Trinity win thriller, break 25-year jinx

‘Battle of the Blues’ in Kandy


by Rukshan Razak

Trinity College broke a 25-year jinx when they defeated St. Anthony’s College by an innings and one run in Kandy’s 96th ‘Battle of the Blues’ cricket big match ended at the Asgiriya International Cricket Stadium yesterday.

The win enabled the marauding ‘lions’ to retain the Chris Halangoda Trophy with full honours. In the previous years, it was by virtue of first innings wins that the recipients were decided. By this win, Trinity increased their ‘big match’ tally to 23 wins against 11 by the Antonians while 61 matches have ended in draws. In fact the last occasion that a result was produced in this encounter was in 1992 when St. Anthony’s registered a convincing win over the lions under Umesh de Silva. But for Trinity, it was way back in 1996 when they won outright under Thusha Weerasooriya who was incidentally the only ‘triple lion’ for Trinity (in cricket, athletics and rugby). Indeed this is the second time a big match was won by Trinity outright in 61 years. It was in 1951 that the Lions had won that way before, under the captaincy of Eustace Rulach.

On the 2nd and the final day’s play, the Antonians who resumed batting from an overnight 77 for four, succumbed to the pressure unleashed by the Alwin Fernando (4 for 41), who bowled his spins with such variation before they were bundled out for 192 all out in 71.4 overs by lunch. Earlier, even though their opener Yohan Woods, with 39, and Kanishka Ranaraja, with 42, revived their hopes, they did not last long as the two spinners from Trinity, Janishka Premasinghe (2 for 40) and Lakshan Jayasinghe (2 for 21) came out with threatening spells to end the Antonian innings that did not last more than the first session on the day 2.

Forced to follow on after lunch, the Antonians, having lost early wickets amid a stupendous spell this time around by Trinity’s medium pacer, Amrith Srimahan (5 for 39) and ably supported by Premasinghe (4 for 45), their middle-order collapsed like a pack of cards. None of their batsman, sans three top-order bats, could reach double figures and before long the Antonian innings came to an end by 4.45 pm with just 15 minutes before close. Earlier, the Antonian tail-enders struggled to stay on, but their efforts finally proved futile in the process of saving the game from innings defeat as they fell short of two runs and thus they succumbed to the defeat by an innings and just one run when they were bowled out for a paltry 109 runs in 65.5 overs in their 2nd essay.

Trinity’s Janishka Premasinghe, for a match-bag of 6 for 85 and a staggering 61 runs in the Trinity innings, was rewarded with the ‘man of the match’ title while Amrith Srimahan, with a match-bag of 6 for 89, was adjudged the best bowler. Meanwhile, Trinity skipper Niroshan Dikwella walked away with the ‘best fielder’ award as his former skipper Akila Jaysundara, who scored a steady 61, won the ‘best batsman’ award.

Trinity College cricket Capt. of 1966, Harendra Dunuwila, the chief guest, gave away the awards.


Trinity College: 302 for 8 wkts. Decl. in 63 overs (Niroshan Dikwella 1, Janishka Premasinghe 61, Ron Chandragupta 11, Heshan Wanniarachchi 15, Alwin Fernando 47, Rajitha Jaythunga 41, Dinuk Wickramanayake 16, Akila Jaysundara 61, Lakshitha Dassanayake 22 n.o., Kanishka Ranaraja 1 for 19, Sachin Bulathsinghala 2 for 69, Saranga Rajaguru 3 for 89)

St. Anthony’s College: (77 for 4 wkts in 33 overs o/n) and 192 all out in 71.4 overs (Yohan Woods 39, Sachin Bulathsinghala 16, Manoj Sarathchandra 12, Kanishka Ranaraja 42, Saranga Rajaguru 39, Lakshan Jaysinghe 2 for 21, Janishka Premasinghe 2 for 40, Alwin Fernando 4 for 41) and 109 all out in 65.5 overs (Kavinda Pulikuttiarachchi 23, Kanishka Ranaraja 21, Saranga Rajaguru 25, Amrith Srimahan 5 for 39, Janishka Premasinghje 4 for 45).

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