Archive | March, 2018

Tribute to the late Ebert Silva - Old Peterite


Tribute to the late Ebert Silva – Old Peterite

Posted on 28 March 2018 by admin

Ebert Silva, a pioneer and a legend in Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism remembered on his 6th death anniversary

The 6th death anniversary of Ebert Silva, the late chairman of Ebert Silva Group and a pioneer and a legend in Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism industry falls on March 28.

March 27, 2018, 8:15 pm 


Born on November 2nd 1932, he had his education at St. Peters’ College Colombo. Nomis de Silva (1894 – 1953), father of Ebert Silva founded a passenger transport company in the early 1920s and later named it after his eldest son as ‘Ebert Silva Omni Bus Company Limited.’ Ebert Silva as a young 21 year old was compelled to take over the reigns of the company at the untimely death of his father in 1953.

As one of the youngest entrepreneurs of the bus company era that spanned across about three decades, he was successful in expanding and operating a model transport service that complied to high standards of quality and service. His sheer determination, resilience and commitment made the Ebert Silva brand the only survivor of the Nationalisation of the 36 bus companies in 1958 to form the Central Transport Board. Enduring the excruciating loss of the Omni Bus Company almost overnight, he nurtured the Touring Company which he incorporated as a young 22 year old to cater to tourism. His astute and visionary leadership was a success story that withstood the test of time giving rise to a national brand that had made lasting contributions pioneering Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism. Ebert Silva was a passionate lover of motor vehicles that led him to have a unique and rare collection of vintage and classic motor cars. He was also be a founder member and later the Vice President of the Vintage Car Owners Club of Sri Lanka, founded in 1987, with the intention of preserving and conserving these rare automobiles in the island.

Ebert Silva was a pioneered domestic tourism, who as a young entrepreneur initiated many tour packages to less seen and travelled places in the island and was among the first to introduce ‘package tours’ to promote places of historic and scenic importance in Sri Lanka. Building a brand synonymous with Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism industry the company under his leadership, vision was felicitated on numerous occasions for its quality of service and contribution to the industry with many Presidential Awards as the Best Domestic Tour Operator.

As a pioneer in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry his contribution was generously extended to its advancement and promotion with him also serving as the President of the Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka. In recognition of a lifetime of committed contribution to Sri Lanka’s travel industry he was honored with the Presidential Award as a ‘Legend’ in Sri Lanka’s Travel and Tourism in 2009. Ebert Silva was also among the legendary individuals felicitated at Sri Lanka Tourism’s Golden Jubilee celebrations for his outstanding contribution to the development and growth of the tourism industry through the years.

With roots going as far back as the 1920s, the ‘Ebert Silva’ brand stands out with its time-tested contribution having being interwoven with the long history of the island’s transport and tourism industries. Well after 9 long decades today, his vision has enabled Ebert Silva Holidays make the pioneering contribution of open deck city sightseeing services to the present tourism arena together with Sri Lanka Tourism, enabling Sri Lanka’s premier city offer a distinct touristic to the world.

Ebert Silva gave life to a significant and splendid chapter in Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism and motoring industry amidst many obstacles and formidable challenges. The commitment and vision of legendary pioneers as Ebert Silva enabled the industry to reach the present heights and play a pivotal role in the advancement of the Sri Lankan economy.

Ebert Silva will be remembered with deep love and honour and gratitude by the family and staff marking his 8th death anniversary on March 28th.



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St. Joseph's College opens SKYRIM ARENA


St. Joseph’s College opens SKYRIM ARENA

Posted on 28 March 2018 by admin

St. Joseph’s College, Colombo declared opened the ‘SkyRim Arena’, a new state-of-the-art sporting arena of the school’s 20 year old Indoor Sports Complex with the latest addition of brand new basketball and tennis courts, last Tuesday. Located on the banks of the Beira Lake, the new arena is a revamped, state-of-the-art version of the school’s 20 year old Indoor Sports Complex, with the latest addition of brand new basketball and tennis courts. Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure and former Josephian Harin Fernando was the Chief Guest at the opening ceremony.

The SkyRim Arena was proposed by the school’s Rector, Fr. Travis Gabriel and implemented by its Sports Council led by Chairman Brian Obeyesekere. It was built over a year’s period with generous support from the council, parents, staff, well-wishers, the mercantile sports sector and corporate donors. St. Joseph’s can lay claim to a rich sporting legacy handed down through generations of Josephians who have excelled at sports. Cricket, Swimming and Basketball in particular have been the school’s core strengths; the school has produced national level players in all three sports, including Sri Lanka’s favourite all-rounder and current cricket team captain Angelo Matthews.

