Royal nearly turn the tables against rivals St. John’s Jaffna

Thevindu dazzles on debut, Royal dominate St Sebastian’s

Old rivals St. John’s College Jaffna traveled to Colombo for their traditional fixture against Royal College which was revived few years ago. Hosts Royal nearly pulled off their first win for the season by turning a first innings deficit against the visitors.

Skipper Helitha Vithanage won the toss and elected to bat first. The batting woes from the last few games continued for Royal as wickets at regular intervals hampered them. Lakindu Nanayakkara’s 39 had little support from a crippled middle order where only three batsmen were able to reach double figures. J. Kishan Thushan dismantled the line up with his bowling, claiming 5 for 33 while Royal were subdued for a paltry 115. In reply, St. John’s Jaffna made 139. J. Kishan Thusan shined again, this time as the opening batsman and the top scorer. Ganith Sandeepa and Manula Perera captured 3 wickets each.

The home side began their second essay with a 24 run deficit. Openers Lakindu Nanayakkara and Kavindu Madarasinghe formed a solid base but the rest were unable to continue after getting formidable starts. Captain Helitha Vithanage top scored with 46 while Royal declared their innings at 197/7.

Chasing a target of 174, the visitors were put in a spot of bother when Gothama Ranasinghe stepped up with his nifty spin to turn the tables. Opener Kishan Thushan managed to make 32 but grappled with little support from the other end. At close St John’s were struggling at 64/7.

Chief Scores –

Royal College 1st innings – 115 all out (31.3 overs) (Lakindu Nanayakkara 39, Himesh Ramanayake 24, Ronuka Jayawardena 19; J. Kishan Thushan 5 for 33, V Jathushan 2 for 24)

St John’s College Jaffna 1st innings – 139 all out (59.1 overs) (J. Kishan Thushan 26, Theva Prashanth 21, V. Jathushan 21; Ganith Sandeepa 3 for 12, Manula Perera 3 for 36)   

Royal College 2nd innings – 197/7 dec. (43.1 overs) (Helitha Vithanage 46, Himesh Ramanayake 32, Ronuka Jayawardena 23; J. Kishan Thushan 2 for 46, V. Jathushan 2 for 59)

St John’s College Jaffna 2nd innings – 64/7 at close (J. Kishan Thushan 32, V. Jathushan 11; Gothama Ranasinghe 3 for 17, Helitha Vithanage 2 for 3)

Result – Draw