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Sunday, 18 March 2012

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112th three-day ‘Battle of Nilwala :

St. Servatius vs St. Thomas’ on March 23 to 25

MATARA BIG MATCH: The 112th encounter between St. Servatius College and St. Thomas’ College Matara will take place on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of March at the Uyanwatta Stadium, Matara. St. Servatius College host this year 3 day encounter while St. Thomas’ will host the 50 over game on the 31.

The ‘big match’ in Matara has been played since 1900 and St. Thomas’ has won 32 encounters, the last being in 2007 under the captaincy of Tharaka Dushantha while St. Servatius has been deprived of a win for the past 41 years. They will be trying to break the ‘hoodoo’ and add to their 27 wins the last being in 1971 under the captaincy of Nimal Munaweera.

There have been many illustrious cricketers who played for these two schools-Sanath Jayasuriya now Member of Parliament for Matara, is the most famous. He captained St. Servatius in 1988 and is a international cricketing legend.

St. Servatius play in the elite division one of the schools cricket tournament. They have not been able to impress in this year’s tournament, registering first innings wins against Zahira College, Nalanda College and Sri Sumangala College, Panadura. They lost on first innings to Dharmaraja College, Kandy and Mahinda College, Galle and lost outright to Trinity College, Kandy, Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda and Kalutara Vidyalaya.

The friendly games against Sri Devananda, Ambalangoda, Bandaranayaike MV, Gampaha, Revatha MV, Balapitiya and Mahanama College, Colombo ended in draws. They lost outright to Maristella College, Negombo and Lumbini College, Colombo.

Sanidu Ediriweera - Captains St. Servatius

Fifth-year coloursman, wicket-keeper batsman Sanidu Keshawa Ediriweera leads St. Servatius at this year 112th big match, with all rounder Gihan Nimsara as his deputy. Gihan, a fourth-year coloursman, was able to play only six games this season in which he scored more than 380 runs with an unbeaten 111 against Sri Devananda, Ambalangoda.

Kasun Rajitha is a third-year coloursman and an all rounder. Sanjika Ridma also a third-year coloursman, is an all round player. He is the only player to score an unbeaten century on debut in the series. He scored 100 not out in the 110th big match at the age of 15. Sanjika has 555 runs and 38 wickets to his credit this season.

Third-year coloursman Ruchira Jayathunga is also an all rounder called upon to open the innings with both bat and ball. Ruchira has claimed 30 wickets. Yohan Chanuka holds top spot in the St. Servatius batting line-up, scoring 555 runs this season. He is a third-year coloursman and an all rounder.

Second-year coloursman Vihanga de Silva is a left-hand opening batsman in the team, while Vidath Dilshan is a consistent scorer and accomplished wicket-keeper.

Thushan Eranga, Mohamed Rajad, Sameera Gunasekera, Chanuka Dilshan, Ashen Deemantha, Sachith Lakshitha, Randika de Silva and all rounder Lochana Mohatti who was a member of the Sri Lanka under-15 team are freshers capable of strengthening the final XI.

P.B. Buddhika was an explosive batsman who scored 1,000 runs in the season and captained St. Servatius in 1996 . He completes his fourth year as senior coach of the team. He has the assistance of Pradeep Nishantha, A.M. Priyantha and Tharindu Mannage. G.H. Nayanananda de Silva is master-in-charge of the first XI at Servatius this season.

Ashan Ranasinghe – Captains St. Thomas’

The Thomian’s have done well playing in division two of the schools tournament. They have outright wins against Tissa Central College, Kalutara and St. Anne’s Kurunegala. First innings wins were registered against Cary College, Colombo, St. Thomas’ College, Kotte and Sri Devananda College Ambalangoda. First innings wins were conceded to Vidyartha College, Kandy and Moratu Vidyalaya.

In the friendly games St. Thomas’ won outright against P. de S. Kularathna MV, Ambalangoda, drew with St. Sebastian’s Moratuwa, St. Aloysius College, Galle, Devapathiraja MV, Rathgama and Rahula College, Matara. They lost outright to Royal College, Colombo and Richmond College, Galle.

Fourth-year coloursman and all round player Ashan Dinura Ranasinghe leads the Thomian’s to this year’s big match. Ashan has the distinction of scoring 1,000 runs and has got 93 wickets with his right-arm off-spinners this season. This left-hand batsman has one century and 9 half centuries to his credit. He has nine five wicket hauls in an innings and has claimed ten wickets in a match in one game.

Ishan Khanishka Abeysekera a thrid-year coloursman is the Vice-Captain. Ishan is a right-hand batsman and has cored more than 600 runs with one ton and he bowls right-arm leg-spinners and has claimed more than 35 wickets so far.

Jayanga Nirmana de Silva is a fourth-year coloursman and is good fielder in any position and a hard hitting right-hand batsman. Second-year Coloursman Prashan Manohara bowls left-arm leg-spin and claimed more than 33 wickets so far. Wicket-Keeper Ishan Maduranga is a second-year coloursman with 12 dismissals behind the stumps. He is a left-hand batsman who has scored more than 234 runs this season.

Sixteen year old Lasith Lakshan is a second year coloursman with two centuries to his credit. And 500 plus runs and bowls right-arm fast.The other second-year coloursman of the team is opening bowler Danusha Lanka Kulasuriya. First year coloursman Hashan Vimarshana is also an all rounder who is a right-hand bat and right-arm fast bowler.

Rasika Damith, Vidhath Jayanidu, Rusiru Akshaya, Kushan Rangana, Prince Dalugoda, Nimantha Kaweeshwara, Thalisha Dilan, S.S. Dasun, Danuka Dilshan, Mohamed Nazhan, Shazni Ahamed, Randika Lakshan, Osnada Chamupathi and Dilum Krishan are the freshers who strengthen the Thomian team at this year big match.

St. Thomas’ College, Matara (Seated from left): Ishan Maduranga (Coach), Lasith Lakshan, Shanthini Suraweera (Deputy Principal), Ashan Ranasingha (Captain), W.B. Piyatissa (Principal), Ishan Abeysekera (Vice Captain), Janak Mathangadeera (Prefect of Games), Jayanga de Silva, Sisira Weerasinghe (Master-in-Charge), Prashan Manohara. Back row (from left): Kushan Rangana, Shazni Ahamed, Nevindu Udesh, Rusiru Akshaya, Rasika Damith, Hashan Vimarshana, Krishan Weerarathna, Dinuska Dilshan, Dhanusha Lanka Kulasuriya, Nimantha Kawishwara, T.D. Kavinda, Prince Dalugoda, Osanda Gamage.

St. Servatius College, Matara (seated from left): Tharindu Manage (Assistant Coach), Kasun Rajitha, Gihan Nimsara (Vice Captain), Nimalsiri Wanigabaduge (Principal), Sanidu Ediriweera (Captain), Nayanananda de Silva (Master-in-Charge), A.M. Priyantha (Junior Coach), Pradeep Nishantha (Assistant Coach). Middle row (standing from left): Vihanga de Silva, Chathura Sudarshana, Thushan Eranga, Yohan Chanuka, Lochana Mohotti, Ruchira Jayathunga, Sanjika Ridma, Mohamed Rajat, Vidath Dilshan. Back row (from left): Ashen Deemantha, Sachith Lakshitha, Ramesh Nimantha, Kavindu Umesh, Randika de Silva, Sameera Gunasekera. Absent: P.B. Buddhika (Coach) and Chanuka Dilshan. Pix: Priyan de Silva, Matara Sports Corr.

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