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"Battle of the Saints" - Recap of Josephian-Peterite Encounters

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“Battle of the Saints” – Recap of Josephian-Peterite Encounters

Posted on 29 October 2020 by admin

Joe-Pete – victories and interesting finishes

Earliest memories begin with the 1963 game where Maurice Deckker and David Heyn trash the Josephian bowlers to all parts of the field during a hurricane unbroken partnership of 73. Several sixes landed on the galvanized sheets of the students' tent. One of them dislodged a sheet which came tumbling down. I also have vivid memories of Deckker splitting a bail in the process of clean bowling a Josephian batsman. St. Joseph's pursuing a victory target of 208 were struggling to avoid defeat at 118/7 at the close and survived thanks to a battling 50 by stumper Placidus Liyanage.

The '65 game was the last to be played at the SPC ground. Both teams were packed with outstanding players. I missed this match but closely followed the radio commentaries. The Peterite captain Travice Fernando bowled St. Peter's to a memorable victory. The aggressive batting of Darrel Wimalaratne and Charlie Goonesena played no small part, specially in the second innings when they gave the Peterites a flying start in the pursuit of 94 runs in around 50 minutes.

Controversial game

The 1967 match was perhaps the most controversial game of the series. The Joes won the toss and batted first. Denham Juriansz help to restrict them to 142 with a 6 wicket haul. In their turn the Peterites soon found themselves in a great deal of trouble collapsing to 35/9. Ronnie Gunaratne batting at No. 11 and Nihal Gunawardena swelled the score to 81 with a last wicket stand of 46. Ronnie top scored with 33.

In their 2nd essay, the Joes found the bowling of Tony Opatha and Denham Juriansz too hot to handle and were bowled out for 102, leaving the Peterites 164 to win.

The Peterites lost wickets at regular intervals in the process of crawling towards their target. At 161, Skipper Tony Opatha was run out attempting a second run. The scoreboard operators in their excitement credited St. Peter's with two runs and the scoreboard read 162 instead of 161.

The new batsman Nirmalendren scored a single which was recorded on scoreboard as the 163rd run. Lalith Silva taking strike scored another single, at which point the Josephian fielders ran off with the stumps.

On checking the scorebook it was found that the actual total was 163 and not 164 as was incorrectly indicated on the scoreboard. The game was subsequently awarded to St. Peter's but this left an unsavoury taste in the mouth. The fact that the Josephian fielders ran off the field compelled the umpires to award the match to the Peterites.

Looking back at first few years at the Joe-Pete, memories go back to many boyhood heroes. The teams of that era seemed to have been packed with outstanding players – or so it seemed to a boy in the primary and middle school. The names that come readily to mind are Tyronne Le Mercier, David Heyn, Maurice Deckker, Travice Fernando, Darrel Wimalaratne, Peter de Niese, Ravindra Fernando (I remember him making a century against Royal in 1964). The Patternott brothers, Aubrey, Rodney and Hamish, Tony Opatha, Ronnie Gunaratne (His century against Royal in 1968 ranks as one of the best I have seen) Denham Juriansz and Rory Inman of St. Peter's. The Joes were equally well represented with name like Chris Moreira, Joy and Berchman de Alwis, Placidus Liyanage, Polycarp Wijesekera, Alan de Costa, Victor Wimalasingham, Anil Peiris, Lalith de S. Wijeyaratne, Brian Obeysekera, Vernon Davidson and Hector Perera.

The Joes were led by Hector Perera in 1970. The Peterites batting first were all at sea against Rajiv Benedict and were bowled out for 105. Benedict took 6 wickets. The Joes rattled up a quick 252/7. When the Peterite batted a second time Chrishantha de Alwis the Peterite opener greeted Benedict's first 4 balls with boundaries. However, the Peterites eventually folded up for 164 leaving the Joes to score a mere 18 to win, which they did without a loss of a wicket. Benedict took 4 wickets in the second innings to end up with a match-bag of 10.

Fightback

Rajiv Benedict

The 1971 game saw a magnificent fight back from the Peterites. Batting first, the Joes declared their innings closed at 223/9. Once again the Peterites floundered against Rajiv Benedict and were bowled out for 121, Benedict taking another 5 wicket haul. Following-on, Chrishantha de Alwis – as he did in the previous year – treated Benedict with scant respect, once again hitting him for 4 boundaries in the first over. The 1st wicket pair raised the 50 in only 28 minutes. After two quick wickets were lost by the time the score reached 60, Roy Dias joined de Alwis and really got stuck into the tired Josephian bowlers. The 100 was raised in 60 minutes. The Peterites eventually declared at 235/8 scored in only 175 minutes of batting, leaving the Joes to score 135 to win in 62 minutes. The Joes made an attempt at this target but had to close shop when Gamini Goonesena took 3 quick wickets. They ended up at 88.6.

The 1972 game is probably the one all Peterites would like to forget. Batting first, the Peterites struggled to 112 all-out. In reply, the Josephians made their merry way to a quick 235 for 7 declared. Going-in for the second time, the Peterites were destroyed once again by the Benedict hoodoo and were bowled out for 36 – their lowest ever total in the series. Benedict had the magnificent figures of 14.5-12-06-08 – the best figures by a Josephian bowler at the Big-match (until it was bettered by Shinal Warnakula who took 9 wickets many years later) Two wickets in the First Innings gave him yet another 10 wicket haul at the big match.

The Peterites captained by the outstanding left-arm spinner Gamini goonesena hit back with a vengeance in 1973. Put into bat, they made 200/6 thanks to a century by Edgar Tavarayen. The Joes managed only 100 all out and were asked to follow-on. Fresher, Gerald Solomons who took 3 wickets in the first innings bowled a deadly spell to send the Joes crashing to 161 in their second innings. Solomons' figures read 28.5-10-43-07. The Peterites made the required run for the loss of 4 wickets to achieve a remarkable victory against all odds.

