Formidable St. Patrick’s meet unpredictable Jaffna College

95th ‘Battle of the Golds’


by Reemus Fernando

St. Patrick’s College go out with three pacies and a couple of good spinners for their match against Jaffna College who have had fluctuating fortunes in the lead up to the 95th ‘Battle of the Golds’ Big Match which will be played today and tomorrow, at St. Patrick’s College Ground, Jaffna.

St. Patrick’s, captained by the experienced Joseph Clington, will have Ajith Darwin, who spearheaded the Jaffna District Under-15 and Under-17 teams, sharing the new ball with Nitharshan. W. C. L. Livington, who is also a right arm paceman will come in as the first change bowler. They also have a formidable spin department too, to rely on. Off-spinner A. M. Norbert has picked up nearly 60 wickets this season while V. Kugabala has claimed over 20 wickets.

The leading team in the Jaffna peninsula, St. Patrick’s will be inspired by their victories against St. Thomas’ College, Matale, Skandavarodaya College, Chunnakam and Canagaratnam MMV, Jaffna.

They have played 11 matches this season, mostly against All Island Under-19 Division II tournament rivals from the southern part of the country and suffered only one defeat, which was at the hands of Piliyandala Central.

In the batting department, Livington and Clington are the top scorers this season. While Livington has scored over 370 runs in 11 matches, Clington has scored nearly 300 runs in 12 innings.

Jaffna College is captained by paceman V. Sobinathsuwan, who has a seven-wicket haul against Canagaratnam MMV and his tally of 46 wickets this season, to inspire his team who have recorded three wins and suffered four outright defeats to earn the tag of being an unpredictable team.

He has former skipper R. Ben Dilharan and S. Mathushan to provide experience to a side which is largely made up on inexperienced players. Jaffna College beat Mahajana College, Manipai Hindu College and Canagaratnam MMV and lost to St. John’s College, Jaffna Central, Kokuvil Hindu College and Jaffna Hindu College. Their top scorer this season is S. Mathushan, who has scored close to 300 runs.

They will be up against a team that has experience playing in the country’s Under-19 Division II tournament.

The second oldest big match in Jaffna, the ‘Battle of the Golds’ has not seen the Rev. Fr. T. M. F. Long (OMI) Challenge Shield being owned by a team since 2007. St. Patrick’s won the match that year. St.Patrick’s leads the series, 31-16.

The Big Match between these two schools is said to have commenced in 1917.

While St. Patrick’s is coached by A. S. Nishanthan, Jaffna College is coached by R. Kugan and M. Thileepan.

St. Patrick’s College

Joseph Clington (Captain)

A. M. Norbert

Rishanth Tuder

V. Kugabala

J. M. Alestin

Ajith Darwin

R. Nidharshan

R. Jackson

W. C. L. Livington

Morris Miroshan

D. Suherthan

J. Thanushanker

Jaffna College

V. Sobinathsuwan (Captain)

R. Ben Dilharan

S. Mathushan

N. Kajendran

L. Mathavaruban

S. Vibeesh

T. Nevethana

T. Nimalenthira

S. Balraj

R. Nilaxshan

R. Vishnujan

I. J. Dilaxshan

Victory Tally

St. Patrick’s College 31

Jaffna College 16

Drawn 29

(Results of the rest of the matches not available)

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