The Singer U19 Division one tournament hits the semi-final round with Nalanda College, S. Thomas’ College, St. Sebastian’s College and St. Joseph’s College slotting themselves in. The first semi-final will be played on the 3rd and 4th of April between Nalanda College and S. Thomas’ College at the SSC grounds while the other two teams will lock horns on the 8th and 9th of April.
A year filled with record-breaking schools cricket all around has now come close to an end. The year goes down as a memorable one, both good and bad, for many players and teams.
Having a look back at the group stages, the aforementioned teams have dominated the two-day league with the Thomians remaining unbeaten and the Nalandians topping in terms of overall points. Apart from them, schools like Trinity College and Thurstan College have been extremely competitive.
St. Joseph’s College topped group ‘A’ with 117.220 points in the tournament games. This group was indecisive till the last week of the games. St. Joseph’s College, Mahinda College, Maris Stella College and St. Benedict’s College kept swapping places till the last few games. Eventually, the Benedictines had to give away their second round berth.
In group ‘B’, Nalanda College finished first. St. Peter’s College who looked threatening during the first-half of the tournament, lost their way towards the end. Prince of Wales College was a silent customer. All their wins were un-trumpeted. They had no stars, but as a team they rose to end the tourney at the quarter-finals.
The Thomians simply outran the rest in the group ‘C’ with an unbeaten tally. St. Sebastian’s College and St. Servatius’ College settled to the second and third places while Mahanama missed out on the second round by just half a point.
Trinity College was a team who was well in contention for the championship this year. But, following a surprise come back from St. Sebastian’s College in the quarter finals, after losing the first-innings, the Kandy school was knocked out of the tournament. Thurstan College was also a team who looked to be in fine form. But, could not get through the quarter finals as they were defeated by Nalanda College in the quarters. None of the teams in group ‘D’ made it to the semis this year.
The lean and tall Peterite, Santhush Gunathilaka was in flying form this season smashing his way to a whopping 1572 runs with 8 centuries to his merits. The Trinitian off-spinner, Kavishka Senadeera is leading the wickets tally with 128 wickets to his name. The flat and skippy spinner was a nightmare to the young batsmen.
The Thomian left-arm speedster Kalana Perera comes first in one’s mind when thinking of the stand out performances of the season. The record-breaking spell against St. Mary’s College, Kegalle was absolutely magnificent. Perera assaulted the Marians with 16 wickets in the game for just 18 runs finishing the game an hour before lunch on day-two. The performance went down the record books of S. Thomas’ and school cricket of Sri Lanka.
It is yet again the Peterite, Santhush Gunathilaka who grabs the spotlight when talking about the special performances with the bat. The 252 runs against the Anandians at their own backyard was simply nothing short of a masterpiece. He kept carting the bowlers all around the park on his way to the first double-ton of the season. He was followed by the Royalist, Kamil Mishara, the very next week, at the same ground and against the same opposition. Mishara scored an unbeaten 250. The left-hander is a treat to watch for his elegance with the bat in hand.
Watch all the action from both semi-finals live on ThePapare.com on the 3rd,4th, 8th and 9th of April.