Sports
Trinity-St. Anthony’s big match gala today and tomorrow
Text and Pix. by Rukshan Razak, Kandy Corr.


St. Anthony’s College cricket team

It’s time for play and entertainment as the ‘Big Match’ gala rocks the city. The hills will experience a carnival atmosphere when the grand event, the ‘Big Match’ between the two oldest schools in the hills takes place. Trinity-St. Anthony’s Battle of the Blues will take pride of place when the Lions and the Eagles square off in their 90th meeting at Katugastota today and tomorrow.


Trinity College cricket team

The past records show that the Antonions have dominated the series in the later part of their meetings. Yet Trinity continues to dominate the series overall. The Trinitians have the honour of triumphing in 22 outings against 11 by Antonians with 56 draws, in this series, which runs down to the year 1918.

The Antonians are the last to record a victory. They won in 1992 under Umesh De Alwis, while the last success of the Trinitians runs two decades behind to 1986 under Thushara Weerasuriya.

This year it is expected to be a keenly contested meeting as both teams are evenly poised. They will battle for John Halangoda Memorial Trophy which was introduced last year in the 89th battle to make the 150th Anniversary Celebration of St. Anthony’s College. Late Mr. Halangoda was a distinguished old boy of St. Anthony’s College and a member of the Trinity staff and had been their much loved cricket coach.

Prolific all-rounder Charitha Dumbarage will lead Trinity. So far he has excelled in both departments of the game. Right hand bat Charitha has aggregated over 600 runs. Sacith Pathirana, his deputy, is the only schoolboy cricketer from hills who represented Sri Lanka Under-19 team at the World Cup. He is a fine all-rounder who can turn a game especially with some aggressive knocks. The area where he is specialized is his left arm orthodox spin bowling. Apart from these two there are also some experienced lads who are capable of delivering the goods. The Ratnayake duo; Santhush and Sampath, though haven’t performed to their potential, could be dangerous at times. The explosive but elegant stroke player Sazeer Mohamed is the other Trinitian to watch. Dilan Gangoda is expected to continue the good work that he has been doing behind the wickets and as a top order batsman. Arinda Bulanawewa, Chamika Kaluarachchi Romesh Perera, Sanka Auwardt are also some key contenders in the Trinity outfit.

The pace attack of the Trinitians will be in the experienced hands of Sazeer Mohamed, Rajitha Bandara and Chamika Kaluarachici.

The team will be more dependant on a cluster of spinners, namely skipper Charitha Dumbarage, Sachith Pathirana, Sampath Ratnayake, Arinda Bulanawewa and Lasith Jayathilake.

St. Anthony’s College is led by Shameer Munaz who is an all-rounder. He is capable of turning matches with his breezy knocks and his right arm off cutters. His deputy Selwyn Jamion is a very good striker of the ball and equally productive with his right arm medium pace bowling. Promodth Fernando is another all-rounder. Peter Samarakoon who is expected to open the attack along with Jemion is a useful batsman who has also made some match winning knocks. Harshana Medagoda, a dependable batsman and Gimhan Dissanayake, the opener have loads of responsibility on their shoulders. The latter also keeps wickets. Jerome Siogortsz, Adil Riyal and Malindu Perera are the other top players.

The spin attack of the Antonian camp comprises Shameer Munaz, Promodth Fernando, Adil Riyal Eranda Hewapathirana, Mlinda Ranasinghe and Harshana Medagoda.

Trinity-Antonian at a glance

Trinity 22 wins

St. Anthony’s 11 wins

Draws 56

Last victory

St. Anthony’s in 1992 — Under the captaincy of Umesh De Alwis

Trinity in 1986 — Under the captaincy of Thushara Weerasuriya.

Best batting stand 266 between ACM Lafir (176) and Ronad Sterens (120) for St. Anthony’s in 1954.

 

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