Richmond College made history at Wesley College Grounds in Colombo when they clinched their maiden under 19 limited-over championship beating Thurstan College comprehensively by 8 wickets (D/L) in the final of the Singer U19 division one limited over championship 2016/17 which was worked off today (Sunday).
Chasing a revised target of 140 runs in 43 overs, the Richmondites cruised to victory in 25.3 overs with only two wickets down. Earlier after opting to bat first, Thurstan College was bundled out for 141 runs.
Fresh from a crushing win yesterday against their arch-rivals, Mahinda College, Richmond was asked to chase yet again by the opposition captain, Kasun Abeyrathne on a placid surface.
After the first three balls were bowled, the batsmen complained about the sight-screen and the hour-long delay in sorting out the issue prompted the officials to reduce the game to a 43-over affair.
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Thurstanites lost wickets at regular intervals as none of the batsmen capitalized on the good batting conditions. One-drop batsman Yeshan Wickramarachchi struck 6 fours and a six during his 34-ball 37 before becoming one of the three victims of left-arm spinner Ravishka Wijesiri.
Vice-Captain Nipun Lakshan and senior player Charana Nanayakkara made 20 and 26 respectively to add 52 runs for the 5th wicket. The Thurstanites were cruising at one stage on 111 for 4 but lost their last 6 wickets for just 30 runs which turned the game in favour of the Richmondites.
Fast-bowler Thilanga Udeeshan and Wijesiri were the pick of the bowlers for the boys from Galle picking up 3 wickets apiece. The Mendis brothers, Kamindu and Sandun took 2 wickets each.
Skipper Kamindu Mendis was trapped LBW by Charana Nanayakkara in the very first over to put the Richmondites on the back foot. The left-handed one-drop batsman Dhananjaya Lakshan made a stunning, match-winning 61 off 52 delivers with 12 exquisite fours to guide Richmondites home.
Opening batsman Aditya Siriwardena dropped the anchor and played a mature innings of 38 off 66 balls to remain unbeaten along with Thaveesha Abhishek who was not out on 24. Siriwardena was involved in two hefty partnerships of 88 and 48* respectively with Lakshan and Abhishek.
Dhananjaya Lakshan was named Player of the Final for his elegant knock.
After the match, Richmond College head coach, Dhammika Sudarshana confirmed with ThePapare.com that it is the first U19 limited-over championship for Richmond College in the history of the game, “As a team, we planned for this moment from a long time. In the last few matches, we lost only one or two wickets in chasing down targets which speaks the volume of the talent possessed by these youngsters. As a coach, my ambition is to produce proper Finishers from Richmond College to our country.” Sudarshana said.
Thurstan College – 141 all out in 38.1 overs: Yeshan Wickramarachchi 37, Charana Nanayakkara 26, Nipun Lakshan 20, Thilanga Udeeshan 3/29, Ravishka Wijesiri 3/21, Kamindu Mendis 2/10, Sandun Mendis 2/19.
Richmond College – 140/2 in 25.3 overs: Dhananjaya Lakshan 61, Adithya Siriwardena 38, Thaveesha Abhishek 24.