44th Battle of the Saints Limited over match won by St. Joseph's College by 87 runs

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44th Battle of the Saints Limited over match won by St. Joseph’s College by 87 runs

Posted on 03 April 2018 by admin

The Josephian-Peterite limited overs encounter which is the longest running Limited Over encounter in the country and played for the Rev.Fr. Peter A. Pillai trophy was worked off for the 44th consecutive year at the SSC grounds in Colombo on Saturday, March 24, 2018.


A solid all-round effort by St. Joseph’s College enabled them to beat arch rival St. Peter’s College by 87 runs in their 44th Battle of the Saints annual limiter overs cricket encounter and win the Fr. Peter Pillai trophy at the SSC ground in Colombo yesterday.

The Joes electing to bat first made 259 in 49.2 overs as Revan Kelley (59), Nipun Sumanasinghe (53) and Dunith Wellalage (37) piled up the runs.

The Peterites got off to a disastrous start losing three wickets for just six runs and never recovered only to be bowled out for 172 as the Daniel duo of Jehan and Ashian grabbed four scalps each. Only Santhush Gunathilake with 49 and Ranmith Jayasena (48) offered some resistance.

Jehan Daniel skipper of St. Joseph’s was adjudicated as man of the match.

St. Joseph’s: 259 in 49.2 overs (Revan Kelly 59, Nipun Sumanasinghe 53, Dunith Wellalage 37, Jehan Daniel 26, Lakshan Gamage 26, Dilesh Perera 19, Shivan Perera 2/32, Santhush Gunathilake 2/44, Mohamed Ameen 2/60)

St.Peter’s: 172 in 38.4 overs (Santhush Gunathilake 49, Ranmith Jayasena 48, Dinith Anjula 25, Jehan Daniel 4/21, Ashian Daniel 4/32)-(YK) 



The Josephian skipper and Sri Lanka U19 vice captain, Jehan Daniel called correct at the toss and the Josephians batted first on what looked like a good track to bat on. Johanne De Zilva fell early to the left arm spin of Miflal Ameen but experienced campaigners Revan Kelly and Nipun Sumanasinghe resurrected the innings with both batsman making half centuries. Skipper Daniel hit a couple of lusty blows during his short stay but he fell to some canny bowling from Ameen.

The Josephians struggled during the middle overs to gain any momentum but 15 year old Dunith Wellalage gave the innings much needed impetus with a fluent 37, though his dismissal sparked a mini collapse as the Josephians were all-out for 259 after being 237/5. Ameen, Santhush Gunathilaka and Shivan Perera all picked two wickets apiece for the Peterites.

The Peterite run chase got off to a horror start with their top order bar skipper Gunathilaka being dismissed in quick succession as they were reduced to 3/06. Jehan Daniel had his tail up for the Josephians dismissing both right handers with in-swingers to trap them in front while Lakshan Gamage picked up the first wicket to fall.

It was a grand recovery from there onwards for the Peterites through Gunathilaka and Ranmith Jayasena as the duo initially took time before starting to break free as they added 103 runs for the fourth wicket. Then came the most telling point in the match when Jehan Daniel brought himself back into the attack to capture the vital scalp of Jayasena who was unfortunate to be dismissed on 48.

The other Daniel (Ashain) also got into the act as he dismissed the Peterite skipper who was looking well set for a big one to put a halt to the Peterite run chase. The boys from Bambalapitiya never really recovered from there onwards as they eventually folded up for 172 handing a massive 87 run victory to the Josephians.

Ashain Daniel was unfortunate to not pick a five wicket haul but he ended with outstanding figures of 4/32 while captain Jehan Daniel picked up the last wicket to fall to end with a stunning 4/21 as the Josephians recorded a win in the series after 2014.

Jehan Daniel and Ashain Daniel were named man of the match and best bowler respectively while Revan Kelly won the best batsman’s award for his crucial 59. Sulakshana Fernando was named best fielder in the match for his catch and an amazing run out while Santhush Gunathilaka and Ranmith Jayasena won the award for the ‘partnership of the match’.




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44th "Battle of the Saints" limited over encounter on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at SSC grounds

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44th “Battle of the Saints” limited over encounter on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at SSC grounds

Posted on 19 March 2018 by admin

 The limited over "Battle of the Saints" was launched in 1975. The honour of captaining the inaugural game belonged to Dushan Soza (SJC) and Bernard Wijetunga (SPC).Around this time, the 50-over game was gathering momentum throughout the cricketing playing nations. The Josephian-Peterite limited over game was the first amongst schools in Sri Lanka. St. Joseph's College is ahead with 21 wins while the Peterites have won 20 matches including a daring win in 2017.

