81st Battle of the Maroons next weekend

The annual Ananda – Nalanda cricket encounter, the 81st Battle of the Maroons will be worked off on the 6th and 7th March, 2010 at the SSC grounds. A week later, on the 14th March the two leading cricket playing schools in the country will play the one-day encounter.

This year, Ananda College will be captained by fourth year coloursman Matheesha Perera while Nalanda College will be led by Dinuk Jayasinghe.

Throughout the long history of the ‘Battle of the Maroons’ Ananda College has won on 14 occasions while Nalanda College has tasted victories on five instances.

While Ananda College recorded their last win in the year 2003, Nalanda last won way back in 1953. The winning teams were led by Duminda Kularathne and S. Gangodawila respectively. By winning the Big Match in the years 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940 and 1941 consecutively Ananda established a golden run in the history of the encounter.

Nalanda’s only successive wins came in 1949 and 1950.

This season, after 18 matches, Nalanda College has won five outright victories. Those wins have come against Lumbini College, Isipathana College, Thurstan College, Joseph Vaz College and Mahanama College.

Nalandian Nipun Karunanayake has scored over 1000 runs this season with three hundreds. Their bowling department will rely on spinners Dinuk Jayasinghe and Nipun Karunanayake. Jayasinghe, the captain, has taken 47 wickets at an average of 18.5 with two five wickets hauls while Karunanayake has taken 36 wickets at an average of 18.9 with one five wicket haul.

Ananda College, meanwhile, having played 17 matches have recorded three outright wins – against Dharmasoka College, Zahira College and Dharmaraja College.

Ananda captain Matheesha Perera has taken 47 wickets this season at an average of 17.3 while Sahin Devage has scored more than 800 runs with a best knock of 122 that came against Royal College.

Sachitra Perera is the most successful bowler for Ananda having taken 74 wickets at an average of 14.6.

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