The 1978 encounter once again saw a result when the Josephian skipper Shamilal de S. Wijeyaratne made a generous declaration setting the Peterites a target of 180 in 140 minutes. St. Peter's lost two quick wickets for 12 runs but the next pair of Kitto Fernandopulle and Rohan Buultjens tore into the Josephian attack and set up a most unexpected victory for the Peterites. Walter Fernando added the finishing touches after the dismissal of Buultjens.

Buultjens – unbeaten centuries

Rohan Buultjens

Although the 1979 game did not produce a result, it will be long remembered for Rohan Buultjens' twin unbeaten centuries – The first and only occasion this has been achieved at the Joe-Pete. This effort by Buultjens overshadowed a fine opening partnership of 191 runs between the Josephian pair of Rohan Wijesinghe (Jr) and Ashley de Silva which came within 6 runs of equalling the record for the 1st wicket. During this partnership, we saw an enthralling battle between them and the Peterite fast bowlers Vinodhan John and Rumesh Ratnayake who bowled unchanged throughout the first session on the 2nd day. Incidentally 3 of the 4 players involved went on to represent the country while the fourth – Rohan Wijesinghe – gave-up cricket, I believe, to concentrate on his studies but not before he represented Sri Lanka under 19 against the Australian team that included David Boon.

A succession of draws followed thereafter, most of them boring and leaving very few memories of outstanding moments. This streak of draws has now extended up to date. As a result the game lost spectator interest. After the 1982 game ended in a forgettable draw, there was a spark of interest in 1983 when set to make 203 to win after collapsing for 113 in the first innings, the Joes led by a rollicking unbeaten 66 by Johathan Alles almost made it, falling short by a mere 18 runs.

The 1986 encounter was brought alive by perhaps the best innings that has been witnessed – played by Rohan Paulpillai, a classic left hander cast in the mould of great Peterite left-handers Joe Misso, Clive Inman and Rohan Buultjens. Set to make 211 to win in less than even time, Paulpillai tore into the Josephian attack in a majestic display of perfect cricket shots. He eventually perished at 125 and the Peterites fell short by only 19 runs.

It is curious that left-handers have been closely associated with Peterite success. Amazingly 11 of the 14 Peterite centurions have been left-handers. Similarly 5 out of the 7 winning captains have also been left-handers. A further point of interest is that 6 of the 7 winning captains have been bowlers, the exception being Clive Inman who was in any case was considered a genuine all-rounder as a schoolboy. In fact under his leadership, he had a haul of 5 wickets in the Josephian 2nd innings to set up the Peterite victory in 1955.

Spectators absent

From 1987 the venue was shifted to Khettarama. This was perhaps the beginning of the end for the Joe-Pete. Spectators kept away in large numbers and up to today they have not been lured back despite the move back to the Sara Stadium. A series of boring, forgettable draws ensued, with the exception of 1990 when an amazing spell of 8-16 by Dinesh Kekultota set St. Peter's up with a great chance for a victory. Set to score 87 in 18 overs, the Peterites made an absolute hash of it and ended struggling at 64 for 6 when stumps were drawn.

The Game was moved back to the Sara stadium in 1995. This failed to break the trend of a spate of boring draws. However, the 1997 game finally gave the spectators something to cheer about as it inched towards a nail-biting finish. After St. Peter's who batted first gained the narrowest of a 1 run 1 innings lead. In the 2nd innings, Shinal Warnakula ripped through the Peterite batting with figures of 9/40 – the best bowling performance of the series by a bowler of either side – to have the Peterites floundering at 77/9. However, a fighting last wicket stand of 45 between Dilshan Rupasinghe and the baby of the side, diminutive Chrishantha Peiris took St. Peter's to some degree of safety at 122 all-out. This left the Joes 124 to win but Peiris had not finished with them. He chipped in with a burst of 4/27 to have the Joes reeling at 106/8 at the close. The game could have gone either way.

The authorities had enough of the poor crowds and drawn games. In order to make the game interesting, a new format was introduced in 2000. Each side was restricted to 60 overs in the first innings. St. Peter's batting first reached 248 all-out in 59.4 overs. Kaushal Lokuarachchi top scored with 82 and Malin Silva contributed 59. When bad light stopped play a few minutes before the scheduled close, St. Joseph's had reached 128/4 but had consumed 45.2 overs in doing so. Ian Daniels was unbeaten on 80. A few minutes after the close of play, all hell broke loose around the Sara Stadium.

The LTTE cadres who had launched a terrorist attack on the parliament road sought refuge in the flats just outside the oval. The Army and the Air Force surrounded the area and prevented any movement of vehicles or personnel. Around 40 to 50 people were trapped inside the stadium until 7.30 am the next morning. My son and I were among them. A curfew was declared around the area and the game had to be called-off. An opportunity for an interesting finish was thus lost.

The 2002 game is the one that came closest to a result since the Peterite victory in 1978. It was a thrilling encounter and it was a pity that so much time was wasted due to continuous crowd invasions forcing the umpires to call-off the match due to bad light with St. Josephs needing 3 runs and St. Peter's needing to capture 1 more wicket in the 4 balls left. St. Peter's taking first lease of the wicket were bowled out for 200 with 1 ball remaining of their allotted 60 overs. St. Joseph's in their turn were bundled out for 139 in 36.2 overs. St. Peter's did not fare too well in their second essay and were bowled out for 162, leaving St. Joseph's 224 to win. What a chase it was, with fortunes continuously swinging either way until the last ball was bowled.

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Joe-Pete ’48 game a heart stopper

Posted on 09 October 2020 by admin

Courtesy: Supun Perera – Daily News of Friday, March 5, 2010.

