Shalin, Ryan excel for Thomians on day one | Daily News


 

141st BATTLE OF THE BLUES

Shalin, Ryan excel for Thomians on day one

Thomian opener Shalin de Mel square drives for runs during his innings of 85 on the first day of the 141st Battle of the Blues cricket encounter against Royal at the SSC grounds yesterday. (Picture by Wasitha Patabendige)
Thomian opener Shalin de Mel square drives for runs during his innings of 85 on the first day of the 141st Battle of the Blues cricket encounter against Royal at the SSC grounds yesterday. (Picture by Wasitha Patabendige)

Batting excellence and catching blunders were the highlights at stumps, on the opening day of the 141st Battle of the Blues cricket encounter, between S. Thomas’ College and Royal College that got underway at the SSC grounds yesterday.

In worthy batting performances, a heartbroken Shalin de Mel (85) missed out on a well-deserved hundred, while another hope for the Thomians Ryan Fernando squandered the big stage on compensating personally and for the team.

The Royal fielding that started with an abundance of enthusiasm, only took a nosedive in sloppy catching putting down four chances, including that of a tough opportunity.

Throughout the course of the day, the pendulum swung both ways, with both schools owning various passages of play. There were enough windows of opportunities, where the teams could have cashed-in however, none did, though.

Thomian Ryan Fernando who scored 70 in action.   

The Thomians put into bat first were off to a cautious start, taking their time in the middle to settle. The opening pair, had to see off thrills, spills and hyped up first half-an-hour. Royal skipper Thevindu Senaratne got down to business entering bowling, himself.

Dilmin Ratnayake was dropped off a tough chance at the slips cordon during his dangerous stay. Immediately before the opening wicket partnership could reach 50, Dilmin was the first to go trapped leg before wicket.

The spinners introduction of Gishan Balasooriya, delivered instant results, removing SL U-19 player Ravindu de Silva stumped for six, adding only seven more to the team’s total. Nevertheless, the Thomians reached lunch without any more hiccups.

Shalin de Mel, the settled batsman, scored off what was his third 50 of the Battle of the Blues series, also associating himself in a 76-run stand.

However, all the accurate fielding dropped drastically, when Shalin survived a lifeline at 75. Shalin sailed smoothly and looked all-set for his maiden big match century.

Captain Senaratne, returned to complete an injured Madushanka’s spell. He returned in style, separating the century stand, and dismissing a dejected Shalin, caught at deep square leg, for an elegant 85 scored off 135 balls with the aid of seven fours and two sixes.

The latter did take the field, recording the best economy rate.

Royal’s SL U-19 cap cum off-spinner Kamil Mishara, made up for the failed run-out opportunity, sending Kishan Munasinghe packing for a golden duck.

Ryan Fernando, was now established, courtesy of his second fifty in the series, and was rebuilding after a double-trouble derailed the progress. The blue, gold and blue team, ruined the rhythm, trapping Fernando lbw for 70 scored off 145 balls (9 fours), that also ended a productive 52-run partnership for the fifth-wicket.

The Thomians finished the day with their middle-order batsman Gavin Boteju unbeaten on a cameo knock of 42 and could be the third fifty plus score.

With the Blue, Black and Blue team, in sight of the 300-run mark, their aim would be to briskly post 300 or more, and declare. However, late yesterday, they were expected to accelerate the innings, as they were inching towards the commanding total, inside day one.

The action continues today and concludes tomorrow.

 


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