The 70th Battle of the Golds to kick off on 29th July

The 70th Battle of the Golds

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The 70th Battle of the Golds cricket encounter between Sri Sumangala College (SSC) and Moratu Maha Vidyalaya (MMV) will take place at De Soysa Cricket Stadium, Moratuwa on 29th and 30th July 2022 and the 29th One Day Encounter will take place on 31st July 2022.

The first encounter between the two schools dates back to 1934. Of the 69 big matches played between the two schools until 2021, the Sumangalians have won 08 and Moraliyans 07, with the rest being declared draws. The first victory for the Sumangalians was in 1962 while the first victory the Moraliyans enjoyed was in 1956. The one day encounters, which began 29 years ago in 1993, have resulted in 14 victories for the Sumangalians, 11 for the Moraliyans, 02 matches where no decision was taken and a match not played in 2001.

The 70th Battle of the Golds will therefore either continue to solidify the win enjoyed by the boys from Panadura or bring both teams to a tie. Sri Sumangala College in 2022 will be captained by Prabash Jayasekara. Madura Fernando will captain Moratu Maha Vidyalaya.

Both Principals, Niluka Weerasinghe of Sri Sumangala College and U.V. Gunarathna of Moratu Maha Vidyalaya along with the Head coaches Kelum Fernando (Sri Sumangala College) and Chandana Mahesh Wickramasinghe (Moratu Maha Vidyalaya) are making every effort to maintain high discipline on all three days especially in the limited overs match.

In the 2021/2022 cricketing season, Sumangalians have performed incredibly well. In 7 matches in the U19 Division II Tier A tournament they have secured 07 wins while losing only 1 match to be crowned Champions for the second consecutive year. Moraliyans have played 6 matches in the U19 Division 1 Tier B tournament and have secured 4 wins and lost 2 matches.

Among the many successes of Sri Sumangala College, Iresh Pushpakumara’s 8 wickets in an innings in the 2007 big match are the best bowling figures so far in the history of the encounter while Roshan Wimalasena’s 153 in 1996 is the highest score. In 1981 big match Ravin Wickramaratne set another record by scoring an unbeaten 104 runs and taking 5 wickets, including a hat trick. Interestingly, Wickramarathna has also been elected as the Vice President of Sri Lanka Cricket in the recent past.

A few other victories for Sumangalians include 1975 Captain Tissa Eleperuma representing Ceylon Team before the test status was granted, 1983 Captain Don Anurasiri being the first Sumangalian to represent Sri Lanka’s test cricket team, who was subsequently followed by 1995 Captain Indika Gallage and 2001 Captain Dilruwan Perera.

A few other remarkable cricketers in the local playing field who began their cricketing career at Sri Sumangala include, Kaushal Silva before playing for S Thomas’s College; Kithruwan Vithanage before joining Royal College, Colombo and U13 and U15 Captain Oshada Fernando before joining St Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa.

A noteworthy player in Sri Lanka cricket, Ajantha Mendis, is an old boy of Moratu Maha Vidyalaya.

Sri Sumangala College, in Panadura, Sri Lanka, was founded in 1909 at Rankoth Viharaya in memory of Ven Weligama Sri Sumangala Thero, who played an important role in Buddhism in the island. One of the oldest schools in the country, this national school is one of the largest Buddhist schools in Sri Lanka, with a student population of over 4000 in 13 Grades.

In 1924, Sri Lanka Bauddha Samithiya Ltd, was founded by MJC Fernando as Chairman with the objective of establishing a Buddhist school to uplift Buddhist Education in Moratuwa. Then Governor of Ceylon Sir Herbert J Stanley laid the foundation stone for the College in June 1929 and on 19 January 1934 Moratu Vidyalaya was declared open with 67 students enrolled.