Isipathana- Thurstan herald big match series | Sunday Observer

Isipathana- Thurstan herald big match series

Thurstan College (Seated from left) Naveen Gunawardene, Saman Hewavitharana ( Coaching Advisor), Charana Nanayakkara, Kasun Abeyratne ( Captain), Mr. E.M.S.Ekanayake (Principal), Nipun Lakshan (VC), Leslie Harischandra (Vice Principal), Suneth Gunatileka (Coach), Imesh Viranga (Second row) Sandaru Dias, Navod Samarakoon, Sawan Prabash, J.Mahavitharana, Akila Ranatunga, Yeshan Wickremarachchi, Thisara Deshan, Prageesha Mendis, Nimesh Lakshan. (Third row) Thushal Madusanka, Bimara Ranatunga, Pansilu Deshan, Ayesh Harshana, Janushka Fernando and Pramesh Dilushana

Yet another ‘big match’ series will be heralded with the Isipathana- Thurstan 54th encounter which is scheduled to be unfolded on February 24 and 25th at the Sinhalese sports Club grounds.

Both teams cannot boast of a spectacular season this year, but the scales should tilt more towards Thurstan by virtue of their number of outright wins (8) in comparison to Ispathana’s no outright wins only a couple of first innings leads and losses. But however, when it comes to a annual big game the tendency of the players giving their best to their respective sides is the key to success.In the 53 encounters played so far between the two schools Isipathana has won 4 to Thurstan’s 5 and the rest ending in draws. A result is long overdue for both teams as Isipathana last won in 1999 under Thusitha Jayawardene while Thurstan last savoured victory in 1992 under Mckenzie Perera. Sanjula Abeywickrema a Sri Lanka Schools Under 19 representative will lead ‘Pathana’ this year. He has scored over 625 runs and along with Pathum Nissanka with over 930 runs against his name another Schools U.19 player who toured South Africa recently should provide the batting stability to the side. For Isipathana there is also deputy Ayana Siriwardena the impressive all rounder of the side and the off spinner also an under 19 player with Lahiru Dilshan a left arm leg spinner with 58 wickets against his name to form a good spin combination.

Thurstan will be captained by Kasun Abeyratne and Nipun Lakshan will be his deputy. The two players to be watched in the Thurstan camp are Charana Nanayakkara and Ubder 19 youth World Cup player and Naveen Gunawardene a left arm leg spinner with a rich harvest of wickets (Over 70) this season. Gunawardene has taken a couple of 10 wicket hauls and has the distrinction to take all 10 wickets in an innings. His recent heroics are match bags of (10 for 36) against D.S.Senanayake and (14/ 85)against Maliyadeva Kurunegala.

Charana Nanayakkara is Thurstan’s highest run getter over 700 runs with a hundred and five fifties. Sawan Prabash is the second best scoring 535 runs .

Saman Nishantha of Isipathana (150 n.o) is the highest individual scorer of the series and left hander Kamal Mahendra is the top scorer ( 142) for Thurstan. Left arm medium pacer Jayajeeva Karunaratne of Thurstan ( 7 for 28) has the best bowling figures and Isipathana’s K.L.S.K.Sirisena also had the figures of ( 7 for 49) in the 1967 encounter.