Minister Fernando shared his thoughts on the new complex at the event, adding that he was pleased to see the school’s continued commitment to investing in its infrastructure and sporting talent. “St. Joseph’s has produced many great sportsmen over the decades, and I am confident that this will continue to be the case in years to come. I am so glad to be able to declare this open alongside those from the school who have worked day and night to make this a possibility. I look forward to seeing many more Josephians excel in their chosen sport,” he said.

The arena will serve as stamping ground for young Josephian sportsmen fulfilling their school’s rich legacy of sporting excellence. When the indoor complex was first launched in March 1996 it was equipped with Badminton, Volleyball and Netball courts, a gymnasium, and a Basketball court in addition to the existing squashing courts, practice grounds and boat house. Rev. Fr. Victor Silva envisioned his players having access to more facilities in order to reach their best potential and as such founded the Sports Council during his tenure as the Rector of the College.

“I have always believed in the power of sports to teach our students the soft-skills that they need to excel in life,” said Rev. Fr. Silva who was the guest of honour at the event. “With the launch of this revamped arena we hope to encourage more young Josephians to take up a sport of their choice. As you can see, they have several options to choose from.”The new additions improve on the existing facilities with the addition of two new courts for basketball and tennis appointed with the latest state of the art amenities. The Tennis court in particular has undergone a significant revamp with the old clay court replaced with a hard court, and the addition of an advanced system of floodlights.

The SkyRim arena will give equal prominence to all sports played by the school’s pupils, according to Fr. Rector Travis Gabriel. “Our aim is to produce well-rounded and educated young men who understand the importance of a healthy mind and body. This sports arena will be a place for all Josephians to find a sport that they enjoy, and learn to master it. We should be thankful to all our generous donors and partners for helping us to make this possible today,” he emphasised.
The name ‘SkyRim’ signifies the limitless possibilities, that young Josephians are encouraged to believe when it comes to excelling in their sport.

“It has truly been a privilege to watch our sports team grow over the years, and bring home many championship trophies,” stated Brian Obeyesekere. “We hope that these facilities will encourage them to develop those talents further and bring glory to the school, and to themselves.” Obeysekere also extended the invitation to the mercantile and corporate sectors, encouraging them to utilize the facilities in the arena to guide their employees towards a healthier lifestyle, and the sporting associations to make use of the facility for their sporting events. – COURTESY: SUNDAY TIMES 25JUNE2017.


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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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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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ROHAN ABEYESUNDERA: Peterite sports star of the 60s - Rugby, Cricket & Athletics represented Ceylon RFU from 1966 - 1971


ROHAN ABEYESUNDERA: Peterite sports star of the 60s – Rugby, Cricket & Athletics represented Ceylon RFU from 1966 – 1971

Posted on 02 March 2018 by admin



Burly Rohan Abeyesundera is a grass roots Peterite having attended college from 1952 – 1964, from the Primary to High School. He was a robust sportsman who earned College Colours in Cricket, Rugby and Athletics. While he excelled as an all-round sports star in school, Rohan continued his passion for rugby and played for All-Ceylon from 1966 – 1971 – a total of six years – rare feat. Though he was a competent cricketer and athlete, rugby was his forte and he reached the pinnacle of success in this sport that earned him a regular berth in leading club teams and eventually All-Ceylon – a national pride for a record six years.

St. Peter's College had already earned stripes in both cricket and rugby from 1950 – 1959. In cricket, there were many noteworthy names worth mentioning during this period. Pat Kelly, Tony Don Michael, H.I.K. Fernando, Ago Paiva, MSM Ghouse, H. Wittachchy, Clive Inman (204 not out in 1954), Tudor Wijesinghe, Maurice Salgado, Jayantha Fernando, Lakshman Serasinghe, Brian Seneviratne, Ken & Russel Duckworth. Brian de Silva, Darrel D'Silva, David Muthumani, Premasiri Athukorale, Anton Perera, Christy Marthalingam, Desmond Dharmarajah, Richard Alles.

In this backdrop, Rohan Abeyesundera belonged to the sixties stars and his colourful sports career started in 1961 – when he represented St. Peter’s College in Cricket, Rugby and Athletics. This article takes you through his golden years in school and his team mates who ‘walked the walk’ with Rohan. The writer will also capture Rohan’s impressive club career in rugby since leaving school.

