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All eyes on Sachith as Trinity play Antonians

89th 'Battle of the Blues'

The star in the Trinity team will be sixteen- year-old Sachith Pathirana. Pathirana, The Baby of the team’, has scored over 778 runs and taken 100 was this season. He has been a key figure in his team's seven outright wins.

By U.J. Jezeem
Trinity College will lock horns with St. Anthony's College in the 89th encounter of the 'Battle of the Blues' that will begin at the Asgiriya International Cricket Stadium in Kandy today.

The history of the series reveals that this match wickets inaugurated in 1914. This match was won by the Antonians but the 'Lions' hit back the very next year by winning the big match for the first time. This match was not played in 1916 but on the resumption of the series the Antonians won again in 1917.

The Trinitians won 11 matches in a row from 1918 to 1928, a feat that has helped them to retain the lead in the tally despite the Antonians dominating the encounter from 1948. During this period the 'lions' have just won twice which were under Eustace Rulach in 1951 and Thushara Weerasuriya in 1986. The Antonian's last win came in 1992 under Umesh de Alwis.

The tally at present stands at 22 wins by Trinity and 11 by St. Anthony's. Fifty five matches have ended in draws. For the record the match didn't take place in 1916, 1956, 1957 and 2001.

Trinity College, led by Maduranga Munaweeara a fifth year coloursman, is enjoying one of its finest seasons having played 17 matches wining seven and losing two.

Eight matches have ended in draws. This could be the best performance during a season by the Trinitians since the feats of the school's team in 1922. The Trinitians in 1922 won six matches beating Royal, St. Thomas, Wesley, St. Joseph's, St. Anthony's and St. Benedict's.

These details are recorded in the Centenary Magazine put out by Trinity College in 1972. Critics should check their facts and not under mine the deeds of the present team by casting aspersions on their discipline. Trinity's team in 1922 under Dr. Percy Maralande was certainly an unbeaten one with six wins.

The present members of the team should take serious note of this and not get carried away by their achievements.

Big made Maduranga Munaweera who has helped Trinity to notch up seven wins has led the team from the front. He has amassed 920 runs with his belligerent batting.

His feats this season include a century. He has also captured 65 wickets. It is left to be seen whether he could lead the 'lions' to victory against their archrivals.

Vice Captain Sisitha Jayasinghe, another fourth year coloursmen, has not struck form this season having been hampered by an injury for most part of the season. However, he has been among the wickets and scored some runs in the last few matches.

The star of the side is undoubtedly Sachith Pathirana, the 'baby of the side'. Pathirana is a left-handed batsman. His left arm spinners has mesmerised the best of schoolboy batsmen.

He has been a key figure in his team's seven outright wins. His efforts this season have helped him take 100 wickets and amass 778 runs.

This season has been a memorable one for Pathirana. He scored a double century (228 not out) against Sri Rahula College, Katugastota in the very first match. He was the first in his team to reach 500 runs and 50 wickets.

His other achievements this season include claiming a hat trick. He is credited with being the first Trinitian to take 100 wickets in a season.

The Antonians will have to look out for the duo of Maduranga Munaweera and Sachith Pathirana.

The Trinitians also have in their line-up last year's First XI captain Clifford Fernando who is also an all rounder.

Fernando played a major role in the'lions' dominating proceedings over the 'Eagles' in both versions of cricket last year. St.Anthony's celebrated its 150th anniversary last year.

Manager administration Trinity College, Mohan Samarakoon, has played a major role in motivating the boys to perform better. He has been an inspiration to the boys by being present at practices and at matches.

St. Anthony's College Kandy will be led by third year player Promodh Fernando. Fernando comes from an illustrious family where its male members excelled in sports at St.Anthony's. Fernando is a fine all-rounder. He has scored 400 runs this season that includes a century against St. Sylvester's College.

He has also captured 30 wickets with his off spinners. Many are of the opinion that he would have performed better if not burdened with the duties of a captain.

The Antonians have played 11 matches and drew all. This goes without telling that the lads from Katugastota can't be tamed easily. This was evident in a few matches this season.

The fighting qualities in them have helped them to remain unbeaten this season.

Sameera Weerabahu is the vice captain of the side. He is an attacking batsman and has scored around 300 runs.

He will also be entrusted with the duties to perform with the new ball, having captured 30 wickets this season.

The team is coached by former St. Anthony's, SSC and Sri Lanka test cricketer, Piyal Wijetunga, who has done a good job in building up a promising team.

Trinity College -Madhuranga Munaweera (Captain), Sisitha Jayasinghe (V. Captain), Clifford Fernando, Sachith Pathirana, Charith Dumbarage, Arinda Buluwewa, Mohammed Suzeer, Sampath Ratnayake, Santush Ratnayake, Dilan Gangoda, Diluka Talagoda, Lasith Jayatillake, M. Auwardit, Dineshka Seneviratne, Ravindra Adhikari, Shahan Kalubowila, Erey Basnayake, Coach-H.M. Muthalib, MIC Gamini Gissanayake, POG Anura Madawela.

St. Anthony's College-Pramodth Fernando (Captan), Sameera Weerabahu (V. Captain), Harshana Medagoda, Shameer Munas, Selwyn Jamion, Sahan Pallihakkara, Adil Reyal Shaheer Reyal, Dinuka Wijewardena, Gimhana Dissanayake, Peter Samarakoon, Prasanga Illankoon, Malindu Perera, Eranda Hewapathirana, Shamil Uduwake, Hasantha Niyadagala, Jerome Siegertes, Roshan Mahesh, Varuna de Silva, M. Ranasinghe, Coach-Piyal Wijetunga, Sports Co-ordinator Chandra Mahawattege)

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