S. Thomas’ College –(273/8)
Royal College – (37/2)
Royal trail by 236 with 8 wickets in hand
Thenuka Liyanage takes honours with a fighting 157
The first day of the mini battle was held at the Big Club grounds on the 6th of March. The day was mostly spent with the Thomian 1st innings. After winning the toss, the captain of the visiting team opted to bowl first on the pitch. This worked in favour of the bowling side, who took advantage of the early swing on offer. At one point the scorecard read 35 for the loss of 5, with Sonal Amarasekara taking a fourer.
Lead by Thenuka Liyanage a Thomian comeback ensured that the hosts reached a respectable 273 runs on the board. The Thomians were able to make early inroads into the Royal innings reaching 15 for 2 before the end of the day.
The first session of day one started with the Thomian openers seeing off a dangerous phase before reaching 22 for none before the fall of successive wickets. This period lead to an insurmountable advantage for Royal as wickets toppled regularly with the score reading at 35-5. This was supported by an aggressive show of pace and spin on both ends restricting the batsmen and keeping pressure that lead to the collapse of the middle order. Sonal Amarasekara championing the attack with 4 wickets to his name and Dan Podiwela taking a piece. After a struggling start Liyanage and 5 down Shehan Silva held off the attack till lunch, scores reading 98-5, with a partnership of 50 runs.
The second session saw Royal take a back seat in the match as the batsman scored at a consistent rate without any risks. The spinners failed to make an impact on the game as the partners cruised past the 100 run milestone together as Thenuka raised his bat for a hard fought 50. Shehan Silva eventually fell for a run out, a rare mistake by the batsman. Seasoned campaigner, Shamilka Wickramathileke took a more aggressive approach as the set batsman reached a well deserved century. Further note he passed a 1000 runs in the season as well. It was a session to forget for Royal as their fielders let them down on multiple occasions, and the bowlers failed to produce many opportunities, eventually the hosts ended the session losing one wicket and consolidating the score past 200 with the scoreboard reading 201-6.
Coming into the third session, the Thomian mindset was clear, get as many runs on the board in the shortest period possible. Royal adapted to this situation well quickly dismissing Shamilka who attempted to pull the ball over the ropes. Thenuka went on the attack and bought up a mammoth 150 runs. It was supported by the multiple dropped catches by the visitors that could have ended his innings earlier. Despite the opportunities created by the spinners, who were able to extract more turn from the pitch, the Thomians ended the innings on 273/8 with Thenuka Liyanage scoring a very important 157.
Coming into bowl approximately 10-15 overs, opening bowler Nathan Caldera made an immediate impact getting a wicket in the first over trapping the batsman in front. Further pressure ensured that a second wicket fell to a rash shot. However the visitors dug in holding out the rest of the day the scoreboard reading 37/2. Ending an interesting and exciting day of play.