A resilient St. Anthony’s College team will be looking at putting together their best possible performance in the coming weeks, with the 99th big match encounter against Trinity College around the corner.

The Antonian cricketing history dates back to the early 20th century when the school in Katugastota took up the sport. The sport was centered around the school itself and soon the construction of a fully pledged ground facilitated the development of the sport. Over the years, the school has stood as a silent contributor to the sport in the country with spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan being their most famous export to the national team.

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St. Anthony’s who are currently placed in tier II of the schools league have had memorable achievements over the past few years. The side led by Nimesh Gunasinghe in 2013/14 crossed a border for the first time when they won the Big Match battle on the first innings after a lapse of five years. That could be called the best of the Antonians in the past three years and with a new set of individuals making this season’s team, it will be a tough task for them to fight their way through the division.

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The Season so far

Kanishka Ukgalpaya leads the Antonians for the 2015/16 season and has experienced mixed results. The Antonians have five outright wins under their belts in the division and four first innings victories. The Antonians beat Devananda College, S. De. Jayasinghe College, St. Xavier’s College and Sri Sumangala College in their league schedule but their losses to the heavyweights S. Thomas’, Royal and St. Joseph’s were disappointing.

However a win in the quarterfinals against Royal College Panadura where the Antonians chased 166 runs in 26 overs has provided them the adequate motivation to stay focused ahead of the big game this weekend.

Kanishka Ukgalpaya leading the Antonians

A hard working captain, Ukgalpaya has himself a best of 166 to boast of this season and all of the Antonian wins have had his contribution. His latest innings of 73 against Wesley College gives the indication that he will continue to be a key asset to the team.

Captain Kanishka Uggalpaya

Theeksha Gunasinghe to propel the batting

His deputy Mohamed Alfer, who bats in the top order has provided his services for crucial partnerships from the top but the key batsman in the Antonian lineup is Theeksha Gunasinghe. Batting in the middle order, Gunasinghe has two important half centuries under his belt. One that came in the Royal game that they lost but his unbeaten 71 took his team to victory against Devananda.

Sandaruwan to lead the bowling department

Left arm pacer Sandaruwan Dharmaratne is the spearhead of the Antonian bowling attack and his records show that he is able to pick up wickets even at crucial times. Aiding him will be the spin department that comprises of Yapa Bandara and Romesh Premaratne. Bandara has a seven-wicket haul under his belt while Premaratne has a season best of 4/18.

On paper the Antonians don’t seem to be the best in the division but with development coming in all throughout the season, the Antonians will have to give out their best to achieve success.