2018 marks the 44th encounter and the game will be played on Saturday, March 24th at SSC grounds. 

Recap of 43rd Encounter played at SSC Grounds on March 25, 2017.

St. Peter’s College recorded their third successive win against traditional rivals St. Joseph’s College with a 54-run victory in their 43rd annual Limited Overs cricket encounter played at the SSC ground in Colombo today (25). The high-scoring match saw St. Peter’s taking first lease of the wicket were steered by two batting displays by Sulakshana Fernando, who made 90 and Manelker de Silva, an unbeaten 107. 

The Peterites ended up with a formidable score of 311 for 8. 

St. Joseph’s in their run-chase, despite a fine knock of 73 coming from Dineth Madurawala, was bowled out for 257 with three deliveries to spare. 

St. Peter’s 311 for 8 wickets (50) (Sulakshana Fernando 90, Santhush Gunatilleke 31, Lakshina Rodrigo 23, Manelker de Silva 107n.o, Thineth Madurawala 2/22, Nipun Sumanasinghe 2/58) 

St. Joseph’s 257 all out (49.3) (Dineth Madurawala 73, Havin Perera 47, Jehan Daniel 35, Pahan Perera 23, Sachin Silva 3/55, Manelker de Silva 2/23, Santhush Gunatilleke 2/30)

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83rd Josephian-Peterite Encounter at Colombo Oval on March 3rd & 4th

Posted on 02 March 2017 by admin

SPC XI 2017SJC XI 2017In Sri Lanka, March madness has set in with a few “big matches” scheduled for the first week-end. The 83rd encounter of the “Battle of the Saints” takes pride of place and will be played at the old familiar Colombo Oval (P. Sara Stadium) on March 3rd & 4th. St. Joseph’s lead the series with 12 wins, last being in 2008 under the captaincy of Ruwantha Fernandopulle. Peterites trail behind with 10 wins including the controversial win last year thanks to a sporting decision by the Josephian Rector, Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel. This writer was at the game last year from start to finish and witnessed first hand extreme behaviour from a group of unruly spectators who disrupted play each time a wicket fell and/or a boundary was scored. The chaos that prevailed deprived the Peterites from earning a deserved victory. After the game ended Fr. Travis in consultation with the Peterite Rector Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin and some seniors from both schools awarded the 82nd encounter to St. Peter’s College, a magnanimous gesture. Let us forget this ever happened and move forward this year to a fair game played in the highest traditions of the “Battle of the Saints” – in a spirit we are used to in the past. After all, we are two brothers of one family!

The squads: St. Peter’s College: Lakshina Rodrigo (Captain), Manelker de Silva, Santhush Gunatilleke, Shalith Fernando, Vinul Gunawardena, Anishka Perera, Ranmith Jayasena, Sulakshan Fernando, Shivan Perera, Prabasara Herath, Nipunaka Fonseka, Chathura Obesekere, Sachin Silva, Dinith Anjula, Laseh Rodrigo, Ravindu Silva, Banuka de Silva, Mohammed Ameen.

St. Joseph’s College: Harin Cooray (Captain), Dario Dassanayake, Revan Kelley, Nipun Sumanasinghe, Dineth Madurawala, Jehan Daniel, Shevon Fonseka, Pahan Perera, Thashan Perera, Havin Perera, Ruchira Ekanayake, Jehan Fernandopulle, Dineth Jayakody, Sachitha Mahindasinhe, Kavindu Jayatissa, Cameron Durage, Lakshan Gamage, Sheran Rassool, Avishka Fernando, Sachitha de Silva.

The two rectors – Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin, Rector of St. Peter’s College and his counterpart at St. Joseph’s College Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel are both strong administrators but open minded and fair in their management style. Both have showed tremendous leadership qualities and inspired the students to respect true values of discipline and education. A week or two back Fr. Trevor Martin had this to say at a media briefing ahead of the “big match”.

By: Upali Obeyesekere

“Winning and losing is all part and parcel of the game, but what is more important is that the game is played in the true spirit of sportsmanship which has been a hallmark of this big match over the years”.

The Josephians are led this year by all-rounder Harin Cooray, son of Hiran Cooray who played for St. Joseph’s College from 1980-1982. Today, Cooray Sr., is best known as the dynamic chairman of Jetwing Hotels, a company founded in 1970 by his late father Mr. Herbert Cooray. The Peterites are led by Lakshina Rodrigo, right-handed batsman who has had a terrific season with the bat. It is important not to have a repeat of last year’s unruly crowd behaviour. The battle lines are drawn and may the best team have the advantage at the end of the day.

