When Royal thrashed Cambrians in inaugural match in 1897 | Daily News

When Royal thrashed Cambrians in inaugural match in 1897

Prince of Wales’ College which was founded in 1876 commenced playing cricket in the same year but it was master of the college tutorial staff who participated and the matches were on friendly basis.

Prince of Wales’ College was the only one of the older Schools to own magnificent buildings and a substantial play grounds from the inception.

Colombo Academy (later Royal College) commenced in the back verandah of a Church, St Thomas Collegiate School at Mutwal started in a small building and Wesley College in the Mission house at Dam Street, Pettah. Collegiate School later Trinity College, Kandy in the Mission in 1857. None of these schools had any playing fields at the beginning. The only other School Prior to 1990 that had the same facilities as Prince of Wales was St Joseph's College, Colombo.

The Cambrians first ever match was against the Nominal and Agricultural School, Pettah where the first captain being M J Fernando and four Burghers were included and they were E A Christofelsz, A D Bamforth, and two brothers F and w Newman.

The team was as follows – M J Fernando (Capt), J Mendis, E A Christofelsz, A D Benforth, F Newman, W Newman, B H Carolis, J H Alahakone and William Fernando.

The match was played at Pettah and Agricultural School beat Cambrians by innings and 27 runs. During those days matches commenced at 8.30 am and ended at 6.00 pm match will go on till 6 pm and if unable to conclude first innings winner were declared as the winner. Cambrians batted first and were all out for 15 runs with T B Dissanayake and W Herricus claiming 3 and 6 wickets respectively. Agricultural School replied with 79 with J W Weerasinghe making the top score of 25 runs.

W Fernando and M J Fernndo claimed five wickets each and in their second essay Cambrians did much better to score 37 and skipper M J Fernando was unbeaten on 18 and Dissanayake and Herricus took 4 and 3 wickets.

A match by Cambrians is also mentioned in the news papers on 18th November 1877 but no details were given. In the early years and upto 1920 schools frequently played whole day and first innings win was accounted as outright victory.

Cambrians had done better than Colombo Academy (later Royal College) by playing organized cricket just an year after they were founded in 1876. It took Royal nearly forty years to get organized matches although cricket was introduced to the Academy in 1838.

Royal College, Colombo was the first opponents of Prince of Wales College in the match which was not an auspicious beginning from that day in 13th February, 1897 and it was a long trek to the top of inter college cricket ladder. A hundred years ago the pattern was Royal College as the oldest partner in the inaugural matches with all the educational Institutions which were founded prior to 1899. The order of the matches were St Thomas, Wesley, Trinity, Ananda (Formerly Buddhist School), Prince of Wales and St Josephs.

Cambrians first coach was J C Maheyzer followed by Cyril Orr and the Master in Charge was A Vandergert. Royal's old cricket ground is today's Police Office Quarters in Pettah. Cambrians met Royal for the first time on 13th February, 1897 at St Sebastian Hill, Pettah and Royal thrashed Cambrians by innings and 247 runs and the captains being Royal R A I Ekanayake and Prince of Wales’ J G Fernando.

Royal won the toss and elected to bat and ammased 293 runs with A Peglotte 65 and Forrester Obeysekera 56 impressing in batting. B F Attygalle and J S Fernando claimed 3 and 2 wickets each for Cambrians. In reply Cambrians were all out for 27 runs and only J G Fernando entered double figures.

W Bevan (5 for 17) and L Raffel (4 for 10) were the wreckers and following on Cambrians were shot out for 19 runs with Bevan (6 for 8) and Raffel (2 for 1). Bevan had a match bag of 11 for 25 (5/17 and 6/8) still a record for either school. J Q Jayawardena was a brother of former president of Sri Lanka. J R Jayewardene and Forrester Obeysekera later became the Deputy Speaker of the State Council in 1931.

Cambrians put up their turf wicket in 1996 and celebrated 100 years of cricket and met each other to declare open the newly laid turf with their oldest companions Royal College in a Limited Over friendly match and Cambrians emerged winners.

Royal College 1st Innings – A Peglotte ct and b J S Fernando 65, A Grenier b Attygalle 29, J Q Jayawardene run out 17, S Kotalawala b T de Silva 04, R A I Ekanayake b R de Silva 39, F A Obeysekara ct R de Silva b J J Fernando 56, C Dias b Stenbo 04, E H Scharenguivel ct J F Fernando b J S Fernando 04, L Raffel c Attygalle b J S Fernando 17, R A Attygalle ct J S Fernando b Attygalle 17, W Beven not out 07, Extras 12, Total (all out) 293

Bowling – Attygalle 3, T F de Silva 1, J J Fernando 1, R S de Silva 1, J S Fernando 2, Stenbo 1

Prince of Wales’ 1st Innings – R S de Silva b Bevan 6, J G Fernando ct Peglotte b Bevan 10, N A Dharmarathne ct Dias b Bevan 0, B L Mendis ct Obeysekera b Raffel 05, T F de Silva b Bevan 01, J J Fernando b Raffel 01, S A Dias b Raffel 0, B F Attygalle b Bevan 05, D R Ferdinando run out 8, J S Frenando b Raffel 0, A Stembo not out 0, Extra 0, Total (all out) 27

Bowling – W Bevan 5/17, L Raffel 4/10

Prince of Wales 2nd Innings – R S de Silva b Bevan 01, J G Fernando ct Grenier b Raffel 02, N A Dharmaratna ct Kotalawala b Raffel 01, B I Mendis b Bevel 03, T F de Silva not out 0, J J Fernando ct Schavenguivel 6 Bevan 0, S A Dias run out 02, B F Attygalle ct and b Bevan 07, D R Ferdinando b Beven 0, J S Fernando ct Ekanayake b Beven 0, A Stembo run out 03, Extras 0, Total (all out) 19

Bowling – Bevan 6 for 08 and Raffel 2 for 11