March Madness for 2018 is over and now it’s time to identify the players who shone for their sides, handling the pressure and carrying the weight of their teams on their shoulders. Here are our picks for the top performances from March Madness 2018.
- Kapilraj, the one-man Army
Kanakarathnam Kapilraj is an all-rounder who excelled yet again at the Battle of the North for St John’s College Jaffna. He scored a half-ton and claimed a match-bag of 10 wickets with 5 each in both innings. Despite his performance, he remained in the losing team as Jaffna Central won by 1 wicket in a thriller at the 112th Battle of the North.
- Jayavihan Pradeepa’s entry
2nd year player Jayavihan Pradeeptha was a late inclusion to the Thurstan playing XI. He was not a regular member of the team over the season but the team management picked him for the all-important Battle of the Brothers encounter against Isipathana College and he went on to shock everyone at the SSC. The tall right-hander started slowly but then grew in confidence and hammered the lads from Pathana to all parts of the ground with confidence. His slog-sweeps and pick-up shots over mid-wicket were a treat to watch. He stroked 125 runs and steered the boys from Thurstan past the 300 mark in 60 overs. Jayavihan was adjudged Man of the Match at the 55th Battle of the Brothers for his excellent performance with the bat.
- Suhanga-Kamesh brilliance
Dashing all-rounder Suhanga Wijewardena bagged 6 for 52, restricting the Ananda batting line up to 141 all out in the 89th Battle of the Maroons. He is surely an all-rounder to watch out for in the future as the Nalandians took away honors in the all-important big-match.
Sri Lanka Test captain’s younger brother Kamesh Nirmal was the savior for the lads from Ananda Mawatha as he reached the 100 in 138 balls. His celebration is what caught the eye of many a Sri Lankan fan as he got on one knee and lifted his arms towards his supporters, just like his older brother. Will he be another Chandimal, only time will tell.
- Left-arm spin of Kaumal Nanayakkara
Cambrian left-arm spinner Kaumal Nanayakkara outshone Sri Lanka U19 star Praveen Jayawickrama in the 68th Battle of the Golds that ended with Prince of Wales College claiming major honors. He picked up 6 for 45 in the first innings with his crafty left-arm spin as St Sebastian’s were knocked over for 159 runs.
- The Pereras’ star in the Roy-Tho
Royalist Manula Perera and Thomian Kalana Perera claimed 5 wickets each at the 139th Battle of the Blues encounter which were two of the highlights of the game as the Thomians took away honors. Left-arm spinner Manula Perera was excellent on a first day pitch as he rattled the Thomians at the SSC.
Kalana Perera was equally good on the same evening capturing 3 wickets and then adding 2 more on the second day. He bowled a marathon spell after recovering from an injury and showed how dedicated he was for the big-match.
- The Daniel pain for the Peterites
Josephian skipper Jehan Daniel played a magnificent knock in the 1st innings, guiding the inexperienced Josephian middle order through a tough time at the Battle of the Saints, with his ability to clear the fence against the spinners putting the Peterites on the back foot. The Peterites won 1st innings points and took away major honors but could not contain Daniel who made a blistering 93 off 115 balls in the first innings.
- Mahanama Vice-captain Botheju
- Richmond spinners
Richmond spinners Dilum Sudeera and Sandun Mendis restricted the lads from Mahinda to 118 to claim a first innings win at the 113th Lovers Quarrel that ended in a draw. Left-arm spinner Sudeera took 5 for 29 in his 20 overs, while off-spinner Mendis claimed 5 for 38 in 19 overs to dismantle the strong Mahinda batting line-up.
- U19 caps Boyagoda & Dilshan
The skiddy left-arm seamer Thisaru Dilshan was too good for the Antonians on the opening day of the 101st Hill Capital Battle of the Blues as he claimed 4 for 30 to restrict the boys from Katugastota to 115 all out.
From the U19 World Cup to the big match stage the Trinitian superstar Hasitha Boyagoda has been a revelation for the boys from Kandy. He stroked a stylish 72 and took the Man of the Match award and Best Batsman award at the encounter.