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Algi Wijewickrema reporting from Colombo: 81st Joe-Pete Cricket Encounter

Posted on 07 March 2015 by admin

March 7, 2015. From Algi Wijewickrema reporting from Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Having sent updates from time to time while the match was on yesterday, I don't think there's need for a lengthy summary but here's a short one for the benefit of whoever was not able to receive the updates yesterday.

If the 1st day's honours belonged to St. Peter's then the second day's honours surely belonged to the Joes. In fact I believe that Petes could have won the match had they declared at their overnight score and let the Joes start their 2nd innings with a huge psychological pressure. This is not suggested in hind sight but was suggested to the cricketing powers that be but fell on deaf ears. But I presume that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Be that as it may, the Petes continued to bat on the 2nd day and were bowled out for 268 in 45 minutes for the addition of 53 runs to their overnight score and if there was any saving grace in having continued their batting, Thaneesha Weerakoon the overnight batsman who played the vital support role which allowed Sachin Dalpathado to get a century, got his 50 and was last out on 57. Dalpathado was in fact the first to go when the score was 244, having made 114. The new record for the 8 wicket partnership established was 159 between Sachin Dalpathado (114) and Thaneesha Weerakoon (57).

When the Joes came out to bat the 2nd time, they looked a different side from the 1st innings. Gone were the tentative pushing and prodding by their batsman and gone too was the nervousness at the crease at least among their front line batsmen. The result was that the Joes occupied the crease for 82 overs and made 293 for 8. In the process they had their opening batsman get a valuable 118 and Thaneesha weerakoon bagged 4 wickets in the process to have a memorable match bag of 8 wickets in addition to his invaluable 57 when batting in the Peterite 1st inning.

This left the Peterites 10 overs + the mandatory 15 overs in the last hour to get 193 for victory. An impossible target and one that the Petes never attempted. However the Josephian bowler Hashindra Perera returned figures of 12-2-47-6 as the Petes struggled to a 110 for 7 when stumps were drawn. An entertaining 55 was scored by Dineth Thimodya in the process with several towering sixes that cleared the boundary lines easily. And you could say that the match was an exciting draw with the Joes earning the honours on the 2nd day, though the Petes could say that they had a 1st innings win.

The awards were shared as follows:
Best Fielder – Vinoo Mohotti of St. Peter's
Best Bowler – Hashindra Perera of St. Joseph's
Best Batsman – Sandaruwan Rodrigo of St. Joseph's
Best All Rounder – Thaneesha Weerakoon of St. Peter's
Man of the Match – Sachin Dalpathado of St. Peter's

St Joseph's – 1st innings 167 all out

St Peter's – 1st innings
(overnight 215-7, Sachin Dalpathado 104 n.o, Thaneesha Weerakoon 30 n.o)

Dineth Thimodya c & b Ekanayake                   14
Didulana Medis c Samarasinghe b Ekanayake          04
Hashan Wanasekara b Ekanayake            00
Lakshina Rodrigo st Fonseka b Akurugoda                  02
Chandula Jayamanne c Peiris b S Rodrigo                  36
Sachin Dalpathado c Fonseka b Ekanayake               114
Manelka de Silva c Peiris b Akurugoda           00
Vinu Mohotty c M Rodrigo b Akurugoda           00
Thaneesha Weerakoon st Fonseka b Akurugoda          57
Ashanth Malka run out (Ekanayake)                   05
Randel Seneviratne not out                    00
Extras (all out; 54.1 overs)                            36
TOTAL                                   258

Fall wickets: 1-18, 2-29, 3-36, 4-79, 5-79, 6-79, 7-85, 8-244, 9-258, 10-268
Bowling: Jehan Daniel       4-1-20-0
          Ekanayake     15-1-99-4
          S Rodrigo         4-0-20-0
          Akurugoda   10.1-2-47-4
          M Rodrigo       12-2-37-0
          Perera              4-0-14-0
          De Silva           4-0-19-0
          Sumanasinghe 1-0-12-0

St Joseph's – 2nd innings
Sandaruwan Rodrigo lbw b Malka                 118
Pethum Madusanka st Lakshina b Weerakoon          36
Vimukthi Peiris c Mohotty b Weerakoon           34
Suren de Silva c Mohotty b Weerakoon           06
Hashindra Perera lbw b Weerakoon                   07
Jehan Daniel run out (Malka/L Rodrigo)           18
Aravinda Akurugoda c de Silva b Malka           34
Nipun Sumanasinghe not out                   18
Shevon Fonseka b Jayamanne                   18
Extras (1 lb, 3 nb)                            04
TOTAL (8 wickets dec; 81.3 overs)                       293