By: Upali Obeyesekere – Old Peterite living in Toronto, Canada

St. Peter's College had already earned stripes in both cricket and rugby from 1950 – 1959. In cricket, there were many noteworthy names worth mentioning during this period. Pat Kelly, Tony Don Michael, H.I.K. Fernando, Ago Paiva, MSM Ghouse, H. Wittachchy, Clive Inman (204 not out in 1954), Tudor Wijesinghe, Maurice Salgado, Jayantha Fernando, Lakshman Serasinghe, Brian Seneviratne, Ken & Russel Duckworth. Brian de Silva, Darrel D'Silva, David Muthumani, Premasiri Athukorale, Anton Perera, Christy Marthalingam, Desmond Dharmarajah, Richard Alles.

RUGBY – Rohan represented St. Peter’s College from 1961 – 1964. It must be said that the sport of Rugby was evolving in the school system around this time. St. Peter’s had by this time stamped its class in school rugby and were competitive in the sport. Coached by the legendary Archibald Perera – Rohan played alongside legends like Adiel Anghie, Didacus de Almeida, Jeyer Rodriguesz, Darrel Wimalaratne, Haji Omar, Aubrey & Rodney Paternott, Hazmee Hameed, among others. In 1961, Rohan played under rugby legend Didacus de Almeida – in 1962, he played under another legendary Peterite forward Jeyer Rodriguesz, and in 1963, under Stephen Alagaratnam. These were all big names in Peterite rugby in the early 60s. Rohan and Didacus de Almeida played together for CR&FC after leaving school and were members of the same national side later on in life.

Rohan had the proud distinction of captaining the Peterite Rugby XV in 1964 and his team mates were Darrel Wimalaratne, Aubrey & Rodney Paternott, Chris Harridge, Hazmee Hameed, Mervin Fernando, M. Jainudeen, Michael de Niese, M. Rezel, Franklyn Bowen, F. Ratwatte, S. Mather, A. Rajendran, Haji Omar, D. Sathiavadivel, Dennis Killelea, D. Van Cuylenberg and D. Yashista.

Rohan was picked to represent Colombo Schools against Outstation Schools from 1962 – 1964. In a traditional game at the time, he also represented Combined Schools against University of Ceylon from 1962 – 1964

CRICKET – Rohan Abeyesundera represented St. Peter’s College in Cricket mainly as a spinner, from 1961 – 1964. He fell into a select group of Peterites since the early 1930s who had the distinction of playing Cricket and Rugby for college. Others who were privileged to play cricket and rugby for college in the pre-60s era are Shirley de S. Illesinghe, Percy Perera, Lakshman Serasinghe, Jayantha Fernando, Maurice de Silva, Brian de Silva, Didacus de Almeida, Adiel Anghie, and Desmond Dharmarajah, among others. Post-60s there have been many who earned the elusive double – the Paternott brothers (Aubrey, Rodney, Hemish), Everard Hoffman, Darrel Wimalaratne, Chris Harridge are names that come to mind immediately during my era in school. I am sure there are many more.

Rohan was a regular member of the Peterite cricket team from 1961-1964. He played under the captaincy of Adiel Anghie (1961), Richard Heyn (1962), Tyrone Le Mercier (1963) and David Heyn (1964). The coterie of cricketers who played alongside Rohan from 1961-1964 were household names at the time. Viz: David Heyn (All-Ceylon), Adiel Anghie, Richard Heyn (All-Ceylon Hockey), Tyrone Le Mercier, Maurice Deckker, Tissa Jayaweera, Aubrey & Rodney Paternott, Didacus de Almeida (All-Ceylon Rugby), Travice Fernando, Adithiya de Silva, Ravi Fernando, Darrel Wimalaratne (All-Ceylon Rugby), Peter de Niese, among others.



Rohan left St. Peter’s in 1964, after the rugby season. He evolved into a terrific forward playing club rugby that . Rohan was immediately recruited to CR&FC – synonymous with Sri Lanka Rugby and was a proud member of its championship Clifford Cup team.

In 1966, Rohan made a career move going into planting in the Up-Country district. He played for Dickoya in 1966 and was picked to represent All-Ceylon the same year in a star-studded team that won the All-India Trophy. Coincidentally, Rohan was in familiar company as the national side included four Peterites – Maurice De Silva, Jeyer Rodriguesz, Hadji Omar and Didacus de Almeida. Other stars who were in the national side were Sari De Sylva, Ken Murray, M.A. Majeed, Hiranjan Perera, Tony Sirimanne, Jeff Ratnam, Mike Alwis, M. Flamer-Caldera, Eric Roles, G. Tiruchittampalam and C.H. Seneviratne. Rohan was in familiar company as the national side included four Peterites – Maurice De Silva, Jeyer Rodriguesz, Hadji Omar and Didacus de Almeida. Other stars who were in the national side were Sari De Sylva, Ken Murray, M.A. Majeed, Hiranjan Perera, Tony Sirimanne, Jeff Ratnam, Mike Alwis, M. Flamer-Caldera, Eric Roles, G. Tiruchittampalam and C.H. Seneviratne.