As the open clear blue skies and bright sunny weather herald, yet another big match season dawns; Be it Royal-Thomian, Joe-Pete and many cricket encounters of traditional importance. The value of a traditional cricket encounter is that young and old, staunch and true together with those who departed after learning and those who left without learning will converge in large numbers (Even from Overseas) along with many other cricket lovers to witness the ‘Blue’ or the ‘Saints’ battle and partake as well in the festivities that centre around in these two glorious events.

The de Mel brothers (standing from left): Cletus de Mel, Carl de Mel, Rev. Fr. Joe de Mel. (Seated from left): Rodney de Mel, Royce de Mel, Maurice de Mel.

As I have always mentioned the Josephian-Peterite Cricket encounter which is commonly known as the ‘Battle of the Saints’ cricket encounter is one game which very often produces bright and entertaining two days of cricket and a game played with rich traditions. As for me; I Would for the benefit of the young and the cricket lovers in general; wish to recall to memory the 14th Joe–Pete encounter which was played in 1948.This year is of great importance since we gained Independence from British and the match was played at the Old Victoria Park SSC grounds on 19th and 20th of March 1948.

The Josephian team was led by that brilliant all rounder Joe de Mel and the Peterites were under Mike Chanmugan another versatile allrounder produced by the Bambalapitiya school. It was significant that from the very first second that the two captains went out to middle to toss for the choice of innings at the old SSC grounds, Victoria park; this game became Joe de Mel’s match. He won the first battle by winning the all important toss and without any hesitation elected to bat first on a perfect Batting strip. Yet within few minutes it was St Peter’s match. Out strode Joe de Mel again and Josephians were back in the fight, sensation followed sensation, fortune swayed from side to side and by the end of the first day; It was Joe de Mel’s match again.

On the second day within hours St Peter’s wrested the control back but for a brief period it was anybody’s game and it almost became no body’s game till ex- Josephian. Gerry Jayasuriya the Peterite tailender enlivened proceedings and when the fate of the match was in the balance. Then Joe de Mel; The Josephian skipper himself administered the ‘coup de grace’ and dealt the final blow to the Peterite hopes by bowling last man Gerry Jayasuriya out to give the Darley Road School a historic seven run victory! There is no doubt this is the most thrilling encounter played in this 75-year-old Battle of the Saints history.

As you look at the the match of 1948 in general the Peterites look a more formidable outfit packed with experience. They had six coloursmen who represented the Dion Walles’s invincible teams in the previous two years. They included the captain himself Mike Chanmugan, Harold de Silva, Darrel Weinman (later a famous neuro surgeon). Oswald Martinus, Douglas Fernando, Malcolm Vanakardie but yet they tasted defeat at the hands of Royal and St. Anthony’s.

On the other hand the Josephians looked a fresher laden side with only skipper Joe de Mel and Tommy Rodrigo being the Coloursmen. However they remained unbeaten throughout the season. To recount and recollect this historic encounter Joes started disastrously by losing four wickets for just 25 runs. But some intelligent batting by No. 04 bat Oscar Dalpethado and skipper de Mel; Joes reached a modest 180 in their first innings. Bobby Ghouse was the pick of the Peterite bowlers where he took an impressive five for 42.

When the Peterites started their innings they were well on course for a huge first innings total when they were sitting pretty at 116 for four. Then Joe de Mel strategically introduced to the attack and what a remarkable turn around of events thereafter. The game had taken a sudden turn and Peterites lost their last six wickets for the addition of just 18 runs. Finally the Petes were bundled out for paltry 134. The chief wreckers were Joe de Mel and Reggie Bagot who claimed 3 for 15 and 3 for 32 respectively. When the second day resumed the Josephians enjoyed a slender 46 run lead.

However their fortunes soon were in “Rough Waters” when Peterite spinner Malcolm Vanakardie bowling to an impeccable line. The Joes could muster only 88 runs in the second essay and Petes were left with 134 runs target with an ample time of 3 ½ hours of Play Left. Malcolm Vanakardie took 6 for 17 to destroy the Josephians in their second innings. Joes walked in to the field with much determination to defend this mere 134 runs openers cheaply. Then Harold de Silva and Bobby Ghouse the score to 90 for the loss of 04 wickets. Petes were left with 44 runs to get and their supporters looked jubilant since they were heading for ‘Hatrick’ of wins. At this moment Lucien Dep chipped in with two quick wickets, Donald Perera ended Harold de Silva’s resolute defence and the wicket of Hingert; Petes slumped from 90 for 4 to 93 for 8. Then a brief batting display of Carlton Senewiratne and Gerry Jayasuriya took the score to 121 for 08 which somewhat revived the Peterite hopes. Joe de Mel was once again in the thick of the action when he brought off a spectacular catch to dismiss Senewiratne off Dep for 09 and that brought the last Peterite batsman A. Nathan to the wicket.

When the score reached 127 skipper Joe de Mel the Josephian skipper brought himself on. In his second ball de Mel disturbed the defence of Jayasuriya and sent his stumps Cartwheeling! A sensational game of cricket was over and the ground was packed with Josephians with blue and white flags fluttering with sea of heads. Finally, Joes have clinched it by a whisker! A seven run win for the Darley Road School.

Like the Wijayaratne dynasty of St Joseph’s the de Mel brothers too have turned a golden leaf in the history books of this great Institution. Royce de Mel was the eldest of the six brothers who excelled in athletics and later went on to be the first Sri Lankan Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy. He was followed by Maurice de Mel, Rodney de Mel, Carl de Mel, Cletus de Mel and the youngest Joe de Mel (Now Rev. Fr. Joe de Mel) brought much repute to their Alma Mater by excelling in athletics and cricket respectively.

