Thomians capitalise on poor Royal catching to dominate second day | Daily News


 

141st BATTLE OF THE BLUES

Thomians capitalise on poor Royal catching to dominate second day

Thomian Gavin Botheju acknowledging his half century on the second day of the 141st Battle of the Blues cricket match against Royal at the SSC grounds yesterday. (Pic by Nissanka de Silva)
Thomian Gavin Botheju acknowledging his half century on the second day of the 141st Battle of the Blues cricket match against Royal at the SSC grounds yesterday. (Pic by Nissanka de Silva)

S. Thomas’ College for the second straight day, ended day two, gaining a slim lead, after posting an imposing 369, taking all the time in the world and late strikes pushing Royal College behind with a sizeable deficit of 242 to clear, at close yesterday in the 141st Battle of the Blues cricket encounter played at the SSC grounds yesterday.

The Thomian bowlers struck late yesterday, trapping SL U-19 cap Ahan Wickramasinghe, a key man, who had to walk back to the hut for a 40-ball 24. This was after S. Thomas’ had conceded a wicket-less post-lunch session, the first of the match that saw the Royalist off to a steady start but in a spot of bother towards stumps.

The Thomian weakness in their bowling was exposed conveniently allowing Royal’s opening pair to record the match’s first opening wicket 50 plus partnership for 61.

Spinner Kishan Munasinghe made the badly needed breakthrough by sending Kawshan for 31, caught smartly at slips by Shalin de Mel. The exact combination of the bowler-fielder was repeated in the dismissal of Kamil Mishara.

It soon became three down subsequent to crossing the 100-run mark. Thomian skipper Thevindu Eriyagama provided the joy, picking up his first wicket removing wicket-keeper Kavindu Madarasinghe for 24.

Royalist, in reply to the mammoth 369, kept on rotating the strike. They appeared in no hurry, except for the sporadic appeals, only delaying the breakthrough for the Thomians.

Thevin and Co. would be satisfied for coming back to the game, after letting their opponent’s off-the-hook. The Thomians resuming at their overnight score of six for 272, exceeding all expectations, went on till the end of an extended morning session.

Over the two-and-a-half hour stay, they virtually scored another hundred. While Thomians thickly occupied the crease, Royal’s catching crisis haunted them, dropping two more sitters, in the early stages after resumption. Maneesha was dropped on 18 and 21, thanks to a day-dreaming slip fielder and again in matter of moments off gloveman Kavindu. Despite the double new lease of life, he failed to make the most, though, he chipped in with a 25.

In aggregate, the Reid Avenue lads, failed to grab half-a-dozen chances. On the other end, Gavin Botheju, picked up from where he left going on to notch a painstaking 54 off 176 deliveries.

The Thomians skipper Thevin’s arrival only increased the anticipation and the curiosity, keeping all waiting for the long overdue declaration. However, the last pair added 59 runs, before a premeditated attempt found him short of the crease and three away from a half-century. They were eventually bowled out for 369. Today is the final day and the Thomians look assured of retaining the Rt Hon DS Senanayake trophy at Mt Lavinia for yet another year.

 


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