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84th "Battle of the Saints" on March 2nd & 3rd ends in a tame draw

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84th “Battle of the Saints” on March 2nd & 3rd ends in a tame draw

Posted on 04 March 2018 by admin

SJC XI 2018

The 84th "Battle of the Saints" encounter ended in a tame draw, in favour of the underdogs St. Peter's College who had a 49-run lead in the first innings. The Josephians forced the draw by batting through the better part of day-2 and giving their rivals only 9 overs to make 189 runs for a win – an impossible task. At the end of the day Peterites provided entertaining cricket and were 57 for the loss 1-wicket at close of play. It was a disappointing finish from a spectator standpoint. But the Josephians would not have ti any other way.

The match was played before a large crowd of spectators on Friday (March 2nd) and Saturday (March 3rd) at the P. Sara Stadium. Kudos to "ThePapare.Com" powered by Dialog who broadcast the match on both day much to the delight of the Joes and Peterites all over the world. In fact this writer had the distinct pleasure of watching both day's play from Toronto, Canada on a large screen monitor and the clarity of the broadcast was awesome. Well done 'ThePapare', we are grateful for the outstanding service provided to the viewers all over the world. Thank you.

SPC XI 2018

Peterite skipper Santhush Gunathilake won the all important toss and elected to field. A good decision in retrospect. The Josephians went out favourites in this 84th encounter and had a better all-round side compared to the Peterites. A maximum of 60 overs per team in the first innings over has been a mandatory policy adapted by the joint committee many years back. The objective of this decision was to trigger a result in the big match. This did not play into the game as the Josephians were all out in their first innings for 195 in 53.2 overs. Sachin Silva took three wickets for 24 runs and Mohammed Ameen grabbed two wickets for 71 runs.

The Peterites had their rivals struggling for survival in both inningsa. The Petes had the Joes batting in tatters on 68 for 4 before the Josephian captain Jehan Daniel came to their rescue with a quick-fire knock of 93 in only 115 balls that included three boundaries and half a dozen sixes. The right and left arm spin combination of Sachin Silva and Mohamed Ameen who made the early breakthroughs did the damage. Skipper Jehan Daniels led from the front and steered the Joes out of trouble by scoring a blistering 93 runs. Daniels was unfortunate to be caught by the rival skipper Gunathilake attempting a big hit. In reply the Peterites rattled up 244 runs in the mandatory 60 overs with a 49-run lead in the first innings. Shalith Fernando, 58, and Ranmith Jayasena, 55, batted best for the Peterites and ensured that they passed the Josephian first innings total easily. Fernando contributed 58 with six fours and two sixes while Jayasena chipped in with 55 with four fours. Shalith Fernando and Sulakshana Fernando associated in a 91-run stand for the third wicket on the previous day.

The Peterites in their turn helped by half tons by Shalith Fernando and Ranmith Jayasena ended the day in a strong position of 190 for 6. Resuming on day two and with 11 overs of batting left saw the overnight pair Pabasara Herath and Kanishka Maduwantha adding a further 28 runs before being separated with the dismissal of Pabasara who made a valuable 38 runs which had three boundaries and a six.


The Josephians batting for the second time with a deficit of 49 runs, saw the openers Johanne de Silva and Revan Kelly sharing  43 runs before being separated and they lost another quick wicket for the addition of four runs. Nipun Sumanasinghe and Jehan Fernandopulle added 34 runs for the third wicket and from there on, they lost wickets at regular intervals and the dismissal of skipper Jehan Daniel cheaply saw them falling back and slid to 146 for 7. Dineth Jayakody who remained unbeaten on 55 with four boundaries and a six and Dunith Wellalage who made 44 took them to safety with the duo denying further success for the Peterite bowlers. The pair put on a valuable match saving partnership of 80 runs for the eighth wicket which sealed the game for a draw as the Josephians ended the day on 237 for 8 facing 81 overs.

Like it is done in the past the second innings was a big bore with this time the Joes playing safe to ensure a draw utilizing as many as 83 overs to score 237 for 8 and declare leaving the Peterites to make 189 in 15 overs which even a machine would not have been able to do. In this writer's opinion, the Josephians would have done well to declare their second innings on reaching 200 runs leaving the 152 runs to score in about 20 overs. This would have turned the match into an interesting battle. But the Joes played it safe to record another drab draw.

When the match ended the Peterites reached 57 for 1 in nine overs with Santhush Gunatilleke making 39. And so the big match ended in a tame draw. On the first day Sri Lanka youth player and Joes skipper Jehan Daniel scored 93 with six sixes and made only 24 in the second innings. However, there was little doubt that Daniels was easily the best player on the ground on both sides. He was unfortunate to miss his coveted century by 7 runs but he saved the Josephians from recording a low first innings score. 


  • Best Fielder Pabasara Herath – SPC
  • Best Bowler Lakshan Gamage – SJC
  • Best Batsman Shalith Fernando – SPC
  • Best Allrounder Dunith Wellalage – SJC
  • Man of the Match Jehan Daniel – SJC



Sri Lanka under 19 cricketer Jehan Daniel played the role of savior to rescue St Joseph’s College from dire straits at 10 for 5 to a respectable 205 on the opening day of the 83rd Battle of the Saints encounter against St Peter’s College at the P Sara Oval yesterday.

By the close the game was evenly poised with St Peter’s replying with 138 for five wickets.

Daniel’s magnificent century saved St. Joseph’s the blushes and enabled them to take the upper hand.

Daniel came to the crease with his side tottering at 10 for 5 after skipper Harin Cooray had won the toss and elected to bat first. However in the first session’s play things go the way the Joes would have planned.

Under 19 player cum Peterite vice-captain and right arm fast bowler Manelker de Silva and his new ball partner Santhush Gunathilake combined together to rip through the batting line up.

Gunathilake ran through the Joes top order by making the early breakthrough in his first two overs when he dismissed openers Cameron Duruge and took the prize wicket of Nipun Sumanasinghe who has scored 1000 runs this season. Manelker De Silva added salt to the wound of the Josephians when he got rid of Dineth Madurawela for one as St. Joseph’s slid to 3 for 3. To make matters worse for the Joes both Thashan Perera and Havin Perera were run out due to brilliant fielding and half the Joes side was out for 10. A sixth wicket partnership of 56 between Daniel and wicket keeper Shevan Fonseka (26) addressed the slump. The stand was ended with another run out of Fonseka following a direct throw from Ranmith Jayasena, son of Panadura SC cricketer Mangala Jayasena.



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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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