His grand nephew Prasan Leanage was a contemporary of yours, truly and a renowned cricketing warrior who led the Darley Road School at Cricket in 1989 and at present rendering a yeoman service by heading the Cricket Advisory of St. Joseph’s. “Rev. Fr. Joe de Mel still a source of inspiration. He loved and still continues to love sports and particularly Josephian cricket. He is an exemplary warrior in God’s World” observed Rev. Fr. Sylvester Ranasinghe the present rector of St. Joseph’s. To his opponents Joe de Mel was constantly an image of sullen defiance. His friendly and smiling face ; sometimes rushed his opponent to think too kindly of his prowess and his astuteness. As it has been said before of him no one ever saw him perform on or off the field with anything but grace and dignity.

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86th "Battle of the Saints" at The Oval on March 6th & 7th, 2020

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86th “Battle of the Saints” at The Oval on March 6th & 7th, 2020

Posted on 02 March 2020 by admin

The 86th Battle of the Saints annual cricket encounter between St. Joseph’s College and St. Peter’s College will be played on the 6th and 7th  of March at P. Sara Oval Grounds, Colombo and promises to deliver an exciting brand of cricket. The encounter will no doubt exemplify the great values, traditions and pageantry usually displayed by these two of the leading catholic schools in the country. 

In the past 85 encounters between these two prestigious schools, St Joseph’s have won the trophy 12 times while St Peter’s have bagged the trophy 10 times.

The Rev. Fr. Maurice Le Goc Memorial Trophy is currently in Bambalapitiya after the Peterites last won in 2016 under the captaincy of off-spinner Vinu Mohotty. The Josephians last registered a victory in 2008 under the leadership of opening batsman Ruwantha Fernandopulle.

This time around, the Josephians will be led by all-rounder Johanne De Zilva, whilst the boys from Bambalapitiya will be under the captaincy of wicket-keeper batsman, Shannon Fernando.

Speaking at a media conference, Rev. Fr. Ranjith Andradi, the Rector of the hosting school of the 86th ‘Battle of the Saints’, St. Joseph’s College, Colombo, said, “the fierce but friendly rivalry between Sri Lanka’s two leading catholic schools for the Rev. Fr. Maurice J. Le Goc Trophy is one of the most looked forward to events in Sri Lanka’s sporting calendar that draws both the young and old. I give my blessings to both schools.”

Rev. Fr. Rohitha Rodrigo, Rector of St. Peter’s College, Colombo, said, “The ‘Battle of the Saints’ annual cricket encounter between St. Joseph’s College, Colombo and St. Peter’s College, Colombo, has a rich history of tradition and comradery for over eight decades. The playing fields of the ‘Battle of the Saints’ have forged many players who have represented the game at the highest level and brought much honour to Mother Lanka. The ‘Big Match’ between our two institutions is one of the most looked forward to events in the Sri Lanka schools cricket calendar and this year will be no exception. I wish both schools the very best to deliver 2 days of exhilarating cricket!”

“We would like to thank the management of Dialog Axiata for the generous gesture to sponsor the 86th encounter of the Annual ‘Battle of the Saints’” were the words echoed by both Rectors.

Both schools have produced many cricketers, who have had the distinction of representing the national team, with Angelo Mathews, Chaminda Vaas, Thisara Perera, Dimuth Karunarathne, Ashley De Silva, Michael Vandort, Roshen Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Priyamal Perera from St. Joseph’s College and Roy Dias, Rumesh Rathnayake, Russell Arnold, Vinodhan John, Amal Silva, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Malinda Warnapura and Angelo Perera from St. Peter’s College being a few prominent names.

The much looked forward to 46th Josephian-Peterite limited overs match, which incidentally is the longest running limited over encounter between schools, is played for the Fr. Peter A Pillai trophy, and will be worked off on the 22nd of March at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) Grounds, Colombo.

A unique feature in this year’s ‘Battle of the Saints’ is a special enclosure that will accommodate old boys from both schools that have left their respective Alma Mater’s before 1990.

Hatton National Bank (HNB), American National College (ANC), Ceylinco Life, Elephant House, Keells Krest, Maggi, Ceylon Biscuits Ltd., Jetwing Hotels, Daraz, Privilege Fashions and Sun FM have already come forward to support the event as sponsors.

Nirmalal Perera, Captain of the Josephian XI in 1981, will grace the Big match as the Chief Guest, while Damian Perera who skippered the Peterite XI in 1994, will be the Chief Guest at the limited over game. Further, the members of the 1970 team, led by Hector Perera of St. Joseph’s and Rory Inman of St. Peter’s will grace the 86th edition of the ‘Battle of the Saints’ as the Guests of Honour.

The Josephian-Peterite two-day encounter as well as the one-day match will be telecasted LIVE on Dialog Television, live-streamed on ThePapare.com and Dialog ‘Viu’ mobile.

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St. Joseph's College win 45th Limited Over encounter on D/L method

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St. Joseph’s College win 45th Limited Over encounter on D/L method

Posted on 23 March 2019 by admin

Gamage heroics help Joes outclass St. Peter’s

Battle of the Saints – 45th One Day Encounter.

SCORES:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SJC – 250 All Out in 49.3 Overs (Lakshan Gamage 101; Sachinta Ravindu 74 

Bowling  O M R W Econ
Tariq Saboor 10 0 42 4 4.20
  8.3 0 51 3 6.14

SPC – 175 for the loss of 5 wickets in 41 Overs (Dinith Anjula 32; Shannon Fernando 20; Santhush Gunathilaka 52; Shivan Perera 24 n.o.