Fall of wickets: 1-77, 2-142, 3-166, 4-178, 5-203, 6-236, 7-257, 8-293, Bowling: Seneviratne        4-1-22-0
         M de Silva         4-0-22-0
         Mohotty           28-5-86-0
         Malka              13-1-50-2
         Weerakoon     29-4-100-4
         Dalpathado         3-0-12-0
        Jayamanne         0.3-0-0-1

St Peter's – 2nd innings
Dineth Thimodya st Fonseka b Perera   55
Didulana Medis c Daniel b Perera           11
Lakshina Rodrigo c Daniel b Perera           00
Hashan Wanasekara c Fonseka b Perera          00
Chandula Jayamanna st Fonseka b Perera          12
Sachin Dalpathadu c Ekanayake b Perera          13
Manelka de Silva not out                    18
Vinu Mohotti lbw b M Rodrigo            01
Taneesha Weerakoon not out            00
Extras                       00
TOTAL (7 wickets; 26 overs)                 110

Fall of wickets: 1-38, 2-38, 3-48, 4-74, 5-85, 6-100, 7-110.Bowling: Ruchira Ekanayake    3-1-13-0                 Hashindra Perera      12-2-47-6         Malshan Rodrigo        4-1-18-1
         Suren de Silva           2-0-17-0
         Aravinda Akurugoda   5-1-15-0

Posted by: Algi Wijewickrema <algi.wijewickrema@gmail.com>

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81st Josephian-Peterite ends in draw – even exchanges – 2 centuries

Posted on 06 March 2015 by admin

Sachin Dalpethado and Thaneesa Weerakoon of St. Peter's joined Josephians Sandaruwan Rodrigo and Hasindra Perera as stars in yet another drawn game. The 81st Battle of the Saints between St Peter's College and St Joseph's College ended in a draw at P Sara Oval yesterday.

St Peter's College made 268 runs in their first innings in reply to St Joseph's College's 167 all out on day one. In their second innings, Josephians made 293-8 declared setting a 193-run target for Peterites.

St Joseph's College opener Sandaruwan Rodrigo scored 118 runs to earn the Best Batsman Award in the two-day encounter. In reply Peterite made 110-7 at close. Josephian bowler Hasindra Perera, who was the Best Bowler, took six wickets for 47 runs. For St Peter's, Dineth Thimodya made a sparkling half century (55).

Man-of-the-Match: Sachin Dalpathado (SPC),Best Batsman: Sandaruwan Rodrigo (SJC), Best Bowler: Hashindra Perera (SJC),Best All-rounder: Thaneesha Weerakoon (SPC).

St Joseph's College 1st innings 167 all out

St Peter's 1st innings
(overnight 215-7, Dalpathado 104 n.o, Ekanayake 30 n.o)

Dineth Thimodya c & b Ekanayake   14
Didulana Medis c Samarasinghe b Ekanayake  04
Hashan Wanasekara b Ekanayake    00
Lakshina Rodrigo st Fonseka b Akurugoda  02
Chandula Jayamanne c Peiris b S Rodrigo  36
Sachin Dalpathado c Fonseka b Ekanayake        114
Manelka de Silva c Peiris b Akurugoda   00
Vinu Mohotty c M Rodrigo b Akurugoda   00
Thaneesha Weerakoon st Fonseka b Akurugoda  57
Ashanth Malka run out (Ekanayake)   05
Randel Seneviratne not out    00
Extras (all out; 54.1 overs)    36
TOTAL            258

Fall wickets: 1-18 (Medis), 2-29 (Wanasekara), 3-36 (Thomodya)
       4-79 (Jayamanne), 5-79 (Rodrigo), 6-79 (De Silva)
       7-85 (Mohotty), 8-244 (Dalpathado), 9-258 ( Malka)
       10-268 (Weerakoon)
Bowling: Jehan Daniel 4-1-20-0
  Ekanayake 15-1-99-4
  S Rodrigo 4-0-20-0
  Akurugoda 10.1-2-47-4
  M Rodrigo 12-2-37-0
  Perera 4-0-14-0
  De Silva 4-0-19-0
  Sumanasinghe 1-0-12-0

St Joseph's College 2nd innings
Sandaruwan Rodrigo lbw b Malka          118
Pethum Madusanka st Lakshina b Weerakoon  36
Vimukthi Peiris c Mohotty b Weerakoon   34
Suren de Silva c Mohotty b Weerakoon   06
Hashindra Perera lbw b Weerakoon   07
Jehan Daniel run out (Malka/L Rodrigo)   18
Aravinda Akurugoda c de Silva b Malka   34
Nipun Sumanasinghe not out    18
Shevon Fonseka b Jayamanne    18
Extras (1 lb, 3 nb)     04
TOTAL (8 wickets dec; 81.3 overs)         293

