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POSTED AT 06:59 AM 10-03-2019

Thomians in Royal toast

Break a win-less 12 year period to record seven wicket victory:

The victorious S. Thomas’ College team celebrate winning the DS Senanayake Shield after beating Royal College in the 140th Battle of the Blues match at the SSC ground yesterday (Pix by Sulochana Gamage and Saman Mendis)

S. Thomas’ College living up to expectations demolished Royal College by seven wickets on the third and final day of their 140th Battle of the Blues match at the SSC ground in Colombo yesterday and in the process won the big match after a lapse of 12 years.

Opener Shalin de Mel hit the winning runs with a pull to the midwicket boundary as he remained unbeaten on 67 with 10 fours and one six after the Thomians chased down a 122 target.

Supporters of S. Thomas’ College raced onto the field to congratulate De Mel who played true to his consistent form during the inter-school season and Ravindu de Silva who was unbeaten on 13 after the pair came together with the total on 79.

The only thing that may have gone against the Thomians was the resistance that Royal’s last two wickets put up that delayed the result and it was left to part time bowler Yohan Perera to wrap up the innings by claiming the last two wickets in one over that of top scorer Pasindu Sooriyabandara for 67 and last man Gishan Balasuriya.

While the rest of the Royal batting could not make headway, it was left to the experienced Sooriyabandara to defy some accurate Thomian bowling as he held the innings together for more than a session after Royal resumed from an overnight 148 for 4, a lead of just 10 runs in the second innings.

Thomian bowling sensation Kalana Perera bowled his heart out to separate the Royal College pair of Sooriyabandara and Lahiru Madushanka (11 not out) but after doing everything possible it was left to Yohan Perera to break the half century partnership.

Perera finished the match with a haul of nine wickets that included his six wickets in the first innings that turned the contest in favour of the Thomians who took the DS Senanayake Trophy.

Kalana Perera proved a bit generous towards Royal in the second essay as he conceded 102 runs taking three wickets.

Faced with a target of 121 the Thomians had no difficulty in getting the runs as openers Sithara Hapuhinna and Shalin de Mel tore into the bowlers from the start to set the base with a 56 runs stand before parting company as Hapuhinna made 34.

One of the features of the match was the catching displayed by Thomian Shalin de Mel who held on to seven catches in the match that included five in the first innings.

KARUPPIAH RAMAKRISHNAN

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