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Tuesday, January 13, 2004

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Determined Isipathana

Isipathana though famous in the schools rugby circuit has made themselves a name in the schools cricket too. Like in rugby they have fed the national team with some outstanding cricketers like Jayantha Paranathala who was the first Isipathanian to don the national jersey and Nuwan Zoysa being the most notable players.

Like many schools from the outstation who does not have their own ground, Isipathana has achieved many of their laurels without the ground facilities being a national school in the heart of Colombo. Nevertheless they keep on improving in whatever sport they do. Come what may, the schools cricket team this season, Isipathana are determined to give off their best and are aiming to finish in the top five from the 25 schools who are participating. Last year it was a fairly good season for them as they ended up in the 11th position having played 16 matches they won two lost two and the rest drawn.

The Isipathanians are possessing a well balanced out fit with even some of their senior players unable to find a place in the team. This season the Havelock Park boys are led by third year player Saman Nishantha with second year player Dilan Anuradha as his deputy.

They have a calypso style batsman in Tharaka Waduge who opens the batting for the side with fresher Visuddhi Kaluwitharana. Tharaka is a stylish batsman who has already scored a few 50s this season with his best being 65 in the first game against St. Joseph's. A player with immense experience who has represented the Under 19 Gampaha district team last year. Fresher Visuddhi is turning out to be a reliable partner for Tharaka. A useful right handed batsman, led the Under 15 side two years ago.

Much will depend on skipper Saman Nishantha who comes in at number three, a right handed batsman who scored over 500 runs last season with a best of 65 against St Joseph's. He set up record score of 150 n.o. against traditional rivals Thurstan which is highest between the two schools. This season he has scored a 131 against Sri Jayawardenapura MMV, since then he has not been upto his mark and should lead the team from the front.

He will be followed by hard hitter Mario Amarasinghe a stylish left handed batsman, playing his first season with Isipathana. He has already scored two half centuries this season with a best of 87 against Sri Jayawardenapura MMV. A dependable batsman who is capable of making a big score if he concentrates more. Played for the Gampaha district Under 19 team last year.

To keep the scoreboard ticking there is Dilan Anuradha the deputy of the side who is regarded as a top class batsman. A right handed batsman who scored over 500 last season with two half centuries and a best of 76 against Nalanda. Allrounder Liyan de Silva is a allrounder who is a left handed batsman and bowler who opens the attack. This season he has already scored two half centuries and has been in the wickets too.

Sharing the new ball with Liyan will be fresher Nilanchana Sankalpa who is a right arm pacie. Another player who should be in the runs is second year player and allrounder Sanjaya Dilruksha who scored over 500 runs last year which included three half centuries. A right arm off cutter. The wicket keeper of the side is Gayan Wijesinghe who is also playing his first season for Isipathana. Other players who are capable of bolstering the score are left handed batsman Chatushka Wickramaratne who is an up and coming cricketer who should go places, right handed batsman Gihan Dilruk who is also a fine bowler, Chathura Panawenna and Isuru Vindana. Sayuru Amarasinghe, Dishan Rajudeen, Pubudu Viraj, Kasun Athukorala and Chamara Perera are the freshers who are fighting for a place.

The team is coached by former Sri Lankan player Keerthi Gunaratne while the team is in the capable hands of D.N.Gurudeniya who is in charge of all the junior and senior teams, is doing a tireless job in keeping cricket alive at school.

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