Thomians rattle up 323 against Royal
132nd Battle of the BluesMarch 11, 2011, 9:50 pm
by Reemus Fernando
Skipper Ramith Rambukwella scored an unbeaten 53 runs, his second half century, for Royal College to post 99 for one wicket before a crowd invasion forced security officials to escort him out of the ground on the second day of the 132nd Battle of the Blues encounter against S. Thomas’ College, which turned out to be a battle of skippers at SSC Ground yesterday.
Rambukwella and Supun Subasinghe put on an unbeaten 67 runs stand for the second wicket to close a first innings deficit of 47 runs. That was after Thomians bludgeoned their way to post 323 runs thanks to a dogged fifth wicket stand of 114 runs between captain Chamodh Pathirana and Kavindu Perera and some late order heroics from Madushan Ravichandrakuma, who was involved in two valuable partnerships for the eighth and ninth wickets with Neomal Wickramasekara and Umesh Fernando respectively.
However, their first innings lead of 47 runs and tail-ender heroics were soon forgotten when Rambukwella took control. He was solid and calm during his half century. In contrast to his first innings 83 runs which included at least four appeals (three for caught behind and one for a run out), there was just one caught-behind appeal off the bowling of Mewantha de Silva which was promptly put down by his name sake, umpire Prageeth Rambukwella.
While he was unbeaten on 53 runs (7x4s), Subasinghe remained unbeaten on 31 runs (5x4s). The light meters were out when Rambukwella reached his half century with a boundary off Pathirana. It was followed by a mini crowd invasion which did not help consume the remaining two balls of Pathirana’s over.
Earlier after losing their most trusted batsman and the highest scorer of the season, Nuwan Kavinda for 36 runs in the fourth ball of the day Thomians showed their grit with two dogged partnerships.
If Thursday was Rambukwella’s, for a better part of the morning session yesterday his opposite number, Pathirana dominated compiling a valuable fifth wicket stand of 114 runs with overnight batsman Kavindu Perera. Their determined half centuries frustrated Royalists, who at times tried to match Thomians’ floppy fielding lapses exhibited on day one. The duo’s stand would have ended when they were 134 for four wickets hadn’t Supun Subasinghe dropped Perera (on 29) off the bowling of spinner Devind Pathmanathan. Royal’s highest wicket taker this season had to be disappointed once again when Rambukwella dropped a cramp-weakened Pathirana (on 61) at mid off. If Subasinghe’s was a sitter, Rambukwella’s would have been a lollypop to a fielder in the caliber of a Sri Lanka Under-19 player.
However, Royal skipper did not let the disappointment last too long as he came back strongly during a well controlled bowling spell after lunch to get rid of Pathirana with a fine caught and ball act. Incidentally, it was tit for tat after Pathirana denied him a second Big Match century on day one. Rambukwella’s calibrations spoke volumes of it.
Pathirana scored ten fours in his 109-ball knock, while Perera, who also became a victim to Rambukwella, earlier scored eight fours in his 51 runs (80balls).
With Rambukwella striking in successive overs S. Thomas’ slumped to 194 for seven wickets at one stage before Madushan Ravichandrakumar became a Thomian hero. The tail ender combined for 59 and 57 runs partnerships with Wickramasekara and Fernando for the eighth and ninth wickets to for them to take a first innings lead to a standing ovation from Thomian tents. In fact bear-drinking and chair-throwing crowd had been on the edge of their seat for a better part of the Thomian innings.
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Last Updated May 18 2013 | 05:06 pm