St. Sylvester’s  go out favourites

‘Battle of the Babes’ in the hills



by Rukshan Razak


The Hill Capital will stage its third ‘Big Match’ when St. Sylvester’s College, Kandy take on Vidyartha College, Kandy in the ‘Battle of the Babes’ 53rd edition on April 1 and 2 at the Pallekele Cricket Stadium.


St. Sylvester’s College have a better record this season, when compared to Vidyartha College. Last week, the Sylvestrians defeated Kingswood College.


The inaugural ‘Battle of the Babes’ encounter was played in 1958.


Of the 52 matchs played thus far, it is the Sylvestrians lead the series with 14 wins against three by Vidyartha. The rest were drawn.


The last win in this annual battle was registered in 2009, when St. Sylvester’s, under Chanaka Colombage won by default. That match was a low scoring game.


St. Sylvester’s, set a target of 117 off 33 overs were 107-3 off 21.1 overs, when the umpires took the teams off the field due to bad light.


At that stage, Sylvester’s required 10 runs for victory with plenty of overs to spare. When the umpires returned to the centre, the Vidyartha team refused to take the field. The umpires and the two batters were kept waiting for nearly 20 minutes in the middle.


Match referee Bernard Perera then decided to award a victory to St. Sylvester’s College.


Vidyartha's last win came in 1967 under R. M. Lafir, who later rose to the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police.


Thushara Kodikara of Vidyartha College holds the record for the highest individual score in the series. He slammed 217 not out in 1983 and inthe same year, V. P. Sugathadasa responded with a magnificent 128 not out to force a draw.


Another little known fact is that the present Governor of the Central Province, Tikiri Kobbekaduwa scored a century for St. Sylvester's College in the late 70s.


The late Hiran Rajakaruna in a phenomenal spell captured four wickets in four balls in 1967. The late Sarath Basnayake, a medium pacer from St. Sylvester's, bowled with hostility in 1962 and took nine for 14 in the first innings and five for 34 in the second to finish with a match haul of 14 for 48. Vidyartha were bowled out for 45 and 98 and the Sylvestrians won the match by an innings and 12 runs.


This ‘Big Match’ will be played for the Rev. Fr. Don George Trophy, which was donated by the late N. C. R. Herathge.


St. Sylvester’s College


St. Sylvester’s this season have experienced moderate success, playing 15 matches, winning four of them. Their victories were against Kegalu Vidyalaya, Revatha Vidyalaya, Balapitiya, Dharmapala College Pannipitiya and Kingswood College, Kandy.


They lost to Trinity College in their season opener, followed by St. Anthony’s College, St. Sebastian’s College, Ananda College and De Mazenod College. Incidentally, their match against S. Thomas’ College ended in a tie.


St. Sylvester’s are led by K. B. Menuka Nanayakkara, a fourth year coloursman.


This hard hitting left hand batsman who opens the batting has scored 541 runs.


The vice captain of the side is Niluka Kandaddarage, who has come to the rescue of the team on many an occasion. The all-rounder has scored close to 300 runs whilst capturing 44 wickets.


Top order bat Ruwantha Ekanayake has been impressive this season, scoring 800 runs in addition to capturing 26 wickets with his off spinners. He is a third year coloursman.


Waruna Wijesinghe with two centuries against S. Thomas’ and Revatha has scored 496 runs whilst capturing nearly 20 wickets with his medium fast bowling.


Second year coloursman Faiz Ahamed has 400 runs to his credit and 33 wickets. He is an off spinner.


T. D. Malalasekara has scored 349 runs and taken 25 wickets with his off spinners.


Left arm orthodox bowler Nimesh Mendis has accounted for 35 wickets, while Sumedha Dissanayake with 21 wickets and 320 runs has looks a good prospect for the future.


The team is coached by Julian Arnolda while B. K. P. M. de Silva is the Master-in-Charge.


Vidyartha College


Vidyartha in comparison consists of many young players.


They have played 15 matches, won two, lost three and two ended in no-decisions. The rest of the matches ended in draws.


They defeated Sri Devananda Vidyalaya, Ambalangoda and Taxila, Horana and lost to Trinity College, St. Anthony’s College and Rahula College, Matara.


All-rounder Tharindu Ranaweera leads Vidyartha this season. The right hander who opens the batting is yet to make an impression with the bat. His record as an off spinner is also not worth talking about.


All-rounder and vice captain Ushan Wickramasinghe has amassed 477 runs as a front-line batsmen with his best performance being 109 against St. Anthony’s College, Wattala. He is also the leading wicket taker.


His off spinners has brought him 55 wickets. In addition, he has captured six wickets in an innings on two occasions.


Yet another fine striker of the ball is left hand number three bat Niluka Galapitiya. He has scored 636 runs with a top score of 98 runs, in addition to four half tons.


Right had batsman and wicket keeper Ruwan Bandara has two centuries against Kingswood College and Rahula College, Matara. He has scored 634 runs.


Kasun Gamage has scored around 400 runs, with a top score of 110. He has also made an impression with his leg breaks.


Right arm medium pacer Samitha Attanayake has 35 wickets to his credit as well.


The others who have made useful contributions are; Pathum Colambage, Thissara de Silva, Upulitha Rajapaksa, Chrishantha Jayasuriya and Dasun Navaratne.


The team is coached by Aubrey Kuruppu, while Jayantha Kumara is the Master-in-Charge.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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