unbeaten teams will meet in 26th “Battle of the Rocks”
By Vijitha Senaratne - Kurunegala Corr.
The 26th Battle of the Rocks encounter between hometown rivals Maliyadeva
College Kurunegala and St. Anne's College Kurunegala will be played
on March 11 and 12 at the picturesque Welagedara stadium, play commencing
at 10 a.m. on both days. The one-day encounter between the two sides
will be played on Sunday March 13 at the same venue. Both teams
are unbeaten this season and a keen tussle can be expected this
Maliyadeva College will be led by fifth year colours man Weranga
Dissanayake with Junior National poolist Sameera de Soyza as his
deputy. Middle order batsman Dissanayake has scored over 300 runs
this season with a highest score of 50 against Kalutara Vidlayala.
Much is expected from him in this big encounter as the leader of
Wicket keeper batsman Sameera de Soyza is a hard-hitting batsman
and has scored nearly 500 runs this season with three fifties. He
has topped the 700 run mark last season.
Sri Lanka under 19 cricketer Sahalika Karunanayake is the key player
of the side this season. Already he has scored over 650 runs with
three centuries with a top score of 165 against Dharmaraja College,
Opener Rajitha Ratnayake and middle order hard hitting batsman Hishan
Gunawardena are the other two players to watch in this big battle.
Gunawardena made a fine 70 against Kalutara Vidyalaya this season.
Gihan Ayantah, under 14 captain Dasun Madumal, all rounder Vimanga
Perera and Duminda Dassanayake will bolster the middle order batting
with some useful contributions.
Devans bowling attack will be spearheaded by paceman Shalika Karunanayaek
with 35 wickets and Rajitha Ratnayake 20 wickets and Vimanga Perera
as the first change bowler in this big match.
Karunanayake has taken five wickets in an innings on three occasions
with best figures of 7 for 47 against Vidyaratha College Kandy.
Rajitha Ratnaykae has claimed 7 for 36 against Raddoluwa M.M.V.
as his best this season.
Left arm spinner Duminda Dassanayake is the key spinner of the side
this season. He has claimed over 25 wickets. Last year he has claimed
over 70 wickets and much is expected form him this time.
Pacemen Pubudu Dharshana and spinner Hishan Gunawardena (off spin)
and Dasun Madumal (leg spin) will assist them when the team needs
their services in the middle of the opponent innings.
Maliyadeva played ten matches this season and all were drawn. They
are coached by former Devan all rounder Thusitha Herath with Harris
Bandara as their master-in-charge.
St. Anne's is a formidable side this year under the captaincy of
all rounder Bhatiya Ratnayake and already posted three outright
victories over St. Thomas College, Matale, Holy Cross College Kalutara
and St. Benedict's College, Kotahena, all by an innings. Skipper
Ratnayake has scored nearly 400 runs this season with a fine 69
against St. Sebastian's College Moratuwa as his best.
S.B. Yatawara is the coach of the side and W.M. Lakshman Priyankara
as the master -in-charge.
This series was started in 1959. It was revived in 1980 after 15
years and since then all matches have been drawn. Can anyone break
the 'hoodoo' this time? Maliyadeva leads the series with 3 wins
to Annites nil.
Weranga Dissanayake (Captain), Sameera de Soyza (Vice Captain),
Rajitha Ratnayake, Shalika Karunanayake, Hishan Gunawardena, Gihan
Ayantha, Wimanga Perera, Thusitha Kumara, S. Bulathwala, Duminda
Dassanayake, Prabath Weerasinghe, Hasanka Weerasekera, Pubudu Dissanayake,
Kanisha Rajaguru, Dasun Madumal, Thusitha Herath (Coach), Harris
St. Anne's College
Bhatiya Ratnayake (Captain), Derrick Martin (Vice Captain), Navin
Kahapola, Nuski Nazar, Wangeesa Malewana, Yohan Kanumale, Roshan
Kaleel, Chaminda Pathirana, Amaranath Wanninayake, Prabath, Aravinda
Madusanka Perera, Shanaka Shaninda, Lahiru Lankeshwara, S. Sylvester,
S.B. Yatawara (Coach), Lakshman Priyankara (MIC)