Rohan had an impressive club career that saw him play for Kandy Sports Clun from 1968 – 1971 and was picked to represent Up Country Vs. Low Country from 1966-1971, captaining Up Country in 1971.

The icing on the cake however is the fact that Rohan represented All-Ceylon from 1966-1971 (6 years) and played against India, Blackheaths, Lorea, Thailand, Singapore Joint Services, Paris University. Toured Bangkok with the All-Ceylon Team for the first International Rugby Tournament (3rd Asian Rugby Tournament). Subject to correction, Rohan’s six-year stint playing for All-Ceylon is a record as no player has played nationally for this long. A legendary feat for this gentle giant who had his baptism to the game of rugby in the greenest of sports grounds in Bambalapitiya at his alma mater, in 1961.

THE CLIFFORD CUP – The most prestigious club rugby knockout tournament in Sri Lanka and arguably the oldest rugby tournament in Asia. The Clifford Cup came into being in 1911 when Lady Elizabeth Clifford (wife of the acting Governor of Ceylon, Sir Hugh Clifford) was interested in the annual rugby football fixture between Low Country and Up Country and expressed a wish that a match take place in Colombo on her birthday 26 August, between teams representing the United Services and All Ceylon. Rest is history.

Past winners of the Clifford Cup – 1950 and 1951 (Havelocks), 1952 (CR and FC), 1953 (Dimbula), 1954 to 1956 (CR and FC), 1957 (CH and FC), 1958 (CR and FC), 1959 (CR and FC/ Dimbula) 1960 (CH and FC), 1961 (Havelocks), 1962 (CH and FC), 1963 and 1964 (Havelocks), 1965 and 1966 (CR and FC), 1967 and 1968 (Havelocks), 1969 (CR and FC), 1970 (Police/ Havelocks) 1971 (CR and FC), 1972 Police), 1973 (Army/ Police), 1974 (Havelocks), 1975 (Army), 1976 to 1978 (Havelocks), 1979 and 1980 (Police), 1981 (Havelocks), 1982 and 1983 (CH and FC), 1984 and 1985 (Police), 1986 (Air Force), 1987 to 1989 (CR and FC), 1990 (CH and FC), 1991 (Police), 1992 and 1993 (Kandy SC), 1994 (CH and FC), 1995 to 1997 (Kandy SC), 1998 (no tournament) 1999 to 2005 (Kandy SC), 2006 (CR and FC), 2007 to 2013 (Kandy SC), 2014 (Navy).

WHERE IS ROHAN TODAY? – Rohan is married to Surangani and lives in Melbourne with their daughter and two sons who are all married. Rohan is the step-brother of another famous Peterite – Shirley de S. Illesinghe who captained St. Peter’s College in Cricket & Rugby in 1934.

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JAYAWEERA 2 - 1933 team

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The unique cricket story of George Jayaweera and his four sons

Posted on 01 March 2018 by admin

It’s that time of the year in Sri Lanka – the big match season! Cricket takes pride of place over any other socio-political event in the island. Be it the ‘Battle of the Saints’, ‘Battle of the Blues’, ‘Battle of the Maroons’, ‘Battle of the North’, ‘Hill Country Battle of the Blues’, ‘Battle of the Brothers’, – these big matches attract a diverse section of the population and provide a forum for adults to become kids again, without reservation. It is interesting to see adults waving flags and walking alongside school children half their age dressed in their old-school tie and other paraphernalia signaling that it is carnival time in the big city. Today, a few big matches are played over 3-days while most remain a 2-day event. Absenteeism at work is common place during big match madness but when April sets in, it is back to work and life goes on! The beauty of one’s school life is that memories of a specific big match or the brilliance of some players linger in your mind and stories are written and re-written in the media, while history is recorded for posterity.

Having said this, it is important to look back on the history of the Josephian-Peterite series. Rev. Fr. Nicholas Perera – Rector, St. Peter’s College and that revered French missionary Rev. Fr. Michael J. Legoc – Rector, St. Joseph’s College are the brains behind this great encounter. They are the founders of the “Battle of the Saints”. As we all know by now, St. Peter’s College had its humble beginnings in 1922 and its first rector, Fr. Nicholas Perera (1922-1943) gave the new school a solid foundation. The Josephians had a head start in cricket when the first team donned the blue and white cap in 1898. Henry A. de Silva was the first Cricket Captain of St. Joseph’s College. Conversely, St. Peter’s College started cricket late in life when Norman Paternott was appointed captain of the first Peterite cricket team in 1927, a position he held with distinction until 1930.