Fall of wickets: 1-77 (Madusanka), 2-142 (Peiris)
   3-166 (S de Silva), 4-178 (Perera)
   5-203 (Daniel), 6-236 (S Rodrigo)
   7-257 (Akurugoda), 8-293 (S Fonseka)
Bowling: Seneviratne 4-1-22-0
  M de Silva 4-0-22-0
  Mohotty 28-5-86-0
  Malka 13-1-50-2
  Weerakoon 29-4-100-4
  Dalpathado 3-0-12-0
  Jayamanne 0.3-0-0-1

St Peter's College 2nd innings

Dineth Thimodya st Fonseka b Perera   55
Didulana Medis c Daniel b Perera   11
Lakshina Rodrigo c Daniel b Perera   00
Hashan Wanasekara c Fonseka b Perera   00
Chandula Jayamanna st Fonseka b Perera   12
Sachin Dalpathadu c Ekanayake b Perera   13
Manelka de Silva not out    18
Vinu Mohotti lbw b M Rodrigo    01
Taneesha Weerakoon not out    00
Extras       00
TOTAL (7 wickets; 26 overs)          110

Fall of wickets: 1-38, 2-38, 3-48, 4-74, 5-85, 6-100, 7-110.
Bowling: Ruchira Ekanayake 3-1-13-0
  Hashindra Perera 12-2-47-6
  Malshan Rodrigo 4-1-18-1
  Suren de Silva 2-0-17-0
  Aravinda Akurugoda 5-1-15-0

DAY – 1

Courtesy: Thushan Jayasuriya – Daily News

St. Joseph's College – 167 All Out (Sandaruwan Rodrigo – 38; Nipun Samarasinghe – 21; Malshan Rodrigo – 22) Bowling: Manelka de Silva 3 for 33; Taneesha Weerakoon 4 for 49.

St. Peter's College – 215 for 7 wkts. (Chandula Jayamanne – 36; Sachin Dalpethado – 104 n.o.; Taneesha Weerakoon – 30 n.o.). Bowling: Ruchira Ekanayaka 3 for 62.

Right arm spinner Taneesha Weerakoon with a four wicket haul and middle order batsman Sachin Dalpethado (104 not out) helped St.Peter's College to end the day in a strong position after posting 215 for seven wickets at stumps in their "81st Battle of the Saints" encounter at P.Sara Oval, Colombo on Friday.

Dalpethado joined Taneesha Weerakoon (30 not out) for an unbeaten 130 runs stand for the eighth wicket for Peterites to conclude days play with three wickets in hand after Aravinda Akurugoda (three for 47) and Ruchira Ekanayake (three for 62) had the Peterites reeling at 85 for seven at one stagez_p20-Battle-02.jpg

They also broke the previous record partnership of 94 runs for the eighth wicket established by Premasiri Athukorale (85) and C.Marathalingam(16) in 1957.

Josephians taking the first lease of the wicket were all out for just 167 runs in 59.5 overs. Opener Sandaruwan Rodrigo was dismissed at 38 due to a run out. Skipper Pathum Madusanka couldn't impress much being dismissed for eight runs off the bowling of paceman Manelka de Silva.

The Josephians innings was anchored by Nipun Sumanasinghe (21) and Malshan Rordigo (22). Spinner Taneesha Weerakoon did the damage with pacemanManelka de Silva.

The Peterites in their innings were off to a disastrous start as their wickets began to fell at regular intervals. However skipper Chandula Jayamanne made 36 runs to prop up St.Peter's innings. The innings of the lads from Bambalapitiya were rescued by the duo of Sachin Dalpethado (104 not out) and Taneesha Weerakoon (30 not out)

Ruchira Ekanayake and Aravinda Akurugoda contained the Peterite batsmen capturing three wickets each.

The match will resume today at 9.30 am.

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80th “Battle of the Saints” – SJC 92/2 in reply to SPC total of 282 on day-1

Posted on 07 March 2014 by admin

PAPARESt. Joseph's won the toss and sent the Peterites into bat. After losing their openers at 27 (Dineth Thimodya for 10) and 44 (Hashan Warnasekera for 18) the Peterites consolidated and at lunch were on 157 for the loss of three wickets. Helped by a 151-run partnership by Janith Liyanage, 80, and Chandula Jayamanne, 116, St. Peter's ended up with a grand total of 282 runs in 59.5 overs. Liyanage and Jayamanne delighted the sold out crowd to some lusty hitting all round the wicket. Aravinda Akurugoda wrote himself into record books by taking 6 wickets for 75 runs for the Josephians.

St. Peters College 282 (59.5) Janith Liyanage 80, Chandula Jayamanne 116, Aravinda Akurugoda 6/75 Vs St. Josephs College 92/2 (21.3) Sadeera Samarawickrama 62* – 80th Battle of the Saints – At P.Sara Stadium – Stumps – Day 1.

