Royal crawl and Thomians draw | Sunday Observer
141st Battle of the Blues

Royal crawl and Thomians draw

Thevin Eriyagama the captain of S. Thomas’ College (left) and Thevindu Senaratne the captain of Royal College hold the DS Senanayake Shield that was presented by Supun Weerasinghe the Group Chief Executive Officer of Dialog Axiata after their 141st big match ended in a draw at the SSC ground yesterday in the presence of Rev. Marc Billimoria (left) warden of S. Thomas’ College and BA Abeyratne the principal of Royal College
Thevin Eriyagama the captain of S. Thomas’ College (left) and Thevindu Senaratne the captain of Royal College hold the DS Senanayake Shield that was presented by Supun Weerasinghe the Group Chief Executive Officer of Dialog Axiata after their 141st big match ended in a draw at the SSC ground yesterday in the presence of Rev. Marc Billimoria (left) warden of S. Thomas’ College and BA Abeyratne the principal of Royal College

Despite the day resuming with scares and hopes and Royal College resorting to a surprise declaration against S. Thomas’ College, the 141st Battle of the Blues concluded in a dull draw at the end of the third and final day at the SSC ground yesterday.

That also resulted in the DS Senanayake Shield retained and will remain at Mount Lavinia.

The Thomians batting again, got down to business from ball one. They started off briskly, with Dilmin Ratnayake initiating the attack.

Dilmin went after the bowlers, before he perished for a quick-fire 22 off 36 while Shalin de Mel didn’t last long and neither did Ravindu de Silva, entering and exiting.


Royal College batsman Dasis Manchanayake raises his bat after scoring a half century   

Ryan Fernando hung around for a passage of play accumulating 34 and 24 and finished as the top-scorer of the match, accumulating 104 and the bulk of them 70, scored in the first-essay.

The Thomians looking to bat out the rest of the day, lost wickets at regular intervals in the dying moments of the game. When a draw was declared they were five down for 127.

Spinner Gishan Balasooriya was pick of the bowlers for his 4 for 45 and six victims overall.

Royal resuming from their overnight score 127 for four, appeared to have seen through the first hour. But then all hell broke loose.

Umayanga Suwaris, only a part-time bowler, sent Kavindu Pathirathne packing cheaply that prompted Royal skipper Thevindu Senaratne to report to the rescue. He did the last move of going for a big hit and was well-caught at long-on by Yasiru Rodrigo who caught it against the sun.

Royal from a spot of bother were now staring at a follow-on only 43-runs away as Senaratne returned to the pavilion for brunch for a near run-a-ball eight.

With another 24 for the total, the follow-on haunting right after Royal, the settled Isivara Dissanayake cracked under pressure against Yasiru Rodrigo, gifting the latter his first and missing out on what would have been only the second 50 in their total. They were struggling to survive the tide that had turned tougher with the currents this time and striving to mark time till lunch. Their opponents pounced on the opportunity, capitalising on the pressure built.

Reeling Royal limped to lunch with the follow-on only 13 away and the Thomians needing to clean up the tail. The morning session was the desired resumption for the Thomians sending all the recognised batsmen in time for lunch.

The post lunch session saw the Reid Avenue lads conquering the fear of batting again scraping through the follow-on. That phase also saw the highest partnership (67) for Royal, calming the nerves of the Reid Avenue camp.

The last wicket to fall was that of Lahiru out for a modest 29, ending the 67-run stand, which in fact was the highest partnership for Royal.

Immediately after Dasis Manchanayake, the highest scorer for his team, notched up a gritty 53 with six fours, they took all by surprise by opting for a declaration and an early tea.

At the time of the declaration Royal had a deficit of 87. The on-field scares aside, the third day, the liveliest of all three-days, survived the off-field concern of a closed door game. Particularly after the England tour of Sri Lanka was called-off abruptly due to the coronovirus syndrome.

Awards:

Best fielder: Ahan Wickremasinghe (Royal)

Best bowler Gishan Balasooriya (Royal)

Best batsman: Ryan Fernando (S. Thomas’)

Man of the match: Shalin de Mel (S. Thomas’)

Comments