Tag Archive | "JOE-PETE CRICKET"


Down Memory Lane: Victory & Interesting Finishes – Josephian-Peterite Encounter

Posted on 21 June 2017 by admin

(Courtesy: Sunday Observer – 22 February, 2004)
Once again it is Big Match time and we are back at the Oval to witness the 2004 encounter. I have had the privilege of having witnessed every single match since the 1963 encounter – bar the game in 1965 when a bout of flu enforced a break. The last 41 encounters have left me with many unforgettable memories of great batting and bowling performances and being a Peterite, I must be pardoned if I tend to remember more of the exploits of Peterites. Due to restrictions of space I will confine my memories to Games that ended in a result or had close finishes.

Earliest memories begin with the 1963 game where I vividly remember 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.


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

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.

Comments Off on Down Memory Lane: Victory & Interesting Finishes – Josephian-Peterite Encounter


Tags: ,

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>

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

Advertise Here
Advertise Here
%d bloggers like this: