Thomians brimming with confidence | Daily News
140th Battle of the Blues

Thomians brimming with confidence

S. THOMAS’ COLLEGE CRICKET TEAM 2019: Standing - (from left) Tehan Schaffter, Kishan Munasinghe, Yohan Perera, Shalin De Mel, Thevin Eriyagama,  Kalana Perera, Sithara Hapuhinna (Capt.) Dellon Peiris,Shannon Fernando, Manisha Rupasinghe. Squating - (from left to right)  Sadeq Ishak, Dilmin Rathnayake, Umayanga Suwaris, Ravindu Rashantha,Shamilka Wickramathilake, Deon Fernando, Ryan Fernando, Gavin Botheju, Semal Samarawickrama. Picture by Herbert Perera
S. THOMAS’ COLLEGE CRICKET TEAM 2019: Standing - (from left) Tehan Schaffter, Kishan Munasinghe, Yohan Perera, Shalin De Mel, Thevin Eriyagama, Kalana Perera, Sithara Hapuhinna (Capt.) Dellon Peiris,Shannon Fernando, Manisha Rupasinghe. Squating - (from


St. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia  will be pressing for a win over Royal College when they meet their traditional rivals in the 140th "Battle of the Blues". This three-day cricket encounter will take place at SSC grounds from March 7-9. This match is played for the prestigious D. S. Senanayake Memorial Shield.

The Mount Lavinia boys are famous for their fighting qualities and last proved what the Thomian grit is all about at the centenary year’s encounter in 1979. Here, the hero of the game, Mahinda Halangoda, who has spectacular unbeaten innings of 70, teamed up with fast bowler C.P. Richards. Their unbroken 91-run partnership for the ninth wicket, earned a honourable draw after they were reeled at 161 for 8 at the tea break. They needed another seven runs to make Royal bat again.

The Thomians had been shaping well with six wins against other schools such as St. Aloysius College (Galle), St.Mary’s College (Kegalle), Prince of Wales College (Moratuwa), Ananda College (Colombo), Mahanama College (Colombo) and St.Benedict’s College (Kotahena). 

Burly Sithara Hapuhinna is the captain of the side. He is the highest run getter scoring nearly 850 runs with two hundreds and four fifties. Besides his useful contributions as a Left handed opening batsman, he has shown great success as the wicket keeper of the side when he claimed 52 victims behind the stumps. Another left hander, Shalin De Mel halso showed great form scoring over 650 runs with two hundreds and two fifties. Batsman Ravindu De Silva has also aggregated nearly 500 runs with a top score of 122.

Among the others who are capable of keeping the scoreboard moving are Sri Lanka are: national under 19 player, Kalana Perera, Umayanga Swaris and batsman, Deon Frnando has nearly 400 runs under his belt.

Kalana Perera has turned out to be a vital cog in the Sri Lanka youth team playing in the ICC Under 19 World Cup. He is the highest Thomian wicket taker this season. He managed to take 76 wickets with the best bowling of 8 for 01 against St. Mary’s College.

The deadliest weapons in the Thomian bowling armoury are the left arm leg breaks of last years skipper Dellon Peiris, who has a total of nearly 74 wickets.

He has produced a season’s best innings analysis of 7 for 26 against Wesley College.

Although St. Thomas’ will be over dependent on Kalana and Dellon, there are few others who could pose a serious threat to the Royal batting line up. Players such as Dilmin Rathnayake has 39 wickets and left-arm-leg spinner Shannon Fernando has 36 wickets to their credit.

D. S. Senanayake, the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, donned the Thomian cap in 1901 and 1902.

Other notable S. Thomas’ players who have played in the Royal-Thomian cricket match are Dudley Senanayake, Vernon Prins, Michael Tissera, Anura Tennekoon, Buddy Reid, Mano Ponniah, Bradman Weerakoon, Duleep Mendis, Guy de Alwis, Mahinda Halangoda, Aruna Gunawardene, Saliya Ahangama, Kaushik Amalean, Kapila Wijegunawardene, Johanne Samarasekera, Nisal Fernando, Manoj Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Kaushal Silva, S. Saravanamuttu, P. Saravanamuttu, M. Saravanamuttu, Mevan Pieris, Ranil Abeynaike, Shantha Kottegoda and Michael Jayasekera to name a few.

The first century in the series came in the 38th encounter in 1917. Thomian batsman B.T Janz scored 103. David Ponniah (100 not out in 1967) and Manoj Mendis (124 in 1992) remain  the only Thomians to score centuries on debut.

The rare occasion of scoring more than one century during their Royal-Thomian careers is shared by Thomians Duleep Mendis (1971 & 1972), Manoj Mendis (1992 & 1993) and Ashan Pieris (2005 & 2007). Only three other Thomians have achieved a rare batting double (a century and a fifty) in the same game. They are Willie Jayetileke (62 & 110 not out) in 1937; former Colts CC opener Dhammika Bulankulame (108 & 72) in 1984; and present Sri Lanka all rounder Jeevan Mendis (111 & 54) in 2001. Ex-Thomian and Sri Lanka Test skipper Duleep Mendis, who steamrolled the opposition with 184 in 1972 is still St. Thomas’ College highest individual scorer.

S. Thomas’ is coached by Dinesh Kumarasinghe, who has nearly 30 years of experience in cricket coaching. So far out of the 139 encounters that have been played, the Thomians have won on 34 occasions with their last win coming in 2007 under Ashan Peiris.


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