When Gurukula knocked the wind out of Thomian sails | Daily News


When Gurukula knocked the wind out of Thomian sails

Gurukula Vidyalaya, Kelaniya Cricket Team: Squatting (from left): Janitha Shehan, Vihanga Iranjana, Oshada Sanesh, Malshan Lakshitha, Neluka Heshan, Thushara Madusahan, Abishek Jayawardene. Standing (from left): Rasitha Dinesh (Head Coach), Risitha Sankalpa, Sasitha Ashan, Kemira Nayanatharu, Likshan Sasanga, Praveen Nimesh (Captain), Rashmika Mevan, Nuwantha Madushan, Sithija Chamod (Vice Captain), Dilip Chamara , Kaveesha Nadun (Asst. Coach), Buddhi Prasanna (Asst. Coach) (Picture by Dilwin Mendis Moratuwa Sports Special Correspondent)
Due to the outbreak of Corona virus all the schools in the island were closed down by the Ministry of Education and all sports activities came to a standstill. When this order was announced on 12 March 2020 Royal-Thomian Big Match was in progress and it was their day one. But any how it was continued and their encounter ended in a tame draw.

By this day eight teams for the quarterfinals were already found for the under 19 two- day cricket tournament conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association for the Singer Trophy. The schools were St. Joseph’s, St. Thomas’ Matara, Nalanda, Mahanama, St. Anthony’s, Prince of Wales’, Trinity and Gurukula Vidyalaya Kelaniya. There is a strong doubt whether this tournament could proceed any further.

On 24 and 25 February the more fancied S. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia took on Gurukula Vidyalaya at their own den and the visitors were clearly the underdogs. But on the other hand Gurukula Vidyalaya which is situated in the Kelani Valley are the strongest side from the Gampaha District.

The advantage of this game is to win the toss and to bat first and as expected Thomian skipper Kevin Eriyagama called the coin correctly and decided to take first lease and S Thomas’ declared after amassing 329 for 9 in 109.3 overs. Shalinda de Mel made the top score of 71, Yasiru Rodrigo an unbeaten 50 and Dilmin Ratnayake and Ryan Fernando 48 and 37 respectively. Risitha Sankalpa claimed 3 for 52 and the declaration came closer to the lunch break on day two.

Gurukula had to score the required runs in 78 overs or if not to win on bonus points they had to get 226 runs not losing more than six wickets.

The Kelani Valley lads took up the challenge and at one stage they were 170 for 5 with a stubborn seventh wicket partnership of 58 runs between the captain Praveen Nimesh 72 not out and an unbeaten 33 by Dilip Chamara saw Gurukula Vidyalaya beating the mighty Thomians by .03 decimal points. Gurukula received 6.53 points while the Thomians got 6.50. Earlier skipper Praveen Nimesh and vice captain Sithija Chamod put on a healthy partnership of 71 runs for the fifth wicket.

After the historic achievement Head Coach of Gurukula Rasitha Dinesh told the Daily News that he calculated and told the players to get 226 runs in less than six wickets which they did. He also said that the school Principal Anil Geethalala Abegunawardene along with Master in Charge of cricket Nisantha Kumara are always extended their fullest support and Rasitha Dinesh who himself is a past cricketer from Gurukula Vidyalaya got the help of his two assistants past cricketers Buddhi Prasanna and Kaveesha Nadun. The old boys of his alma mater and parents of the players too were always supportive. According to Rasitha they have met the Thomians in all formats conducted by SLCA and this is the first ever instance they have beaten them.


St. Thomas’ 322/9 dec. (109.3) (Shalinda de Mel 71, Yasiru Rodrigo 50 n.o., Dilmin Ratnayake 48, Ryan Fernando 37, Risitha Sankalpa 3/52, Theekshana Madushan 2/48)

Gurukula Vidyalaya 228/6 (78) (Praveen Nimesh 72 n.o., Sithija Chamod 38, Dilip Chamara 33 n.o., Rashmika Mevan 28, Likshan Sasanga 25, Diren de Silva 3/72)


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