By: Upali Obeyesekere – March 2, 2017 – Toronto, Canada

The inaugural Josephian-Peterite Cricket Encounter started in 1933 and the honour of leading the Peterites into the field rested on George Jayaweera who took over from Paternott in 1931. For the record, the following represented St. Peter’s College in 1933 for the 1st encounter in the Joe-Pete series: George Jayaweera (Capt.), K. de Silva, D. Pereira, E. Bartholomeusz, P.S. Anthonis, G. Walles, J. Abeysekera, Shirley Illesinghe, T. Herat, Cyril Dias and W. Pietersz.

The story of George Jayaweera does not end in 1933. He left school, got married and had a large family. The Jayaweera’s had five sons and two daughters and let me update you on their current status in life – Upali (Dental Surgeon, Melbourne), Nelum (Medical Practitioner in Melbourne), Lakshman (deceased), Tissa (Melbourne), Irangani (New York, USA), Shanthi (Melbourne), Asitha (U.K.) and Ruwan. Three of his sons followed the father and two captained their respective school’s while two others played for the team. This is a unique story for record books and it my pleasure to chronicle the details. Let me recap their cricketing years.

  • George Jayaweera captained St. Peter’s College cricket team from 1931 – 1933. Given below are the cricket pursuits of his four sons – Tissa, Shanthi, Asitha & Ruwan;
  • His son Tissa Jayaweera played for St. Peter’s in 1961 and 1962 as a batsman in the company of cricketers like Richard Heyn (Captain–1962), David Heyn (Captain-1964 ), Tyrone Le Mercier (Captain-1963), Maurice Decker, Didacus de Almeida (better known as a ruggerite), Rohan Abeysundera, Adiel Anghie (Captain – 1961), Travis Fernando (Captain – 1965), Adithiya de Silva, Ravi Fernando, Clifford Bartlett and others. Tissa emigrated to Australia and lives in Melbourne;
  • Fourth son Shanthi Jayaweera played first eleven cricket for St. Peter’s in 1966 alongside Skipper Darrel Wimalaratne, Peter & Stephen de Niese, A. Asgerally, Tony Opatha, Denham Juriansz, Rodney Paternott, Mervyn Fernando and Ronnie Gunaratne;
  • Another son Asitha Jayaweera captained Royal College. With due respects to Tissa, Shanthi and Ruwan, I personally feel Asitha gained fame as an all-rounder and leader after he moved to Royal College and enjoyed celebrity status playing from 1968 – 1972, captaining twice in 1970 and 1972. He was a wily spinner and middle order batsmen but was best known for his astute leadership qualities. Asitha also captained a strong Sri Lanka Schools team in 1972 that included two former Test Captains in Bandula Warnapura and Duleep Mendis. Soon after the school season he took wings to the U.K. for studies and this put paid to his chances of ever playing for his country. While in school he played alongside cricket stars like A.R. Gunasekara (Captain – 1968), S. Thalayasingham, Jayantha Kudahetty, Eardley Lieversz (Captain – 1969), A.R. Mudalige, C.R.L. Chitty, H.S. Yapa, Jagath Fernando (Captain-1971), Keith Paul, J. Thalayasingham, S.U. Samarage, B.N.R. Mendis, A.M. Pasqual, H.D. Caldera, N.D.P. Hettiarchchi,  S.S.G. Lawton, S.A. de Silva, P.N.S. Kariyawasam, L. Paulusz, R.T. de Silva, and J. Amerasinghe. Asitha lives in England with his family.
  • His youngest son Ruwan Jayaweera played for St. Peter’s College in 1973 and 1974, and like his great father captained in 1974. His team mates were Bernard Wijetunga, Gamini Goonasena (Captain – 1973), L. Jobsz, G. Solomons, E. Tevarayan, Nalyn Wiratunga, Lalith Obeysekara, Marlon Ranasinghe, Sunanda Jayasekara, R. Anandappa, Frankie Hubert, Charinde Perera, M. Paiva, S. Samaranayake, Ranjan Perera, M. Jayasekara, and R. de Niese.

