A rampant Royal team led by Dhanushka Perera ripped through the teams they came up against with panache and lifted the Cup at the 21st annual Festival of Cricket (FOC) held at the Winchmore Hill Cricket Club, London on July 12.
The tournament featured some of the best Sri Lankan cricketing talent in the UK and Royal emerged victorious out of all the 24 school teams that took part at the FOC this year amidst jubilant Royal celebrations witnessed by nearly a five thousand strong crowd.
Malinda Thotiwilage’s swashbuckling form throughout the tournament was crucial to Royal’s success. Malinda’s knocks were a display of savage grace, fashioned through a combination of brutal power and beautiful timing and helped Royal beat St. Peter’s, D.S. Senanayake and then Isipatana at the semi-finals. Royal also met Holy Cross in the first round and recorded a convincing win.
Royal elected to bat first in the final and scored 63 runs in their allotted four overs. Thurstan in response needed seventeen runs in the final over, came desperately short. The final over was bowled by the irrepressible Gayan Maduranga who kept taking vital wickets and kept the scoring rate down for Royal with his clever medium-pace bowling in all the matches.
It was a real team performance by Royal, led by Perera who contributed well with his explosive batting and exceptional leadership.
Royal’s Thotiwilage duly won the ‘Man of the Tournament’ award.
It was a great day for Royal overall as the Royal Marquee stood out as the most colourful and the well-organised out of all the OBA marquees managed by Royal Marquee Marshall Mohamed Hussain, Mahesha Suriarachchi aided by the wives and girl friends of Royalists.
A special thank you should go to the Royal Cricket Coordinators Dr. Deutram Thambapillai, Ganga Kumarasuriyar, Dr. Gnana Sanakaralingam, Shanaka Herath and Earle Amarasekera, the President of Old Royalists’ Association in the UK (ORAUK).
The victorious Royal team: Dhanushka Perera (Captain), Gayan Maduranga, Malinda Thotiwilage, Sineth Withanage, Kasun Ranabahu, Samira Perera, Dulith Weeraratne, Nirosha Wijenayake, Gihan Premachandra and Shanaka Herath