In reply, the Josephians are 92 for the loss of 2 wickets. The game will be continued on Saturday, March 8th. Sadeera Samarawickrema is unbeaten with 62 runs.

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CANADA DAY: Sri Lanka Cricket Festival, an oustanding success

Posted on 01 July 2013 by admin


"Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved", Quote by Mattie Stepanek.

This is exactly what happened when two Thomians and a Royalist were entrusted with the task of organizing the Schools Cricket Festival. Ashok Senadeera and Trevor Fernando were the two Thomians and Rohan Jayasekara of RoyalCollege was the other link that formed the indefatigable trio that satrted the ball rolling towards organizing the Schools Cricket Festival for 2013. This trio rounded up Rati Selvaratnam of Trinity, Joy Perera of St.Anthony's and Upali Obeyesekere of the joint Josephian-Peterite Alumni Association of Canada and produced a splendid big-match extravaganza at the coveted Maple Leaf Cricket Club grounds at King City. In what is estimated as the biggest crowd for any Sri Lankan cricket event, just over 400 spectators found their to King City on a mild summer day to witness the Royal|Thomian; Trinity|Antonian and Josephian-Peterite Canadian version of the three big matches been worked out on three of the five available grounds at King City. Three big games in one facility, was a credible achievement for these organizers. For the Royalists|Thomians, 2013 was an important year as they had reached a milestone in their cricket encounter. It was the 25th anniverary cricket match!

Teamwork"TEAMWORK – coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success" – Henry Ford

Teamwork was the key word that could best describe the success of this event. The spectators were treated to Sri Lankan food vendors dishing out Buriyani, Lamprais packets, Hoppers (Egg and plain), rolls, cutlets and other savoury pastries were freely available at reasonable prices. The standard of cricket was of a very high standard with a few stars from all six schools turning out for their Alma Mater. Spectators were moving around all three cricket grounds taking in a bit of action from all three games. Finally there was one grand Raffle Draw that raked in around $1330 with our national airline Sri Lankan Airlines offering a complimentary air ticket to Sri Lanka from London, England as the 1st prize. The 2nd prize was a 2-night stay with breakfast at Hilton Hotel Toronto for two provided courtesy of the Hilton Hotel Toronto. The 3rd prize was a generous offer by Combined Freight Inc., to ocean ship two 5 Cu. Ft. boxes containing personal effects to Sri Lanka from Toronto. Mr.SachithananthanSuresan was the lucky winner of the air ticket while Benitode Silva won the Hilton Hotel complimentary offer. Rajive Gnanaratna won the 3rd prize offered by Combined Freight Inc.

The fellowship and camaraderie that was openly displayed by six different schools is testament that much can be achieved by working together towards a common purpose. Fellowship is described in the English dictionary as "a society of people sharing mutual interests, experiences, activities, etc." This is exactly what happened. The event brought out the best in organizing talent and also from a cricket standpoint and proved that with right minds, people can work together to plan, organize and execute a community event of this magnitude. While the people of Sri Lanka are still working on resolving the differences arising from an irresponsible and rash acts perpetrated in 1983, the joint committee of the Sri Lanka Cricket Festival in Toronto succeeded in bringing together six schools to play on one ground and share common ground on the logistics and expenses that are normally required to stage such a big event. The five schools' associations that were involved in this great event were S.Thomas' College OBA, Royal College OBA, St.Anthony's College OBA, Trinity College OBA and the Joint Josephian-Peterite Alumni Association of Canada (JPAA Canada). Kudos to all, and next year will perhaps see Ananda|Nalanda and "Battle of the North" between Jaffna Central|St. John's occupying the 4th and 5th cricket grounds at Maple Leaf Cricket Club at King City.

By: Upali Obeyesekere – President, JPAA Canada

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A Look at the “Battle of the Saints”

Posted on 01 June 2013 by admin

By: Sankha de Livera Tennekoon , 2010-02-08 11:30:24

PETERITE TEAMOn March 5 & 6, the oldest test cricketing stadium in the Island, the “Oval” will play host to one of the biggest cricket encounters in the Sri Lankan cricketing calendar, the “Battle of the Saints”. The Saints will yet again march on to the P. Sara stadium to battle it out after ending last year’s encounter in a draw.  The battle for the Rev. Fr. Maurice Legoc trophy which was offered in 1933 with St Josephans winning the clash has seen the Josphians leading the series with twelve wins as opposed to seven by the Peterites with the rest drawn. Rev. Fr. Maurice Legoc has been the Rector of both the institutions and the trophy for the big one is named in his honour. He first served St Joseph’s and then went on to become the first Rector of St Peters later on. The event which was started on the 23rd and 24th of February 1933 is by far one of the most looked forward to encounters during the season of March madness which includes several other prominent big matches like, ‘The Battle of the Blues’ and the ‘Battle of the Maroons’.