JAYAWEERA 2 - 1933 team








St. Peter's College 1st XI – 1933

Coming back to the 1933 game, George Jayaweera won the toss but elected to field. St. Joseph’s amassed a huge total of 225 runs with all but two batsmen entering double figures –  Skipper Robert Fernando, 31, D. Moreira, 26, K.C. Pathmanathan, 31, Tommy Le Mercier, 32, Claude Wijesinghe, 10, J.P. Maloney, 36, H. Swaris, 19, and S.J. Cruse, 10 n.o. A feature of the Peterite bowling was the sensational spell of spin and googly bowling of Cyril Dias who bagged 9 wickets for 64 runs. In reply St. Peter’s were bundled out for 50 and 70 giving the Josephians and easy win by an innings and 105 runs. The Josephian bowlers ran through the opponents to give the Darley Road school an easy win. Pick of the bowlers were D. Moreira, P. Peiris, Claude Wijesinghe, and KLC Pathmanathan. Cyril Dias of St. Peter’s walked away with the Man of the Match award for his brilliant bowling performance.

Interesting bit of trivia –  

  • The 1st Joe-Pete encounter saw the birth of the Jayaweera family cricket dynasty;
  • The Jayaweera father and son (Ruwan – 1974) both captained the school by the Wellawatta Canal while another son Asitha captained Royal College twice (1970 & 1972) – a unique achievement probably unparalleled in Sri Lanka’s school cricket history;
  • Tommy Le Mercier played for St. Joseph’s in 1933 and his sons Tyrone 59-63 and Desmond 63/64 played for St. Peter’s College. Tyrone went on to captain St. Peter's in 1963;
  • Claude Wijesinghe, who played in 1933 and captained St. Joseph’s College in 1934 & 1935 is this writer’s paternal grand-uncle;Claude Wijesinghe’s grand-nephew Brian Obeyesekere captained St. Joseph’s College in 1969.

jayaweera 5 - 1960, 61 & 62 Tissa Jayaweera played for St Peters College cricket teamjayaweera 3 - In 1970 and  1972 Asitha Jayaweera Captained Royal  cricket teamjayaweera 1 - 1974 Ruwan Jayaweera captained St Peter's College cricket team

































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NORMAN PATERNOTT and his three sons kept the Peterite flag flying high for 43-years!

Posted on 01 March 2018 by admin

By: Upali Obeyesekere – Toronto, Canada.

SPC-LOGO SITESt. Peter’s College was founded by Rev. Fr. Michael J. Le Goc, a French Missionary who was Rector, St. Joseph’s College.  A few years later in 1927, Rev. Fr. Nicholas Perera was appointed Rector, St. Peter’s College. The first cricket team and the Old Boys’ Union were both formed in 1927 and the appointment of Norman Paternott as the first Head Prefect and the first cricket captain of St. Peter’s College heralded the school’s stature as a fully fledged educational institution. Notably, many significant events occurred under the insightful stewardship of Fr. Nicholas Perera (1927-1942). Every Peterite who has walked the hallowed hallways of our beloved school should pause for a moment and salute the memory of Rev. Fr. Nicholas Perera and Norman Paternott who were fixtures of importance and relevance in the formative years of St. Peter’s College.

From the annals of Peterite history we learn that picking a player to lead the young Peterite team was never in question. Out stood Norman Paternott (in photo) with his imposing personality who easily slipped into this role. He was a fiery pace bowler and lusty hitter of the ball. He also had inborn leadership skills which helped him to lead his alma mater from 1927-1930. Mind you, during these early years the team only played St. Joseph’s 2nd XI and other outstation schools like Holy Cross Kalutara, St. Aloysius’ College, Galle. Word has it that Norman Paternott terrorised the opposition at the time with his pace bowling. The “Josephian-Peterite series or the “Big Match” was not inaugurated until 1933. Later, the honour of captaining St. Peter’s College in the inaugural Josephian-Peterite fell on George Jayaweera who took over the captaincy from Paternott in 1931.

pdf version PATERNOTT ARTICLE 2017

Just over three decades later, it was nostalgic to see Norman Paternott park his car near the college canteen and then walk down to the Peterite Grounds to see his three athletic sons – Aubrey, Rodney and Hamish excel on the field representing St. Peter’s College in both cricket and rugby. The Paternott brothers were a fixture in the Peterite firmament from 1964 – 1970. Rodney Paternott was only 14 years when he first wore the Peterite rugby jersey to represent his alma mater in 1964, along with older brother Aubrey. Next year at 15, Rodney was included in the Peterite cricket team where both brothers played for St. Peter’s in both rugby and cricket. Rodney was only 17 when he captained his school’s rugby team. Next year he captained the cricket team.

