by S.M. Jiffrey Abdeen – Kandy Sports Corr.
A keen contest is expected when St. Sylvester’s College clash with Vidyartha College in their 57th ‘Battle of the Babes” which will be played at the Asgiriya Stadium, Kandy next Friday and Saturday March 8th and 9th play commencing at 10 am. each day.
According to the records, the Sylvestrians are in the lead with 14 wins against 3 by Vidyartha College. St. Sylvester’s College last won in the 2009. Chanaka Colombage through a default when the Vidyarthians did not come into the field after an interruption when the Sylvestrians were chasing victory. The match referee late Mr. Bernard Perera in consultation with the two umpires awarded the match to St. Sylvester’s College as they were on victory course. Vidyartha College last won in 1967 under R.M. Lafir. That was 45 years ago.
St. Sylvester’s College will be led by Dushan Malalasena – fifth year coloursman a good leg spinner and left hand who has been in very poor this season.St. Sylvester’s College have played 14 matches, won 0 and lost 1 to St. Peter’s College and drawn the rest. Sumedha Dissanayake playing in his fourth year is the vice captain of the side. A left arm spinner who took 70 wickets last season and scored 600 runs last season has been played with an arm injury which has prevented him from bowling and also give his best for the team.
The Sylvestrians have been very unfortunate this season as a number of their key players are on the injured list. Left arm spinner Nimesha Mendis who captured 95 wickets last season has not bowled much due to an injury. Harsha Wedikkara too is in the injured list. Thus their key players being out of action, you cannot blame this side for under-performing.
Hansamal Perera with 500 runs including a ton against D.S. Senanayake College. His younger brother 14-year-old Manuja Perera too is shaping to be a good bat. The other batsmen in the team are Indunil Samarananda, Tharindu Hashan, Dilan Mel.
The Sylvestrian pace attack is very brittle and often they into the match with the spinners opening the attack. At present their key bowler is off spinner Indunil Samarananda along with Tharindu Hashan and Dilan Mel.
The team is coached by Sankal Gunasekera with Roland Perera as the consultant coach. Vidyartha College will be led by fourth year player Muditha Ellepola, a good bat who has socred 600 runs and also captured 20 wickets with his off spinners. They have played 14 matches, won 4 outright, lost 1 to Dharmaraja College and drawn the rest. Ravindu Disanayake is the vice captain of the side. A good bat having scored over 680 runs and bowls off spin occasionally. Capable batsman in the side are Avishka Ranaweera (450 runs), Kasun Nawaratne (675 runs), Dasun Nawaratne (160 runs), Malaka Wickremaratne (380 runs), Heshan Dissanayake (250 runs), Isuru Weerasinghe (250 runs).
Left arm spinner Chanaka Ratnayake with 50 wickets is their main spinner. The other spinners in the side are Avishka Ranaweera, (off spin), Ravindu Dissanayake (off spin), Dasun Nawaratne (off spin). The attack will be opened by Isuru Weerasinghe and Malaka Wickremaratne followed by Heshan Dissanayake, Prince Roshan and Chanaka Lokuliyana. Kasun Nawaratne is the stumper of the side. The team is coached by old boy Sanjaya Silva with Jayantha Kalugamage as the master-in-Charge.
St. Sylvester’s College: Dushan Malalasena (Captain), Sumedha Dissanayake (vice Captain), Hansamal Perera, Manujaya Perera, Dilan Mel, Nimesha Mendis, Harsha Wedikkara, Indunil Samarananda, Pramod Lashan, Malith Prematillake, Akalanka Dissanayake, Ranjith Piyaratne, Kasun Sumanaratne, Upul Wickshana, Mohammed Rifaz, Upendra Palamakumbura, Harsha Madhushan, Tharindu Hashan and Ahamed Dilshan.
Vidyartha College: (from) Muditha Elpitiya (Captain), Ravindu Dissanayake (vice Captain), Avishka Ranaweera, Chanaka Ratnayake, Isuru Weerasinghe, Kasun Nawaratne, Dasun Nawaratne, Krishantha Jayasuriya, Malaka Wickremaratne, Heshan Dissanayake, Chinthaka Lokuliyana, Prince Roshan, Sahan Maduka, Pathum Colombage, Ruwan Ranaweera, Roshan Nanayakkara, Nipuna Ranaweera, Lahiru Jayasuriya, Kanishka Herath and Asanka Fernando.