Kusal shines as Royal regain Mustangs Trophy
Prolific run-getter and wicket-keeper Kusal Janith Perera produced a
terrific all-round display (55 & 5 victims) to clinch the Player of the
Match honours as Royal crushed S. Thomas’ by 5 wickets to regain the
coveted Mustangs Trophy after four years, in their traditional limited
overs cricket encounter ended at SSC grounds, last evening.
Set a modest victory target of 159 in 50 overs at an asking rate of
3.16 runs per over, Royal romped home with almost 16 overs to spare on
the back of vice captain Kusal Janith Perera’s workmanlike 55.
Perera, who came to bat with the total at 2 for 79 eventually steered
the Reid Avenue side home while raising a 56-run stand for the fifth
wicket off 71 deliveries with Haroon Mowjood who remained unbeaten on
His top-score of 55 came off 51 balls and was spiced with three
boundaries and a six while opener Sahan Hettiarachchi (32) and one drop
bat Banuka Rajapakse (28) also made handy contributions to overhaul the
opposition total despite a minor - wobble at 4 for 98.
Rajapakse one of the two Royal batsmen along with Kithruwan Vithanage
to have topped 1000 runs for the season, made a run a ball knock,
stroking three boundaries and clouting a six while Hettiarachchi faced
44 balls and struck five boundaries as the Thomians tried desperately to
defend a moderate total on a placid track.
S. Thomas’ no doubt did their best to stretch Royal all the way with
off-spinner Faheem Saleem the big match hero claiming impressive figures
of 3 for 32 in his quota of 10 overs, but the paltry total they made
Earlier, Wicket-keeper Kusal Janith showed his powers behind the
stumps by having a hand in five dismissals and a run out as S. Thomas’
inserted by Royal captain Yasitha Abeykoon struggled from the get go to
post a challenging score before being restricted to 158 for 9 in 50
Fifteen-year-old left-handed wicket-keeper batsman Sachin Peiris with
31 off 44 deliveries and with three fours top-scored for the lads from
Mount Lavinia, and also was involved in his team’s best partnership of
30-runs for the sixth wicket with Ashen Fernando who made 17.
Right-arm medium pacer Bhanuka Rajapakse was the main destroyer with
outstanding figures of 4 for 32 as Royal strangled the Thomians never
allowing the latter to run away with the game.
S. THOMAS’ COLLEGE
F. Saleem c C. Rajaratne b Rajapakse 26 Anuja Fernando c K. Perera b
Abeykoon 12 P. Wijewardena c Hettiarachchi b Rajapakse 16 R. Nirrushan c
K. Perera b Rajapakse 7 C. Pathirana st K. Perera b Rajapakse 13 Ashen
Fernando st K. Perera b Rambukwella 17 S. Peiris c Abeykoon b
Thanthirigoda 31 C. Fonseka st K. Perera b Thanthirigoda 6 D. Walpita
run out 3 L. Peiris not out 11 C. Kumarasinghe not out 2
Extras (lb-2, w-11, nb-1) 14 Total (for 9 wkts in 50 overs)
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-41, 3-52, 4-81, 5-83, 6-113, 7-124,
Bowling: Y. Abeykoon 6-1-18-1, L. de Silva 6-0-18-0, B.
Rajapakse 10-0-32-4, M. Thanthirigoda 10-0-33-2, H. Mowjood 10-1-22-0,
C. Rajaratne 5-0-19-0, R. Rambukwella 3-0-14-1.
K. Withanage b Pathirana 14, S. Hettiarachchi lbw b Saleem 32, B.
Rajapakse c Fonseka b Saleem 28, K.J. Perera c Nirrushan b L. Peiris 55,
M. Rajaratne lbw b Saleem 5, H. Mowjood not out 12 ,C. Rajaratne not out
Extras (lb-3, w-5) 8
Total (for 5 wkts in 33.4 overs) 159
Fall of wickets: 1-33, 2-79, 3-86, 4-98, 5-154.
Bowling: D. Walpita 6-0-28-0, C. Pathirana 5-0-24-1, C.
Kumarasinghe 8.4-0-44-0, F. Saleem 10-1-32-3, C. Fonseka 1-0-9-0, L.