The Josephians have taken the upper hand in series of encounters winning twelve matches in comparison to seven by the Pete’s out of the 75 times the saints have played 56 times it had ended in a draw.

Last year we saw some of schools crickets finest locking horns together. The Peterites were lead by their experienced skipper Angelo Perera who was also the skipper of the junior national team, while the Josephian unit was lead by another promising cricketer in the form of all rounder Shameera Weerasinghe. The Pete’s were set out to break a long standing curse of 30 years but failed due to a gritty batting display by the Josephians.

So with both the teams possessing talented players there is going to be a close tussle for supremacy and of course the two teams are also on a mission with the Josephians hoping to retain the title and the Peterites coming in to the game to avenge the defeat of last year and break the 30 year old jinx of having last won the encounter in 1978 under Suraj Abeysekera.

Saints invade SL cricket In the recent times, the Sri Lankan cricket team has been muscled with a lot of new youngster. Some of these youngsters have matured and lived up to expectations and some more often than not single handedly have won games for the country. During the past when a youngster was thrown in to the deep end to perform, in most cases fail to deliver the goods. The Saints have come on to the big stage and defied all odds to bring glory to our country.

Angelo Mathews who burst in to the National scene was the skipper of the Josephian unit in the year 2006. He has been a fine fined for the Lankan seniors and many pundits have tipped him off to be one of the captains in the national team in the future. He has matured as a cricketer and has been a huge force in the middle order for the Lankans in the recently concluded season. Mathews who came in replace of former Wesley College skipper Farveez Maharoof cemented his place quickly and now is a permanent figure for the men in blue.

Another player who came out to the big stage was Angelo’s school mate, Thissera Perera. The bulky all-rounder stamped his authority in the national team coming out with several match winning performances in the recently concluded series against India and Bangladesh.

In the not so distant past cricketer in the mold of ex-Peterite batsman Russel Arnold and ex-Joephian bowler Chaminda Vaas donned the national jersey and turned out to be two of the greatest players who have played the game. The latter is still tagged as one of the best left arm swingers in the world and was undoubtedly ‘the best’ left arm pacie in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan juniors  travel around the world year in year out and has seen a lot of talented cricketers in amongst their ranks. The juniors have also been taken over by the Peterites and the Josephians. Angelo Perera, last year St.Peters skipper lead the juniors last year while the current skipper has taken over duties this year. Up to four Peterites toured in the recently concluded under 19 world cup. Namely, Andri Berenger, Chathura Peiris (skipper), Akshu Fernando and Lahiru Jayaratne.

Taking a look at the past The first ‘Battle of the Saints’ was played in 1933 at St. Peter’s College Grounds Bambalapitiya when the Joes, captained by Robert Fernando, easily eclipsed St. Peter’s under George Jayaweera by an innings and 105 runs. Cyril Dias of St. Peter’s stole the show with phenomenal bowling figures of 9 for 64.

In the following year Joes lead by skipper Claude Wijesinghe wrecked the Petes to register an impressive innings and 202 run victory at Darley Road. The highlight of this game was the highest partnership for the series of 219 runs by Fred Perera 114 not out and D. Arndt 110 for the 9th wicket. This record stands to date. The next 5 encounters ended in no decisions till 1940 when St. Joseph’s registered a 108-run win at Bambalapitiya under Czerny Serpanchy. In 1942 and 1943 the annual battle was not played during the Second World War. The Joes won in 1944 and ’45 under Malcolm De Costa. It took 13 years for St. Peter’s to register their first win in 1946 led by Dion Walles. Walles led the winning side the following year also, but the Joes bounced back to win in the next three years up to 1949.

In the next few years the matches were drawn. The 1954 encounter, though drawn, was a special year for the Peterites when one of their most illustrious cricketers, Clive Inman, scored a classic 204 not out at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium (Colombo Oval). This continues to be the highest individual score in the series. In 1955 St. Peter’s, led by Clive Inman, reversed the Joes winning run with a comfortable 8-wicket victory. In a thrilling finish Joes won in the following year by 5 wickets under Kirthi Caldera. From 1957 to 1964 both sides could not pull off a win though the matches provided plenty of excitement. However in 1965 Peterites led by Travis Fernando registered an excellent 6-wicket win to break the ten-year hoodoo. The encounter faced a four year jinx again until St. Joseph’s won in 1970 under Hector Perera. A draw took place in the following year and in 1972 St. Joseph’s enjoyed their last win by an innings and 87 runs under Rohan Fernando. Six years  later St. Peter’s also registered their last win by 6 wickets in 1978 under Suraj Abeysekara. All matches in the past 29 years ended in draws.

