St. Sebastian’s - Prince of Wales clash on Friday

69th Battle of the Golds



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by Reemus Fernando


Two of the top eight teams in the ongoing Under-19 Cricket season, St. Sebastian’s and Prince of Wales will once again vie for honours in the Battle of the Golds Big Match starting at De Soysa Park, Moratuwa on Friday(15).


Prince of Wales and St. Sebastian’s were the runners-up in Group ‘B’ and ‘C’ respectively of the Under-19 Division I cricket tournament. They possess several leading batsmen and bowlers in the ongoing tournament. Hence the cricket fans of Moratuwa are likely to witness a quality contest.


St. Sebastian’s are led by former Sri Lanka Under-19 player Nuwanindu Fernando, the younger brother of Sri Lanka Test cricketer Vishwa Fernando. He will be the mainstay of the batting department which comprises Dunith Jayatunga, Janishka Perera, Nishitha Abilash and wicketkeeper batsman Sukitha Prasanna.


Fernando could not live up to expectations this season but has accumulated over 700 runs in 17 matches. Jayatunga maintains the best batting average (43) and has a tally of over 1100 runs inclusive of three centuries and five fifties. Janishka Perera (with a century) and Nishitha Abilash have both topped 600 runs. Prasanna’s contribution of over 500 runs for the season includes a century. Vinuja Ranasinghe whose main responsibility is leading the spin attack has also made valuable contributions in the batting department (over 400 runs) this season.


Ranasinghe will lead the spin attack with his left-arm spin. He had a rich haul of 67 wickets during the season. Kalana Sandeepa the other left-arm spinner in the team has 26 wickets in 11 matches. Offies Nadeera Fernando and Praveen Cooray, who have 57 wickets between them, complete a strong spin department. Janishka Perera will share the new ball with Tashik Perera (26 wickets), while Bihanga Mendis provides additional support with his left arm pace.


While Sebs enjoy the strength of a balanced attack, Cambrians will largely rely on spin.


Left-arm spinner Kaumal Nanayakkara passed 100 wickets for the season. He will shoulder a greater chunk of bowling responsibilities with skipper Suwath Mendis, who has taken more than 60 wickets. Naduka Fernando (30 wickets) will spearhead the pace attack with Vinuja Ranpul.


Skipper Mendis is their leading scorer this season. He has over 600 runs. He will form the batting department with his deputy Prince Fernando (over 400 runs), wicketkeeper batsman Dewaka Peiris (over 550 runs, 38 catches), Tharindu Amarasinghe (over 550 runs) and Vinuja Ranpul (over 550 runs).


How they performed this season


Cambrians


Prince of Wales recorded outright victories against De Mazenod, President’s, Isipatana and D.S. Senanayake while suffering defeats at the hands of S. Thomas’ and Mahanama. The wins against De Mazenod, President’s and D.S. Senanayake, who were in the same group, were crucial for them to secure the runner-up position in Group ‘B’ as they finished ahead of St. Peter’s. The Chambrians are now in the quarter-finals of the Division I tournament after edging out Richmond in the knock-out match with a first innings win.


Sebs


St. Sebastian’s played 20 matches this season. They beat St. Servatius’, St. Joseph Vaz’s, St. Mary’s, Kegalle and Maris Stella outright. They conceded a solitary defeat at the hands of Thurstan. The wins against St. Servatius’, St. Joseph Vaz’s and St. Mary’s in Group ‘C’ powered them to the runner-up position of that group behind S. Thomas’, Mount Lavinia. The outright win against Maris Stella was in the knockout stage and that booked them a quarter-final date with Trinity.


Cambrians who lead the victory tally 6-3 last tasted a win when Pemlal Fernando skippered team won in 1977. St. Sebastian’s last won in 2011 under the captaincy of Sanitha de Mel.


(Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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