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

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

Posted on 26 February 2019 by admin

Courtesy: By M. Shamil Amit – Sunday Times.

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

St. Peter’s College Team 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

St. Joseph’s College Team 2019







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

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