Dasis Manchanayake made an unbeaten 53 to pull Royal College out of deep trouble on day 3 of the 141st Battle of the Blues encounter at the Sinhalese Sports Club grounds. After seeing Royal declare on 282, S Thomas’ finished on 127/5 as the game drew to a close.
Manchanayake, playing in his 1st Royal-Thomian, showed absolutely no nerves in the middle, playing a controlled knock, after coming in to bat with the score on 177/6 – Royal still 43 runs away from avoiding the follow-on. The elegant left-hander put on 24 alongside Isiwara Dissanayake before taking the lead in his partnership with Lahiru Madusanka which was worth 67.
S Thomas’ College picked up 4 crucial wickets in the final session of play on day 2 of the 141st Battle of the Blues encounter to leave Royal College in a bit of trouble on 127/4, trailing by 242 runs.
The game was looking like it was heading for a certain draw with the Thomians batting out the 1st session of play to reach 369 before Royal’s openers Kamil Mishara and Kushan Kulasooriya too inexplicably just looked to occupy the crease in the afternoon session of play.
Shalin de Mel (85) and Ryan Fernando (70) propped S. Thomas’ College up on day 1 of the 141st Battle of the Blues encounter as the School by the Sea finished on 271/6 after being sent in to bat by Royal College.
De Mel and opening partner Dilmin Rathnayake survived the all-important first hour of play, despite the best efforts of Kavindu Pathirathne, who got the ball to move early on. The right-arm quick did manage to cause a bit of trouble with the new ball, troubling Rathnayake in particular. Rathnayake was lucky to survive a few streaky shots and was given a life when he was dropped at gully in the 11th over but nevertheless he and his partner de Mel put on a valuable 49-run stand to give S. Thomas’ a steady start.
Sri Lanka’s blue-ribbon schools’ cricket encounter, the ‘Battle of the Blues’, between Royal College and S. Thomas’ College will take center stage for the 141st consecutive year when the teams battle it out for the Rt. Hon. D.S. Senanayake Memorial Shield on the 12th, 13th and 14th of March at the SSC grounds, Colombo.
The Royal-Thomian 2nd XI encounter, a.k.a. the Mini Battle ended in a draw this evening at Mount Lavinia, after two exciting days of cricket.
Royal College, having won the toss on a typical Mount Lavinia wicket with a tinge of fresh grass on it, had no hesitation in putting the hosts in to bat yesterday morning. The decision seemed justified at first as the Thomian top order struggled to come to terms with the assistance that was provided by the pitch.
S. Thomas’ College –(273/8)
Royal College – (37/2)
Royal trail by 236 with 8 wickets in
Thenuka Liyanage takes honours with a
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.
In what may well be argued (at least in hindsight) as a master stroke by the Thomian Think Tank, a second string Thomian XI (the Thomian Second XI team) comfortably defeated a full strength Ananda College 1st XI by 4 wickets with 4 overs and 3 balls to spare, to qualify for the Singer Under 19 Limited Overs Pre-Quarterfinal stage in this year’s competition.
On the 7th of March 2019, hot off the heels of the cycle parades, the 140th Battle of the Blues began with as much fanfare as is expected of a cricketing tradition that spans more than a century. A brilliantly sunny Thursday was the ideal day to begin one of the most anticipated encounters between S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia and Royal College, Colombo.