For after all, and whatever anyone else says, at no period in the history of the game has any other team, either Peterite or Josephian produced three Test players, two who shared the new ball for Sri Lanka – Rumesh Ratnayake and Vinodhan John and the other Amal Silva, opened batting. In addition, Kitto Fernandopulle opened batting for Sri Lanka Schools and scored 58 against the Australian Schools team, Rohan Buultjens captained Sri Lanka Schools against the Indian Schools and the Dutch team and subsequently toured India with the Sri Lanka Test team, Suraj Abayasekera played for Sri Lanka ‘A’ while Trehern Perera and myself were also chosen for the trials of the Sri Lanka Schools squad.

The Test caps were not mere ornaments either. Amal Silva scored a century at Lord’s against England and still holds the record for the most number of victims in an international Test series, which was against India and this in a three Test series! Vinodhan John and Rumesh Ratnayake’s exploits are well known by all. While the fearsome fast bowlers of the past were probably very quick, there is no factual evidence that they could have taken out several of the world’s top batsman and like Rumesh, hit Larry Gomes on the face, hit the towering Clive Lloyd on the head and in fact caused that most brilliant of players, Viv Richards who usually disdained a helmet, to don one. Rumesh’s ability to make a ball climb very steeply and follow up with a toe crunching yorker brought him over 100 wickets in a school season with more than 50% being bowled. Match bags of over 10 wickets were common and taking over four wickets per inning in almost every match, he was terrifying.

Anyone who was around during this period will not challenge the fact that Rohan Buultjens was one of the best batsman of the period – winning the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year and Best Batsman, 1000 runs in a season, two centuries both ‘not out` in the Big Match, the Big Match record of the best batting double, the Second best batting double for St. Peter’s, the highest aggregate in the series, the record third wicket partnership of 173 with Kitto Fernandopulle which stands to this day and countless other centuries and half centuries against most other schools. His total command over any bowler of the era backed by hard facts clearly indicates the travesty of justice that kept him out of the Sri Lanka Test team. Though primarily a batsman, Rohan who also captained in 1980, picked up several crucial wickets, specialising in breaking partnerships.

Kitto Fernandopulle, the master strategist was easily one of the best cricketing brains – proved by the umpires’ panel awarding him the Best Captains Trophy in 1979. ” Kitto is today the Second XI coach of St. Peters and is doing a great job at developing cricketers having already fed the First XI team with three players this season.

School cricket in the late 70’s and early 80’s had advanced to a very high standard and Sri Lanka was on the threshold of test cricket. Gearing up for “Tests” more “.professional”’ batting, combined with good quality wickets and more evenly matched teams meant outright wins in two days were rare. In fact, the Royal/Thomian 03 day fixture had just started and batsman like Sumithra Warnekulasuriya of Royal batted two full days for a 100 runs. Yet, between ‘78 and ‘80 St. Peters had fourteen outright wins including St. Josephs, Royal, St. Thomas, Trinity, St. Anthony’s, St. Benedicts, Thurstan, Isipathana and Dharmapala. Some of them after a lapse of many years like St. Thomas’ which was an 8 wicket victory in a match where 2 1/2hrs of play was lost due to rain.

76th Battle of the Saints The teams are gearing up for the all important ‘76th Battle of the Saints’ with the Peterites striving to break the long standing hoo doo of 30 years while the Josephians look to make this their 13 win in the series. The biggest question will be whether the Peterites have what it takes to take back the coveted Rev. Fr. Maurice Legoc trophy after a long wait.

The Peterites sure have the fire power to achieve that feat mainly because of the four junior national players in their side who will be their trump cards. Peterite skipper Chathura Peiris is confident after a stint as captain of the junior side that his Peters side will perform up to the mark and deliver the goods on the day. He will be backed up by senior players, Andri Berenger, Akshu Fernando, Lahiru Jayaratne, Denham Perera, Nilochana Perera and Angelo Emmanuel.

The Josephians will have to hang on for dear life as the Peters brigade will come out all guns blazing to secure their long awaited win. They will be lead by senior player Dinal Dhambarage who is again a seasoned campaigner and will go all out to defend the title.  He has the backing of some experience in the bank in the likes of powerful all rounder Chathuranga Kumara, Enricho Silva, Jhan Jayasinghe and Rosco Tathil.

The stage is set for the saints to collide in what is tagged to be one of the most exciting ecounters in the recent times. Colombo Spirit wishes both teams the best of luck for the “76th Battle of the Saints”.

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