The Peterites were staring down the barrel at an outright loss at 106/6 in their second innings, but Santhush Gunathilake then produced an innings of a lifetime to pull the Peterites out of the woods.
Gunathilake, who hit a vital 72 in the first innings, started off precariously in the second before eventually motoring on late in the day. He managed to find an ably partner in gutty Kanishka Maduwantha, who batted for 138 balls remaining unbeaten on 89*.
The duo added an unbroken 211* for the 7th wicket as they broke a number of records in the process. It was the all-time highest partnership for any wicket for the Peterites as the duo eclipsed the record of 183 set by Clive Inman and Kenneth Duckworth (6th wicket) in the year 1954. It also ended up as the all-time second highest partnership for any wicket in the series while Gunathilake’s match aggregate of 233 runs became the highest match aggregate of the series.
Gunathilake remained unbeaten on 161* in a marathon effort as the Peterites ended the day on 317/6 with an overall lead of 250 as the match ended in a tame draw.
Earlier in the day the Josephians raced to a strong 286/8 in their allotted 60 overs, on the back of a couple of half centuries from Dineth Jayakody and Dilesh Perera. Sachintha Mahindasinghe and Dunith Wellalage also made useful cameos lower down the order, as the Josephians secured a crucial 67 run lead.
Skipper Ashian Daniel who won the best bowler award captured two crucial wickets as the Peterites survived a few anxious moments, before Shivan Perera was involved in a run out that had the crowd and most others confused.
Gunathilake padded a ball away as Shivan Perera strolled out of the crease assuming it was a dead ball, only to see the bails being whipped off at the bowlers end with him nowhere in the picture. It looked certain of a Josephian victory at that stage with the Peterites effectively at 39/6, with over 50 overs remaining in the day before Gunathilake and Maduwantha produced a partnership to remember.
Gunathilake was named man of the match and best batsman for his heroics while Kanishka Maduwantha walked away with the best all-rounder award.
After 85 games in the series the Josephians still hold the lead with 12 wins to the Peterites 10, while the other 63 encounters have ended in draws.
|Banuka de Silva||lbw b Ashan De Alwis||5||21||0||0||23.81|
|Dinith Anjula||c Miranga Wickramage b Dunith Wellalage||41||74||4||2||55.41|
|Santhush Gunathilake||c Dilesh Perera b Ashen Daniel||72||105||6||0||68.57|
|Ranmith Jayasena||b Shalinda Senevirathne||21||27||1||0||77.78|
|Nipunaka Fonseka||lbw b Ashen Daniel||21||63||1||0||33.33|
|Shivan Perera||c Sachintha Ravindu b Ashen Daniel||9||13||1||0||69.23|
|Shannon Fernando||c Shevon Fonseka b Shalinda Senevirathne||0||4||0||0||0.00|
|Kanishka Maduwantha||c Shevon Fonseka b Lakshan Gamage||10||18||0||0||55.56|
|Wanuja Sahan||run out (Lakshan Gamage)||26||28||1||0||92.86|
|Ruwin Senevirathne||b Lakshan Gamage||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|Tariq Saboor||not out||1||6||0||0||16.67|
|Extras||13 (b 7 , lb 3 , nb 1, w 2, pen 0)|
|Total||219/10 (60 Overs, RR: 3.65)|
|Ashan De Alwis||7||0||20||1||2.86|
|Johanne De Zilva||4||2||8||0||2.00|
|Shevon Fonseka||c Nipunaka Fonseka b Ranmith Jayasena||37||69||4||0||53.62|
|Johanne De Zilva||c Santhush Gunathilake b Kanishka Maduwantha||45||56||4||1||80.36|
|Shevon Daniel||lbw b Kanishka Maduwantha||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|Dineth Jayakody||b Shivan Perera||77||110||6||2||70.00|
|Dilesh Perera||c Shivan Perera b Tariq Saboor||62||80||4||0||77.50|
|Lakshan Gamage||b Tariq Saboor||1||2||0||0||50.00|
|Sachintha Ravindu||c Wanuja Sahan b Ranmith Jayasena||22||15||0||0||146.67|
|Dunith Wellalage||c Nipunaka Fonseka b Santhush Gunathilake||19||15||0||0||126.67|
|Ashen Daniel||not out||5||6||0||0||83.33|
|Shalinda Senevirathne||not out||9||9||0||0||100.00|
|Extras||9 (b 0 , lb 4 , nb 4, w 1, pen 0)|
|Total||286/8 (60 Overs, RR: 4.77)|
|Banuka de Silva||c Dunith Wellalage b Ashan De Alwis||4||11||0||0||36.36|
|Dinith Anjula||c Johanne De Zilva b Ashen Daniel||6||22||0||0||27.27|
|Santhush Gunathilake||not out||161||190||11||0||84.74|
|Shannon Fernando||c & b Shalinda Senevirathne||25||47||3||0||53.19|
|Ranmith Jayasena||st Sheran Fonseka b Ashen Daniel||3||13||0||0||23.08|
|Nipunaka Fonseka||b Lakshan Gamage||11||39||1||0||28.21|
|Shivan Perera||run out (Dunith Wellalage)||12||16||2||0||75.00|
|Kanishka Maduwantha||not out||89||138||7||0||64.49|
|Extras||6 (b 3 , lb 0 , nb 2, w 1, pen 0)|
|Total||317/6 (79 Overs, RR: 4.01)|
|Ashan De Alwis||7||0||36||1||5.14|
|Johanne De Zilva||7||0||58||0||8.29|