapped Basnayake for 37 before rattling Ashen Silva in the same over.

Capitalizing on the shift of momentum, Embuldeniya came up with the goods, dismissing Vittorio Roberto with a return catch before sending Chamindu Piyumal with an edge to stumper Thiran Dhanapala couple of deliveries later. The scoreboard read 94/4 at a moment with more than 50 overs left, giving the Royalists the upper hand and a much promising end.

However the Benedictine skipper Thulina Dilshan had other ideas as the opener patiently reached his half ton despite the grueling situation. Later in a vital breakthrough, Ganith Sandeepa put the 62 run stand between Supun Lakmal and Dilshan to an end.

After the tea break, Royal struck again as Embuldeniya dismissed the Bens captain who braced the crumbling innings with a charming 81. The Benedictines continued their revival with a 95 run partnership, this time between Poorna Charuka and vice-captain Madushan Kularatne. Poorna Charuka who made 42 in the first innings annexed with another 60 run cameo while the hosts batted throughout, reaching 281/9 at close.

St. Benedict’s College 1st innings – 171 all out (63 overs) (Poorna Charuka 42; Shan Tennekoon 3 for 45, Lasitha Embukdeniya 3 for 45)

Royal College 1st innings – 192/8 declared (55.5 overs) (Geeshath Panditharathna 52, Helitha Vithanage 24, Ronuka Jayawardena 24; Harshana Kularatne 2 for 36, Poorna Charuka 2 for 52)

St. Benedict’s College 2nd innings – 281/9 declared (79.1 overs) (Thulina Dilshan 81, Poorna Charuka 60; Shan Tennekoon 3 for 44, Lasith Embuldeniya 3 for 77)

Result – Match drawn