Underdogs Peterites can upset the apple cart | Daily News


 

86th BATTLE OF THE SAINTS:

Underdogs Peterites can upset the apple cart

St. Peter’s College cricket team: First row seated (from left): Manuka Gunaratne [Trainer], Shanaka Fernando [Asst. Coach], Sanath Chinthaka [Sports Secretary/Senior MIC], Shannon Fernando [Captain], Rev. Fr. Rector Rohitha Rodrigo, Rev. Fr. Milan Bernard [Sports Co–ordinator],  Nipunaka Fonseka [Vice-Captain], Roger Wijesuriya [Head Coach], Wasanatha Haputhanthri [Junior MIC],  Crishantha Peiris [Asst. Coach]. Second row standing (from left): Banuka De Silva, Wanuja Sahan, Kanishka Maduwantha, Rishika Dawatage, Trishen Wickramasinghe, Vinuda Liyanage, Ruvin Senevirathne, Danal Hemananda, Shenal Boteju. Third row standing (from left): Niman Umesh, Saviru Peiris, Lahiru Dawatage, Shenal Senevirathne, Sanshay Gunathilaka, Sanuka Galagoda, Nimuthu Gunawardana.

St. Peter’s College have been rather quiet this season, though, based on past records, they can turn the tables.

Their U-19 season has been only a below-average show and nothing to brag about. In fact the Petes have been limping this season and will be waiting to fire, when the contest among the Catholic schools, renews tomorrow for the 86th occasion at the P. Sara Oval against traditional rivals St. Joseph’s College.

The aim of the boys from Bambalapititya, the current holders of the Rev. Fr. Maurice Le Goc Memorial Trophy is to retain it after having won it in 2016.

However their recent run up to the big series pose them the daunting challenge of playing on-par and give a run for their opponents’ money.

In an evenly balanced side they are sans a single SL U-19 player, but have a couple of new-found faces. With such a combination they can emerge to be the silent assassin.

Roger Wijesuriya, the Peterite coach said, “I’m not thinking of their side and strength. I know the areas where we have to improve but we will always see the situations where we can beat them. Of the six sessions we might lose four sessions. But two good sessions can win the match. So it’s how you read the game, come back to the game and from there onwards go for the victory. We haven’t lost a single match outright and the matches in the league, we would have been a bit out in that matter, but if you take our scoring runs and shaping up, we are quite happy.”

“Shannon Fernando started a bit slowly. His captaincy kept on improving game by game. Man-management was also nice. If your plan is not very clear to the children they get upset and, end of the day, a lot of teams are not playing, together. It’s the coach who has to create that atmosphere. I think Shannon in his way has rallied around the children in a very good manner and as a team everybody are enjoying his leadership,” said Wijesuriya.

“Sometimes when it comes to these big games they don’t come out. But another player who would’ve had a normal season he will come good and will be a hero. Last year we had a very good chance when coaching the St. Joseph’s side, and before tea they were about 70-odd for six. This boy playing with us this year Kanishka for example he came and batted with Santhush, getting a good 80 and he became a hero. That is what we have to see not only to save the side but win a game. So at the moment they have good players who can do that to tell you very frankly. Who can change the game to do that, but our players. The time has come, we will see how it goes,” he said.

 


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