BOWLING O M R W ECON
Gamage 9 3 31 1 3.44
  4 0 27 0 6.75
Ashen Daniel 8 0 26 3 3.25

 

St. Joseph’s College, inspired by a brilliant seventh wicket partnership between Lakshan Gamage and Sachintha Mahindasinghe, beat arch-rivals St. Peter’s College by 10 runs in the Battle of the Saints 45th limited overs encounter which was decided by the DLS method today SSC grounds.

With both Captains needing to bat first the Josephian skipper Ashein Daniel won the toss and got the advantage. The start for the Josephians was not the greatest as they would have expected as the Peterites’ opening fast bowlers wreaked havoc on the Maradana lads.

The Josephians were soon reduced to 61/6 by the 19th over. Left arm seamer Tariq Saboor was brilliant with the new ball as he took two wickets in his opening spell.

1 wicket while half-centurions in the 2-Day encounter, both Dilesh Perera and Dineth Jayakody were sent off through run out’s. Apart from the 1 wicket in his opening spell, Gunatilake also held on to a brilliant catch to dismiss Wellalage off the bowling of off-spinner Ruvin Seneviratne.

Following the early Lakshan Gamage and Sachintha Mahindasinghe put on an excellent partnership to revive the Josephian innings. The duo added 179 runs for the 7th wicket taking their team from 61/6 to a surprising yet commanding 240 by the 48th over.

This stand also went past the Joe-Pete One Day record for the highest partnership for any wicket which was set by Peterites Sulakshana Fernando and Manelkar De Silva in 2017 for the 4th wicket.

During the record-stand, Lakshan Gamage scored a breathtaking century in just 89 included 7 boundaries and 2 big sixes. His partner Mahindasinghe faced 104 deliveries for his 74 runs and played a vital supporting role to Gamage.

Despite late blows from the Peterite towards the end, St. Joseph’s ended on a competitive 250 losing all their in wickets in 49.3 overs. 10 overs with magnificent figures of 4/42 while Gunatilake’s figures read as 3/51.

The Peterite run-chase got off to a slow start as the openers took 8.3 overs to score 29 runs. Wicket-keeper, Shannon Fernando was the first wicket to fall as he was dismissed by fast bowler Gamage for 20. His opening partner Dinith Anjula was also sent back after a 49-run 2nd wicket stand as left-arm spinner Shalinda Seneviratne dismissed him for 32.

Continuing the good form, he had during the 2nd wicket partnership, Gunatilake added 45 more runs together with skipper Ranmith Jayasena. The best batting pair of St. Peter’s to take the game away from the Joes as they were milking the ball swiftly. When the score was on 123/2 in the 32nd over, Josephain skipper and off spinner Ashein Daniel stepped up to dismiss Gunatilake for 52.

In his very next over Daniel struck twice sending both Jayasena and Rodrigo back to the hut. Rodrigo the one-day encounter after being left out in the two-day, got out in the very first ball he faced trying to clear the long-on boundary.

Vice-Captain Nipunaka Fonseka and Shivan Perera together were involved in an unbeaten 45-run 6th wicket stand when play was stopped due to bad light. The duo during their stay in the middle tried to inch towards the DLS par score as the skies grew darker gradually. Unfortunately for the Peterites, they were short of 10 runs when play was stopped.

With this win, the Josephians will go further up in the series tally with 23 wins against the 20 wins recorded by their opponents.

The awards for individual brilliance were given out as follows,

  • Man of the Match – Lakshan Gamage (St. Joseph’s)
  • Best Fielder – Santhush Gunatilake (St. Peter’s)
  • Best Bowler – Ashain Daniel (St. Joseph’s)
  • Best Batsman – Sachintha Mahindasinghe (St. Joseph’s)

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85th Battle of the Saints encounter ends in tame draw

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85th Battle of the Saints encounter ends in tame draw

Posted on 03 March 2019 by admin

 

The 85th edition of the traditional Josephian-Peterite annual cricket encounter was played on Friday, March 1st & Sat. March 2nd, 2019. The 'SAINTS' went marching in for another confrontation on familiar hunting grounds – the P. Sara Oval, competing for the Rev. Fr. Maurice Le Goc Challenge Trophy. Both teams had fared reasonably well during the Inter-School cricket season and there was an aura of excitement leading up to the game. The school by the Beira was led by Ashain Daniel, an off-spinner of repute. The school by the Wellawatta Canal was led by lanky Ranmith Jayasena, 4th year, who had amassed over 700 runs with two centuries.

The two prestigious Catholic institutions will battle hard for the RevFr Maurice Le Goc trophy, an encounter which began way back in 1933 with St. Joseph’s College winning the inaugural clash. RevFr Maurice Le Goc was the rector of both institutions and the trophy for the ‘Big match’ is named in his He first served at St. Joseph’s College and then went on to become the first rector at St. Peter’s College. Going by archived history, the Josephians started playing cricket in 1898 while St. Peter's College had its baptism to cricket in 1928. Henry A.  Silva and Norman Paternott were the first captains of SJC and SPC respectively. The Josephian-Peterite encounter had its baptism in 1933. The  of captaining the inaugural Josephian-Peterite Encounter in 1933 fell on Robert Fernando – St. Joseph's College and George Jayaweera – St. Peter's College. 

The Josephian-Peterite Series between two of the leading Roman Catholic institutions have produced few wins in the eighty-five years with the Josephians winning 12 'Big Matches' and the Peterites – 10, while 63 have ended in 'no-decision'. St. Joseph’s College last won under the leadership of Ruwantha Fernandopulle in 2008 while St. Peter’s College recorded their last win in 2016 under the leadership of Vinu Mohotty.

