Will the high-riding Joes soar to new heights? | Daily News


 

86th BATTLE OF THE SAINTS

Will the high-riding Joes soar to new heights?

St. Joseph’s College cricket team: First row seated (from left): Kawindu Perera(Asst.Coach), Niroshan Bandarathileka (Head Coach), Ashian Daniel, Prasantha Ranaweera (1st XI MIC), Johanne De Zilva (Captain), Rev.Fr.Ranjith Andradi (Rector), Rev.Fr.Priyan Tissera (Prefect of Games), Lakshan Gamage (Vice Captain), Asiri Caldera (2nd XI MIC), Dineth Jayakody, Suranga Perera (2nd XI Coach). 2nd row standing from left: Hiran Jayasundara, Shevon Daniel, Shalinda Senevirathne, Dunith Wellalage ,Miranga Wickramage,
St. Joseph’s College cricket team: First row seated (from left): Kawindu Perera(Asst.Coach), Niroshan Bandarathileka (Head Coach), Ashian Daniel, Prasantha Ranaweera (1st XI MIC), Johanne De Zilva (Captain), Rev.Fr.Ranjith Andradi (Rector), Rev.Fr.Priyan

It has been the desired build-up to the second big match for St. Joseph’s College, soaring and peaking swiftly and steadily, as the “86th Battle of the Saints” against traditional rivals St Peter’s College is all set to start at the P. Sara Oval on Friday.

The Joes leading as the host for the 86th edition are oozing with confidence with the U-19 quarter-final berth.

The Darley Road lads, in the last few U-19 two-dayers had showcased the ideal performance with batters complementing and completing the job with their bowlers.

The impressive part has been the manner in which, their captain cum fast-bowler Johanne de Zilva, has juggled both the responsibilities.

Particularly, at the match where they earned the pre-quarter final berth, he was the destroyer-in-chief, dismantling the Anandian side with a six-for. Also, coming along with that is his man-management skills seemingly leading the lot by example and bettering their past performances.

However, though, the defending U19 two-day champs, last won against the Peterites only in 2008,under the leadership of opening batsman Ruwantha Fernandopulle, and will be looking to convert their winning streak by securing the Rev. Fr. Maurice Le Goc Memorial Trophy, that has been missing from their cabinet for over a decade now.

Reflecting on a retrospect of their recent run, they appear almost certainly the better side and will be looking to bank on that factor.

Niroshan Bandaratillake, coach of the Joes speaking said, “We already have eight outright wins, four first innings wins, and lost as many on first innings. Now, we are qualified to the quarter-finals. We won the pre-quarters against St. Anne’s and in the limited overs also we have qualified to play in the pre-quarters. I think, we can win it, this time.”

“The thing is from last year, they minimised one innings to only 60 overs. We play the first innings of each team to 60 overs and then after that the normal game. If we bat first I have only 60 overs, those are the new rules and all will have a chance to win this game. That is, for example when we bat we can bat only for 60 overs. If we score 300 for 2 then automatically the innings will close. St. Peter’s also will have to follow the rule. Second two innings are open. No limitations,” he explained.

“Each team will have to play 105 overs, hence, 210 overs for both teams and that creates a big chance for any. St. Peter’s are a good side. They don’t have much outright wins. My plan is to bowl first, get early wickets and contain them to a low score, after that for us to pressurise them. That is how we planned and executed our last two, two-day U19 matches,” Bandaratillake commented on his counterparts.

“It’s this team who are the last season’s U19 two-day champions. It is also the same team who were supposed to win yesteryear’s big match, but Santhush Gunethilake hit a big 160 and saved the game.”


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