83rd Joe-Pete encounter :A compelling battle for supremacy | Sunday Observer

83rd Joe-Pete encounter :A compelling battle for supremacy

St. Peter’s Colllege . (Seated from left) Manuker Gunaratne [Trainer], Sampath Dharmasiri [Fielding Coach], CrishanthaPeiris [Spin bowling Coach], Shanaka Fernando [Asst. Coach], Sanath Chinthaka[Sports Secretary/Senior M. I. C.], Lakshina Rodrigo [Captain], Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin[Rector], Rev. Fr. Thilina Pathum [Sports Co–ordinator], Manelker De Silva [Vice-Captain], Malinda Warnapura [Head Coach], Wasanatha Haputhanthri [Junior M. I. C.], Kitto Fernandopulle [Asst. Coach], Mahesh De Silva [Manager] Standing – 1st row: Banuka de Silva, . Shivan Perera, Chathura Obeyesekere, ShalithFernando, Sulakshana Fernando, Anishka Perea, Ravindu Silva, DinithAnjula, Sachin Silva, Vinul Gunawardana. 2nd row: Nipunaka Fonseka, Ameen Miflal, Ranmith Jayasena, Santhush Gunathilaka, Lashen Rodrigo, Prabasara Herath

St.  Joseph’s College  (Seated  from  left) Asiri  Perera (Fitness Trainer),  Asiri  Caldera ( 2nd  XI  MIC),  Prashantha  Ranaweerta ( 1st XI MIC), Rev.  Fr.  Milan  Bernard (POG), Harin  Cooray  (Capt), Rev. Fr.  Travis  Gabriel (Rector), Shevon  Fonseka (VC), Roger Wijesuriya (Head Coach), Michael  Adams (2nd XI  coach),  Dharantha  Menerigama (Fielding  Coach). First  row. Shevaan  Rasool, Cameron  Duruge, Dineth  Jayakody,  Nipun  Samaraqsinghe, Jehan  Daniel, Revan  Kelly, Thashan Perera, Avishka  Fernando. Sachintha  Mahindasinghe. Second  row.  Kavindu  Jayathissa,  Pahan  Perera, Dario  Dasanayake, Ruchira  Ekanayake, Dineth  Madurawela, Jehan  Fernandopulle, Lakshan Gamage and Havin Perera. 

St.Peter’s College by virtue of their superior count of wins (five out rights) in their 19 matches played so far should have the slight advantage over their traditional rivals St. Joseph’s College when the 83rd battle Of The Saints cricket encounter takes place on March 3 and 4 at the P.Sara Oval. The two day contest will be played for Rev Fr. Maurice Le Goc trophy. A the moment it is in the custody of St.Peter’s College as they beat the Joes last year.

With the introduction of 60 overs per side in the first innings of the match from the year 2000 the contest as been more enterprising and result oriented which gives something for the spectators to look forward to. The Joes last won in 2008 under Ruwantha Fernandopulle and the Peterites last savoured victory in the 2016 match after a spectator invasion deprived further play when the scored were leveled and the result of the match had to be ruled in favour of the Peterites.

The Peterites will be led by prolific scorer Lakshina Rodrigo who has over 900 runs including a century and the Joes skippered by Harin Cooray more of a bowler who could bat. Cooray has over 75 wickets to his credit and could form an effective bowling combination with Havin Perera, Ruchira Ekanayake and Dineth Jayakody as they have been among the wickets quite often. The Joes top order comprising of Revan Kelley with a top score of 91, Nipun Sumanasinghe with a highest score of 158 and also having the honour of reaching the 1000 run mark in the season, Dineth Madurawela, Jehan Daniel,Shevon Fonseka and Pahan Perera have been striking well during the season. While recording outright wins over St.Patrick’s College, JKaffna, Maris Stella College, Negimbo and

Bandaranaike MV Gampaha , the Joes have remained unbeaten after registering some first innings wins.

On the other hand the Peterites have five outright wins namely against St, Mary’s College, Kegalle, St.Anthony’s College Wattala, St. Sebastian’s College Moratuwa, St. Benedict’s Kotahena and Maris Stella Negombo. Spearheaded by skipper Lakshina Rodrigo’s scoring spree of 900 runs including a century the top order of Santhush Gunatileka ( 957 runs), Shalith Fernando ( 730), Anushka Perera (520) have contributed generously towards the batting

success of the Bambalapitiya school. The Peterites could also boast of a very good spin combination of left arm spinner Mohammed Ameen ( Over 100 wickets) and off spinner Chatura Obeysekera over 75 wickets the additional off spin of Sachin Silva has fetched him 27 wickets and could come in handy whenever the occasion arises.

Having a glance into the record books the highest individual score of the series still remains with Peterite Clive Inman (204) in 1954. The other long standing record for the Joes is the opening stand of 197 ( in the series) between Maurice Wanigaratne ( 97) and B. Wilson Wimalaratne ( 105) in 1952. Josephian spinner Shenal Warnakula had the amazing bowling figures of 9 for 41 and 5 for 72 in the second innings to complete a match bag of (14 for 113) in the 1997 encounter. Josephians left armer Rajive Benedict (8 for 6) in 1972 and Ranjith Malawana ( 8 for 57 ) in 1957 also had impressive figures. Peterites Shehan Fernando ( 159) and the present coach Malinda Warnapura ( 159 ) came close to bettering Inman’s feat in the 2011 and 1998 ‘battle of the saints’ encounters.

A former Peterite captain Kitto Fernandopulle who led the side in 1979 who was involved in a record third wicket stand of 179 with Rohan Buuiltjens will be the chief guest.