The game is played over 2-days with a 60-over cap or limit in the first innings for each team. The first innings being restricted to 60 overs will once again spice up the match with a total of 210 overs scheduled to be bowled over the course of two days.  Despite the limit on a decision has been wanting with 74 per cent of the games in the series ending in a draw. This has prompted this writer to suggest a review of the structure of the game. It is best to explore the possibility of playing over three days with a limit of 75-overs in the first innings only. We have seen revolutionary changes in history, such as the destruction of the "Berlin Wall", introduction of limited over cricket (ODI & T20) and many others. So why not change the format of the "Battle of the Saints".

The general logistics connected with organizing and planning the event have reached another level with a Joint Organizing Committee comprising 'Old Boys' from both schools working hard in unison to cover all bases and provide a pleasant environment for the spectators who join in the festivities. Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel (Rector, SJC) and Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin (Rector, SPC) are both heavily engaged in the pre-game planning and provides insightful leadership to ensure the event takes place inclusive of the values established by the pioneers who started this historical cricket match in 1933.

85th Encounter Match Update on March 1&2, 2019

  The coin toss was won by Josephian skipper Ashain Daniel, who elected to field first. The Peterites scored 219 runs in the mandatory 60 overs. Dinith Anjula, 41, Santhush Gunathilake, 72, Rankith Jayasena, 21, Nipunaka Fonseka, 21, Wanuja Sahan, 26, helped boost the score.   , top scoring for the Peterites with 72 runs coming in at #3. He and  Anjula were associated in a productive 59-run partnership. The run-rate was 3.65 per over and the Peterites fell short by about 21 runs that would have made it a good total. Skipper Ashain Daniel bowled best taking 3 for 58. 

In reply, the Josephians got off to a splendid star with openers Shevon Fonseka, 35, and Johanne  Zilva, 45, putting on 72 runs for the opening wicket. However, a quick turnaround saw Kanishka Maduwantha take two wickets in 2 balls sending De Zilva and Shevon Daniel back to the pavilion. This brought out Dineth Jayakody and Dilesh Perera to stem the Josephian innings with an entertaining stand of 115 runs for the fourth wicket.  77 runs laced with six fours and two sixes (in 110 balls) before he was bowled by Shivan Perera. Perera scored 62 inclusive of six fours and a one six. 19 in 15 balls) and Sachintha Mahindasinghe (22 in 15 balls) chipped in with 19 and 22 runs respectively. The Josephians raced to a strong 286/8 in their allotted 60 overs on second day's play, as the Josephians secured a crucial 67 run lead. 

Facing a deficit of 67 runs, the Josephians fought back reducing the Peterites to 88 for five wickets and then 106 for six wickets in the 2nd innings. Skipper Ashian Daniel, Lakshan Gamage, Ashan and Shalinda Senaviratne were responsible for the early damage as as three batsmen lost their wickets without reaching double figures. The Petes had just had taken a lead of 39 runs when their sixth wicket fell in the second innings well before tea. The Joes were in a comfortable position at this stage and staring at a possible win. But this was not to be – fought back. Former skipper Santhush Gunathilaka161*, and Kanishka Maduwantha89*, defied the Josephian attack and a possible win,

"BATTLE OF THE SAINTS" – SOME SERIES RECORDS + TRIVIA OF NOTE (UP TO AND INCLUDING 2019)

  • Cricket Encounter inaugurated in 1933;
  • Robert Fernando led St. Joseph's College in 1933;
  • George Jayaweera led St. Peter's College in 1933;
  • The highest individual score in a 'big match' is 204 runs scored by Clive Inman in 1954;
  • Best bowling figures of 9 for 41 in an inning held by Shenal Warnakula of St. Joseph's College in 1997;
  • Highest team score for St. Joseph's College is 382 under the Captaincy of Ken Serpanchy in 1952;
  • Highest team score for St. Peter's College is 345 under the captaincy of Percy Perera in 1938;
  • Lowest team score for St. Joseph's College is 56 in 1938 under the captaincy of Edward Markus;
  • Lowest team score for St. Peter's College is 36 in 1972 under the captaincy of Roy Dias;
  • The highest aggregate of runs in a 'big match' – 233  by Santhush Gunathilake in 2019 (72 + 161 = 233);
  • The highest partnership for any wicket in a 'big match' – 219 by Fred Pereira and David Arndt for St. Joseph's College in 1934.

  Record partnerships

 

  •  Kanishka Maduwantha and Santhush Gunathilake added an unbroken 211 runs for the 7th wicket as they broke a number of records in the process. The 211 partnership was the all-time highest partnership for any wicket for the Peterites as the duo eclipsed the record of 182 set by Clive Inman, 204 (Retd.) and Kenneth Duckworth, 59, (6th wicket) in the year 1954. 
  • An old record is still standing. Fred Perera, 114 not out and David Arndt, 110 for St. Joseph's hold the record for the highest partnership for any wicket when the pair made 219 runs 1934 in the 2nd encounter of the Josephian-Peterite series. ​​
  • Santhush Gunathilake’s 2019 match aggregate of 233 runs (72 + 161) is the highest match aggregate in the entire series. This record was previously held by Rohan Buultjens of St. Peter's College who had a match aggregate of 209 runs (100 + 109) in 1979.
  • Santhush Gunathilake created another Peterite record when he went past the season tally of 1547 runs in a season held by Angelo Perera in 2009.

 

TEAMS

St. Peter's College – Dinith Anjula, Banuka De Silva, Santhush Gunathilaka, Ranmith Jayasena (Captain), Nipunaka Fonseka, Shivaan Perera, Shannon Fernando, Kanishka Maduwantha, Wanuja Sahan, Ruvin Senevirathne, Tariq Saboor.