Rodney Paternott had the unique honour of captaining both cricket and rugby, a feat so rare that only five others have done this remarkable double in eighty-four years (1933-2017) – Shirley de S. Illesinghe (1934/35), Percy Perera (1937/38), Jayantha Fernando (1957), Adiel Anghie (1959/1961), and Darrel Wimalaratne (1965/1966). Another rare honour that father Norman and son Rodney shared is that they are part of an exclusive club where father and son captained either of the “Saints” schools in cricket. Others in this club are George Jayaweera (1933) and his son Ruwan Jayaweera (1974) for St. Peter’s and Hector Perera Sr., (1939) and Hector Perera Jr, (1970) for St. Joseph’s College.










The dominance of the three Paternott brothers Aubrey, Rodney and Hamish at St. Peter’s College is legendary. There was always one or two of Norman Paternott’ sons playing either cricket and/or rugby for the ‘blue, white and gold’ flag every year from 1964 to 1970. This was a period where the Peterites had crack teams in both sports.

I will briefly capture details of each brother’s presence in the teams.

  • 1962 – Aubrey had his baptism into the rugby 1st XV for St. Peter’s led by Jeyer Rodrigues;
  • 1963 – Aubrey’s 2nd year playing rugby under Stephen Alagaratnam;
  • 1964 – Aubrey played cricket under David Heyn and Rugby together with brother Rodney under Rohan Abeysundera;
  • 1965Aubrey & Rodney played cricket and rugby under Travis Fernando (Cricket) and Darrel Wimalaratne (Rugby);
  • 1966Rodney played cricket and rugby under Darrel Wimalaratne (Cricket) and Hazmee Hameed (Rugby);
  • 1967Rodney captained the Rugby team and played cricket under Tony Opatha;
  • 1968Rodney captained the Cricket team with younger brother Hamish, and both played rugby under Ronnie Gunaratna;
  • 1969 Hamish played cricket and rugby under Denham Juriansz and Sunil Perera respectively;
  • 1970Hamish captained the Rugby Team and played cricket under Rory Inman.

I am making a profound statement here and is open to correction. My humble opinion is that the all-round remarkable achievements of Norman Paternott and his three sons Aubrey, Rodney and Hamish in cricket, rugby and athletics singles them out as the first family in the sporting history of St. Peter’s College, to date. Close runners-up would be George Jayaweera and his three sons who played cricket for St. Peter’s – Tissa, Shanthi and Ruwan (Captain in 1974). The only other notable family achievement that crosses my mind is that of the Heyn brothers – Richard and David who both captained cricket and played hockey for St. Peter’s.

Club Rugby & Cricket

All three Paternott siblings played club rugby. Aubrey played as lock forward (2nd row) for Havelocks Sports Club with Peterite star Royden de Silva. Aubrey continued to play rugby and cricket for Dimbulla and Uva later in life just prior to immigrating to Australia.

After one season with Havelocks, Rodney Paternott joined CH&FC where he blossomed out as a rugby player of international repute going onto represent the country against the Australian Emus in 1971. He played for CH as a wing three-quarter from 1970-76, captaining in the final year and, later became their coach in 1980. He also coached S. Thomas' College, Mt Lavinia for three years from 1981. He was also an International Rugby referee having refereed two Asia Rugby Tournaments in Taiwan (1980) and Singapore (1982). Rodney Paternott and brother Hamish, who also played for CH&FC in the early 70s made a formidable combination. Playing inside-three, Hamish's scissor passes, side stepping and sizzling runs are still spoken of in rugby circles today.

Cricket had not reached international status at the time but club cricket was at a high with the Sara Trophy Tournament. Rodney Paternott enlisted for the first CCC team to play in division I of the Sara trophy tournament in 1970-71, captained by Dan Piachaud (Old Thomian). This team was unique in the sense that it comprised five former Peterite captains – Dr. H.I.K. Fernando (captain in 1950), Travis Fernando (1965), Darrel Wimalaratne (1966), Tony Opatha (1967) and Rodney Paternott (1968). Other members of that team were Abu Fuard, Kanthi Johnpillai, Kevin Perera, Brian Obeyesekere (Captained St. Joseph’s in 1969), H.N. 'Porky' de Silva, and Tony Amith.

First batch of Head Prefects - St. Peter's College 1927

First batch of Head Prefects – St. Peter’s College 1927

Paternott 2Paternott - SPC Rugby 1965
1965 Cricket team led by Travis Fernando. St. Peter's beat St. Joseph's by 6 wickets.

