Nalanda hold the edge over Ananda | Daily News


90th Battle of the Maroons at the SSC from today

Nalanda hold the edge over Ananda

Nalanda College with six outright wins for the season are quite confident they can emerge victorious over traditional rivals Ananda College when the two leading Buddhist schools meet in the 90th Battle of the Maroons cricket encounter at the SSC grounds today and tomorrow for the Dr. NM Perera memorial trophy.

“We are ahead of Anandians because we have won six matches outright this season and our team is well balanced. I am satisfied with my team and I think we can win this encounter,” said a confident Nalanda skipper Lakshitha Rasanjana ahead of their big clash.

Nalanda enter the battle with a positive frame of mind under the captaincy of fifth year all-rounder Rasanjana having beaten Lumbini, Dharmasoka, Dharmapala – Pannipitiya, Wesley, De Mazenod and President College – Kotte of the 16 matches played so far for the season.

Stylish right handed batsman and spinner Rasanjana has played a major role for his team in their victories scoring 1117 runs inclusive of five hundreds and six half centuries and captured 70 wickets. His highest score is 157 against St. Sebastian’s and best bowling is 7 for 45 against De Mazenod.

Deputy skipper and third year coloursman right handed Avishka Perera has scored 762 runs including two centuries and two half centuries and is wicket keeper. His best innings is 169 against Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda.

Second year all-rounder (right hand bat and medium pacer) Chamindu Wijesinghe has scored 461 runs including five half tons in ten matches with a highest score of 89 against President’s College, Kotte. He has also taken 42 wickets with a best bowling of 8 for 31 against Dharmasoka College. All-rounder fresher Raveen de Silva has made 403 runs and taken 26 wickets with 7 for 58 against President’s College – Kotte as his best.

Third year coloursman Dilhara Polgampola and second year coloursman Ranindu de Silva who have passed the 400-run mark are also expected to contribute along with second year right hander Mahima Weerakoon (313 runs and 16 wickets).

Nalanda’s bowling too has been up to expectations with 15-year-old fresher Dineth Samaraweera taking the honors with a haul of 27 wickets and a best of 5 for 34 against President’s College.

Nalanda is coached by Shanuka Dissanayake with Ruwan Dissanayake as his assistant.

Nalanda has provided many talented players to the national cricket team Bandula Warnapura, Lalith Kaluperuma, Jayantha Seneviratne, Anura Ranasinghe, Sanath Kaluperuma, Asanka Gurusinha, Roshan Mahanama, Keerthi Ranasinghe, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Dharmasena and Shantha Kalavitagoda.

Ananda captain Kamesh Nirmal also spoke of winning despite a lean season where they have failed to win a single match outright in 18 attempts whilst losing one match outright and winning six on first innings.

“Our team has had good preparations for the big match with hard practice in the last few days. I expect my teammates will give their fullest co-operation to bring victory to our school,” Nirmal said. Nirmal is the leading run getter for his school with 1032 runs including two centuries and seven half centuries with a highest score of 101 against St. Benedict’s College. Third year coloursman, right hand bat and paceman vice-captain Chamika Gunasekara has scored 200 runs and ccaptured 24 wickets. Other leading run scorers are third year coloursman Kanishka Ranthilaka and Kalana Wijesiri who have scored 810 and 700 runs respectively. Left handed Kanishka has seven half centuries under his belt with a highest score of 99 against St. Anne’s, Kurunegala and right hander Kalana has five half tons with a highest score of 88 against Maliyadeva, Kurunegala.

Fresher Janidu Jayawardana will play a major role as an allrounder having scored 423 runs and picked up 48 wickets. His best bowling was 5 for 32 against St. Anne’s, Kurunegala. Third year coloursman Daminda Reshan who has scored 500 runs including three half tons has taken 18 wickets. Much is expected from another two freshers who have crossed the 400-run mark Sudeepa Angulugaha (402) and Moditha Ranatunga (450).

Ananda’s bowling is in the hands of three pacers deputy skipper Chamika Gunasekara, Dasun Tharuka and Adeesha Perera while the spin department is spearheaded by Saviru Bandara (39 wickets), Nadeesha Karunaratne (10), Ravindu Sasanka and Mahoshada Fernando.

Lakshan Hewage is their coach with Asanka Chandimal as his assistant.

Ananda has several national cricketers in their ranks from Anurudha Polonowita, Sunil Wettimuny, Sidath Wettimuny, Ajith de Silva, Brendon Kuruppu, Arjuna Ranatunga, Marvan Atapattu, Sanjeewa Ranatunga, Thilan Samaraweera, Tilan Wijesinghe, Hemantha Wickramaratne, Chandika Haturusingha, Avishka Gunawardena, Thilina Kandamby, Akalanka Ganegama, Muthumudalige Pushpakumara, Nishantha Ranatunga, Mahela Udawatta, Mithra Wettimuny, Dhammika Ranatunga, Charith Senanayake, Dulip Samaraweera and Dinesh Chandimal.

The first half century, the first century and also the first double century for Sri Lanka in Test cricket were scored by three Anandians – Arjuna Ranatunga, Sidath Wettimuny and Brendon Kuruppu. Kuruppu incidentally is the only wicket-keeper in the history of Test cricket to score a double century on debut.

ANANDA COLLEGE: Kamesh Nirmal (Captain), Chamika Gunasekara (Vice Captain), Kanishka Ranthilake, Kalana Wijesiri, Daminda Reshan, Janidu Jayawardana, Dasun Tharuka, Adeesha Perera, Sudeepa Angulugaha, Saviru Bandara, Moditha Ranatunga, Nadeesha Karunarathna, Vinuja Wijebandara, Shenal Dasanayake, Ravindu Sasanka, Mahoshada Fernando.

NALANDA COLLEGE: Lakshitha Rasanjana (Captain), Avishka Perera (Vice Captain), Kaveesh Madurapperuma, Chamindu Wijesinghe, Raveen de Silva, Dilhara Polgampola, Ranindu de Silva, Mahima Weerakoon, Jithesh Wasala, Moksha Sankalpa, Dineth Samaraweera, Jayod Caldera, Anudha Jithwara, Thamindu Kamalasuriya, Lakshan Kashyapa, Chamodya Rajapaksha. 

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