St. Joseph's College – Sheran Fonseka, Johanne De Zilva, Shevon Daniel, Dineth Jayakody, Dunith Wellalage, Dilesh Perera, Sachintha Mahindasinghe, Lakshan Gamage, Ashain Daniel (Captain), Ashan De Alwis, Shalinda Senevirathne

 

Match Summary & Award Winners
St Joseph’s College drew with St Peter’s College in the 85th Battle of the Saints Cricket encounter played at the P Sara Oval.

St Peter’s College 1st Innings 219 all out in 60 overs
2 for 38, Ashan 2 for 43, Ashian Daniel 3 58

St Joseph’s College 1st Innings 286 for 8 in 60 overs
Johanne de Zilva 45, Sheran Fonseka 37, Dineth Jayakody 77, Dilesh Perera 62, Sachintha Mahindasinghe 22

St Peter’s College 2nd Innings 317 for 6 in 79 overs at
Daniel 2 65

  • Man of the Match Santhush Gunatilleke (SPC)
  • Best All Rounder Kanishka Maduwantha (SPC)
  • Best Batsman Santhush Gunatilleke (SPC)
  • Best Bowler Ashian Daniel (SJC)
  • Best Fielder Sheran Fonseka (SJC)

 

 

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85th "Battle of the Saints": Teams equally balanced, keen tussle on the cards

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85th “Battle of the Saints”: Teams equally balanced, keen tussle on the cards

Posted on 26 February 2019 by admin

Courtesy: By M. Shamil Amit – Sunday Times.

All roads for the young and of the two premier Catholic schools in Colombo–St. Joseph’s and St. Peter’s will lead to the P. Sara Stadium as their two teams march on to the cricket field for annual “Battle of the Saints” encounter which is the 85th in the series on March 1 and 2.

St. Peter’s College Team 2019

From the 84 encounters fought out for the Rev. Fr. Maurice Le Goc Memorial Trophy that has been played so far the Josephians lead the series with 12 wins their last win in 2008 under the leadership of Ruwantha Fernandopulle while have ten wins having won the encounter in 2016 under Vinu Mohottti thanks to the sportsmanship of St. Joseph’s rector, Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel, who awarded the win to St. Peter’s due to the crowd when the Peterites was on the verge of winning the game.

However, this time out a keen tussle could be witnessed due to the fact that the two teams are evenly balanced and having undergone fluctuated fortunes and also neither of the two is unbeaten.

According to the form of the two teams this season, the led by Ranmith Jayasena have played14 matches recording two outright wins against President’s Kotte and Lumbini MV but they had a setback a few days ago when they were defeated by Mahinda in the Under 19 pre-quarter final.

On the hand the Josephians led by Sri Lanka youth player Ashian Daniel too cannot be satisfied with their performance and from the 16 matches they have played they recorded four outright wins against St. Patrick’s Jaffna, Gurukula MV Kelaniya, St. Sylvester’s and Devapathiraja MMV Rathgama whilst undergoing two outright defeats to Maris Stella and St. Anthony’s Katugastota.

The cynosure of all eyes in this encounter is no doubt going to be Santhusha Gunatileke the last year captain of St. Peter’s. terrific form and having missed out on reaching the 1000 runs for two successive years, he achieved the feat this season as he has accumulated nearly 1200 runs which includes a double ton of unbeaten 242 against Ananda, five tons and four half tons.

The Peterites will no doubt be looking forward for a fine performance from this batsman in form and Santhush will be aiming to end the season on a high note. To support him skipper Ranmith who has scored over 630 runs inclusive of two tons and four half tons along with deputy skipper Nimnaka Fonseka, Bhanuka Silva, Dinith Anjula, Shivan Perera and Shannon Fernando are the other players to take note of the side.

The Peterite bowling will revolve around two bowlers Kanishka Maduwantha who is their top wicket taker this season with 54 scalps that includes seven five wicket hauls and Ruvin Seneviratne who has taken 47 wickets.

The pair will be expecting the support from Santhush, Tariq Saboor and Shivan Perera who together share 75 wickets between them along with skipper Ranmith.

The Josephians have a host of batsmen in their team who could be a thorn in the flesh for the Peterite bowlers in the likes of Dineth Jayakody who is their leading run scorer of the side with 535 runs, deputy skipper Johanne Ziva  (427), Shevon Daniel (416), Sheran Fonseka (398), Sachintha Ravindu (376) and Dunith Wellalage (302).

The Josephian bowling attack has been in the hands of Salinda Senaviratne who is the leading wicket taker with 67 wickets to his credit and Miranga Wickramage who has taken 28 wickets. Apart from the duo skipper Wellalage who has been unable to make any impression so far and Lakshan Gamage will have to support them for the Josepians to control the Peterite batting.

Nevertheless, for any school traditional encounter is something special and as mentioned even though the Josephians are coming into the game having the edge, they cannot afford to take the Peterities lightly, as in the past the underdogs have come out on top and likewise the two teams’ posses’ talented players which is one of the that it could be anybody’s game.

The two day encounter will be followed by the 45th limited over encounter which is played for the Fr. Peter A. Pillai trophy which is scheduled to be played on March 23 at SSC ground. In this segment too the Josephians are leading with 22 wins who were the winners last year the 20 by the Peterites with two matches being washed out.

St. Joseph’s College Team 2019

 

 

 

 

 

Teams:

St. Joseph’s
Ashian Daniel (Captain), Johannne de Zilva, Shevon Daniel, Dunith Wellalage, Lakshan Gamage, Sheran Fonseka, Dineth Jayakody, Miranga Wickramage, Salinda Seneviratne, Shevaan Rasool, Dilesh Perera, Savhinda Ravindu, Dinal Anuradha, Ashan de Alwis, Mithira Thenura, Rishitha Perera, Yesith Rupasinghe.
St. Peter’s
Ranmith Jayasena (Captain, Nipunaka Fonseka, Santhush Gunatileke, Kanishka Maduwantha, Shivan Perera, Tariq Saboor, Dinith Anjula, Ruwin Seneviratne, Shannon Fernando, Bhanuka de Silva, Wanuja Sahan, Prabasara Herath, Trisehan Wickramasinghe, Vinuda Liayange, Himsara Randeni, Lashen Rodrigo, Rishika Dawatage, Shenal Boteju

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84th "Battle of the Saints" at P. Sara Oval on March 2nd & 3rd

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84th “Battle of the Saints” at P. Sara Oval on March 2nd & 3rd

Posted on 01 March 2018 by admin

Friday, March 2, 2018.