1965 Cricket team led by Travis Fernando. St. Peter’s beat St. Joseph’s by 6 wickets.

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Suraj Abeysekera led St. Peter's to victory in 1978

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Suraj Abeysekera led St. Peter’s to victory in 1978

Posted on 01 March 2018 by admin

St. Peter’s College had a tremendous season in 1978 under the captaincy of Suraj Abeysekera winning “Best All Island Team” award in both the Sunday Observer and Sunday Times competitions. Besides Abeysekera's astute captaincy, he had a few star players who were match winners. On the bowling side was Vinothen John who needs little introduction. He opened bowling with Walter Fernando, another die-hard cricketer. Strengthening the team from a spinning perspective were skipper Abeysekera who had phenomenal season, fresher Niranjan Rodrigo, and Trehern Pereira. The Peterite top order batsmen were formidable with A. Fonseka, Michael Elias, Kitto Fernandopulle, Rohan Buultjens, Walter Fernando and Trehern Pereira. With this core group, the Peterites had a winning combination.

However, it was the Big Match itself that was one of the most memorable matches played that year and had the spectators on their toes throughout the day as the fortunes of the game oscillated like a pendulum from one side to the other. It was one of the most interesting 'big match' vinctories earned by the Peterites.

St. Joseph’s College won the toss and after electing to bat first, were struggling at 60 for 5 but a fighting knock by Michael De Silva helped them recover and declare at 217 for 9. Left arm seamer Ajith Dassanayake entered the record books with a haul of 5 wickets. St. Peter’s started their 1stinnings badly and lost wickets at regular intervals to reach 161 for 8 at Lunch on day two.

It was at this point that the Peterites took a very bold decision that threw the match wide open. They declared their innings with a deficit of 56 runs, an unprecedented decision at that time. In the same spirit, Josephian Captain  S Wijeyaratne declared the second innings of St. Joseph’s at 127 for 6 at Tea on day two.  This meant that the Peterites had to chase a challenging target of 184 to win in the last session which included the mandatory overs.

St. Peter’s started off disastrously, losing their openers in quick succession and were precariously placed at 9 runs for the loss of 2 wickets with the Josephian fast bowlers bowling exceptionally well.

In most cases, a team chasing a stiff target of 184 runs in the last session with two quick wickets down would have put up shutters and played for a draw. However, the Peterites had other ideas. The two excellent batsmen at the crease, Kitto Fernandopulle and Rohan Buultjens played very positively despite the early loss of wickets to keep the Josephian bowlers at bay whilst quietly accumulating runs. At the commencement of the mandatory overs, the score was 100 for 2, a very good position for the Peterites, considering the poor start. They then put the foot on the pedal and increased the scoring rate. The Josephians, realizing that they were losing control of the match, then began to employ negative tactics by packing the offside field and bowling outside the off-stump. The loss of Buultjens’ wicket brought to the crease Walter Fernando who hit out lustily in fading light.

Towards the latter part of the innings spectators on both sides were on their toes and whilst the Peterite spectators were dancing on the isles and shouting their voices hoarse, the Josephian spectators were losing heart by the minute as they realized that the Peterites were marching towards victory.  

Every passing minute brought a new twist to the match, making it more and more interesting with unbearable suspense. The Josephians were gradually losing control of the match whilst the Peterites were steadily forging their way to the target. Papare Bands were in full swing with the old boys of St. Peter’s parading around the ground, leading the cheering.  This motivated the young school boys to join in the fun.

The Peterites achieved the challenging target of 184 runs with 3 overs to spare in fading light.  Kitto Fernandopulle scored an unbeaten 65, Rohan Buultjens a stylish 73 runs and Walter Fernando contributed with some quick runs towards the end, making 42.  Skipper Suraj Abeysekara fittingly scored the winning run and the jubilant Peterite supporters sang and danced in Colombo until late night, celebrating the magnificent win of St. Peter’s College.

Credit for the victory should go to the bold decision made by the Peterites who decided to declare with a deficit of over 50 runs against the advice of many.  Credit is also due to the Josephians for reciprocating with an equally bold declaration. The chasing down of a stiff target of 184 runs in one session was also a brilliant achievement which left a lasting legacy in the Joe-Pete “Big Match” history.


  • St. Joseph's College – 217 (M. de Silva 58 not out, L. Aloysius 32, Rohan Wijesinghe 32) and 127 for 6 wkts declared (Viraj Perera 21 not out)
  • St. Peter's College – 161 for 8 wkts declared (Rohan Buultjens 73) and 187 for 4 wickets (Kitto Fernandopulle 65 not out; Rohan Buultjens 49; Walter Fernando 42)
  • St. Peter's College won by 6 wickets.


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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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