Battle of the Saints ends in a draw | Sunday Observer

Battle of the Saints ends in a draw

Josephian batsman Nipun Sumasinghe batting in the second innings watched by Peterite skipper and wicket-keeper Lakshina Rodrigo on the second day of the 83rd Battle of the Saints cricket match played at the P Sara Oval yesterday.  (Pic by Saman Mendis)
Josephian batsman Nipun Sumasinghe batting in the second innings watched by Peterite skipper and wicket-keeper Lakshina Rodrigo on the second day of the 83rd Battle of the Saints cricket match played at the P Sara Oval yesterday. (Pic by Saman Mendis)

Given an impossible target of 181 to win in 15 overs, St. Peter’s College openers Santhush Gunathilake and Anishka Perera gave it all they got to get to 99 for no loss before the 83rd Battle of the Blues against St Joseph’s College ended in a draw at the P Sara Oval yesterday.

Gunathilake hit a brilliant unbeaten 52 off 44 balls with six fours and Anishka Perera a superb 41 not out but it was a herculean task to scale and when play ended the Peterites were still 82 runs short of victory.

In the process Gunathilake crossed the 1000-run mark for the season – the second player to do so in a Big Match after Marlon von Hagt, the St Anthony’s College Kandy captain who achieved that milestone in 1983 against Trinity College.

Overcast conditions prevailed throughout the whole of the last session and St. Peter’s made a vain effort to chase the target in dwindling light.

Incidentally, the encounter ended as the 61st draw in the 83-year-old history of the two schools at cricket.

The Peterites resuming from their overnight score of 138 for 5 fought back to compile 188 for 8 in their allotted 60 overs.

Vice captain cum Sri Lanka under 19 cricketer Manelker de Silva struck a swashbuckling 52 and Ranmith Jayasena scored a patient 25.

Shivan Perera, son of former Peterite captain Asanga Perera chipped in with a valuable unbeaten 12 runs.

After his batting performance Manelker spearheaded the St. Peters attack claiming two wickets along with left-arm spinner Miflal Ameen who finished with 3 for 42 of 20 overs as St. Joseph’s tottering at 114 for 7 wickets at one stage finally declared at 163 for 8 wickets in 76 overs. Manelker’s match haul of 5 wickets and 51 runs earned him the best all rounder of the match award.

Joes lost wickets at regular intervals. Jehan Daniel the first innings centurion was the only batsman to retaliate by scoring 42. Captain Harin Cooray and opener Thashan Perera chipped in with 25 runs each. Opener Cameron Duruge failed for the second successive day collecting a pair in the big match being caught behind by captain Lakshina off right arm pacie Santhush Gunathilake.

Peterite skipper Lakshina Rodrigo was adjudged the best fielder and Nipun Sumanasinghe of Joes received the best bowler’s award.

The all important man of the match award went to Josephian Jehan Daniel. 

 

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