 Josephian captain Jehan Daniel and Peterite skipper Santhush Gunathilake with the Rev.Fr Maurice Le Goc trophy which the two schools will play for in the 84th Battle of the Saints encounter at the P Sara Oval today

The 84th Battle of the Saints between St. Peter’s College and St. Joseph’s College will unfold with usual comradeship at P.Sara Oval today and tomorrow.

Two days of exciting cricket can be expected from these two Catholic schools, even though St. Joseph’s College has a slight edge due to their recent purple-patch leading up to the ‘Big Match’. Meanwhile St. Peter’s will try hard to turn tables on the Joes and bring a victory to the Bambalapitiya school.

The two prestigious institutions will battle it out for the Rev.Fr Maurice Le Goc trophy, which started way back in 1933 with St. Joseph’s College winning the inaugural clash. Robert Fernando led St. Joseph’s College in the first encounter while George Jayaweera led St. Peter’s College.

Rev.Fr Maurice Le Goc was the rector of both the schools and the trophy for the ‘Big’ match is named in his honour. He first served at St. Joseph’s College and then went on to become the first rector at St. Peter’s College.

Of the 83 matches played between these two great cricketing schools so far St. Joseph’s lead the tally with 12 wins while St. Peter’s have won on 10 occasions with 61 matches ending in draws.

St. Joseph’s last won the 74th Battle of the Saints under the leadership of Ruwantha Fernandopulle in 2008 and St. Peter’s won the 82nd Battle of the Saints under all rounder Vinu Mohotti’s captaincy in 2016.

The highest score in the ‘Battle of the Saints’ series is by St Joseph’s when they made 382 in 1982 under the leadership of Ken Serpanchy. The highest Peterite score was in 1938 under Percy Perera where they accumulated 345 runs.

St.Peter’s were bowled out for a paltry score of 36 in 1972 and incidentally this remains the lowest score of the series. St. Joseph’s lowest score was 56 in 1938. The highest individual score of the series is 204 by Clive Inman in 1954 and the best bowling figures for an inning is 9 for 41 by Shenal Warnakula of St Joseph’s in 1997.

St.Peters will be led by Sri Lanka under 19 cricketer cum all rounder Santhush Gunathilaka and they’ve had a mixed season recording five outright wins and three outright loses as well.

“Big match is a totally a different game to other matches. We are going into this match as the underdogs and we are hoping to play positive cricket and try our best to win the trophy again which we last won in 2016” said Gunathilaka.

Spinners Sachin Silva and Ameen Miflal have brought many strong batting lineups down to their knees as they have taken over 175 wickets between them this season. If these two bowlers show the same form St. Joseph’s will have a difficult time.

The two pillars of the Peterite batting are Shalith Fernando who tops the batting with nearly 750 runs while all rounder and left handed batsmen Ranmith Jayasena with a tally of over 700 runs.

The other top scorers are Gunathilake over 675 runs, Shannon Fernando close to 650 runs and Sulakshana Fernando nearly 500 runs. They will be expected to make their contributions to bolster the Peters scoreboard. They have got their team off to blazing starts many times this season and they will be itching to continue the trend this weekend in the most important big match as well.

Former St.Peter’s 1st XI skipper and Sri Lanka cricketer Malinda Warnapura who coaches the Peterites said, “We have won five games outright this year due to having a balanced side and we go out as underdogs with Shalith and Ranmith leading the way in the batting department. We are also lucky to have as assistant coaches Kito Fernandopulle and Shanaka Perera and a fabulous bowling coach in Crishantha Peiris. He (Peiris) has produced two wicket-taking match winners in spinners Ameen who has got over 100 wickets under his belt and Sachin 70 scalps. This is the main reason we have achieved five outright wins along with our batters this season. We will try our level best to play a good brand of cricket and since this is a big match, whoever absorbs the pressure in the end will come out on top.”

Jehan Daniel the Josephian skipper weighing his team chances said, “We are going into this game as favourites and along with all my team mates we will play positive cricket to bring the trophy back to our college which has eluded us for the past nine years.”

Revan Kelly, Lakshan Gamage and vice-captain Nipun Sumanasinghe’s success with the bat will be very vital for the Josephian’s chances of regaining the trophy. Kelly is the top run-scorer for the Darley Road boys with over 1100 runs this season while Sumanasinghe and Lakshan Gamage have scored over 700 runs. Fast-bowling all-rounder cum captain Daniel will need to shine as he has a niche for performing on ‘big’ occasions.

Meanwhile Jehan’s cousin brother Ashien Daniel together with Dunith Wellalage have been lethal throughout the season taking over 135 wickets between them.

“Both sides are very strong and have done well this season. Batting is our strength as we have a definite advantage with our batters doing really well in the ongoing school season along with our bowlers,” said veteran Sri Lanka cricketer cum Josephian coach Roger Wijesuriya. “I am trying my best to see the match ends on a good note. We will set the bench mark in this game for sure.”

With the first-innings restricted to 60 over’s per side since year 2000, both these teams will have an equal opportunity to produce a noteworthy team performance and win the game, but most of the matches at P. Sara Oval have produced high scores even though the bowlers had enjoyed the surface.

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