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142nd Battle of the Blues (Day2): Thomians In Sensational Collapse 87/9

By Marlon Dale Ferreira

  • Cricket The Ultimate Winner

Royal College left S. Thomas’ College reeling at 87 for 9 in 47 overs of batting on the second day of their 142nd battle of the blues big match cricket encounter at the SSC ground in Colombo on Friday.

The first day’s play was a complete washout and the match began only at 1 pm on the second day after ground staff did a tremendous job to dry out the outfield that was saturated after rain on the first day and also on the morning of the second day.

Royal won the toss and decided to field first and it did not take long for them to make inroads into the Thomian batting to leave them struggling at 48 for 8 in the first session, before tea was taken with 26 overs bowled.

Much to the delight of the Royalists the Thomian procession began as early as in the 2nd over bowled by Sonal Amarasekara when Romesh Mendis was trapped lbw and plumb in front for a duck .

Amarasekara then continued his dream opening spell to remove the Thomian skipper Shalin De Mel for one and Vice Captain and Sri Lanka Under Cricketer Ryan Fernando for a duck in his second and third overs.

His opening bowling partner Kavindu Pathirathne who was also getting good movement in the air and off the pitch, then removed Thomian Shenesh Hettiarachchi in the 7th over to have cream of the Thomian batting back in the pavilion and reeling at 9 for 4.

The Thomians soon found themselves in deeper trouble at 32 for 8, when Anuk Palihawadana, G.Caniston,Nathan Caldera and Thenuka Liyanage were all sent trudging back to the pavilion, before Yasiru Rodrigo and Mahith Perera came to the Thomians in a face saving 38 run partnership for the 9th wicket.

The duo initially pushed the score along to 48 for 8 at tea and then thereafter after batting together for almost 20 overs, Royalist left arm spinner Gishan Balasooriya who created havoc with the Thomian middle order ripped one to bowl out Perera to break the stand and claim his fourth wicket of the innings.

Mahith Perera played a patient knock facing 64 balls and hit a single four in scoring 22.

Number eleven batter Rajindu Tilakaratne defended 14 balls resolutely to provide his senior partner Rodrigo the strike, as the duo put on 14 runs for the 10th wicket when bad light brought play to an end at 5:05 pm.

Rodrigo, using all his Sri Lanka Under 19 experience held the fort for the Thomians and remained unbeaten on 30 which included two fours, facing 95 deliveries in almost three hours of batting.

Only 47 overs of the 63 overs were permitted during the day.

However it could be safely said that cricket was the ultimate winner as in this short period, every aspect of this sport was witnessed. There was a superb spell of fast bowling and a sensational batting collapse. There was a spinner extracting both spin and bounce to rattle the middle order batsmen and there was also a resolute partnership for the 9th wicket which included one batsman in Rodrigo batting for 176 minutes. There were catches taken and there were catches being dropped. There was a third umpire referral too.

However, what was of significance is that it beat the rain and if you are an ardent Thomian or Royalist follower or supporter it also beat the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic that threatened to break its unbroken series record of 142 years.