The Sunday Leader

Thurstan’s Bold Victory Bid Thwarted By Bad Light

  • 54th Battle of the Brothers

Thurstan’s topscorer Charana Nanayakkara drives through the covers

The 2017 ‘Big Match’ season began today at SSC grounds with the 54th edition of the Thurstan-Isipathana cricket encounter taking place for the Blackham Wijewardena Memorial Trophy.

At stumps on day one, Isipathana College were 78 for 3 in reply to Thurstan College’s first innings score of 228.

Isipathana won a crucial toss and opted to bowl first on a typically seam-friendly surface at the SSC. Fast-bowler Neranjan Wanniarachchi gave the Isipathana team an excellent start when he struck in the very first over having Thurstan’s opener Yeshan Wickramarathne caught behind for no score.

Thurstan skipper Kasun Abeyrathne and Imesh Viranga added 24 runs for the 2nd wicket before the latter holed out to mid-on as Lisura Vinath picked up his only wicket.

After being 66 for 2, Thurstan slumped to 66 for 5 in dramatic fashion losing three wickets in quick succession as left-arm spinner Lahiru Dilshan and seamer Wanniarachchi combined together to remove Prageesha Mendis, Captain Abeyrathne and Sawan Prabhash inside three overs.

Even though the Isipathana seamers used the conditions perfectly, Isipathana fielders, especially the slip cordon dropped six catches which allowed their opponents to avert a complete disaster.

The experienced Charana Nanayakkara and Navod Samarakoon then steadied the Thurstan innings as they combined together to add 98 valuable runs for the sixth wicket. Nanayakkara struck nine fours during his 62-ball 52 while Samarakoon made a dogged 34 off 58 deliveries.

Dilshan claimed both the wickets to help Isipathana back into the game but Nipun Lakshan and Nimesh Lakshan made 26 and 34 respectively to help the Thurstanites reach 228. Both Dilshan and Wanniarachchi grabbed three wickets apiece while off-spinner Heshan Fernando took two late wickets.

In reply, the Isipathana College opening duo, Kalana Perera and Harsha Rathnayake started off smoothly adding 40 runs before a slight hesitation in running between the wickets broke the partnership as Rathnayake was run out after a confident 16.

Two balls later in the 9th over, Charana Nanayakkara induced the outside edge of Perera and skipper Abeyrathne, donning the gloves held onto a stunning take. Heshan Fernando made just 10 runs while Pathum Nissanka remained unbeaten on 17*.

With 105 overs due to be bowled on day two, the match is heading for another dull draw even though both teams are seeking a win since 1999.


Thurstan 1st innings – 228 all out in 56.1 overs: (Charana Nanayakkara 58, Kasun Abeyrathne 43, Navod Samarakoon 34, Nimesh Lakshan 34, Nipun Lakshan 26. Neranjan Wanniarachchi 3/66, Lahiru Dilshan 3/47, Heshan Fernando 2/19).


Isipathana 1st innings – 141 in 23 overs: (Kalana Perera 20, Harsha Rathnayake 16, Pathum Nissanka 17*. Charana Nanayakkara 1/28, Naveen Gunawardena 1/13).

Thurstan 2nd Innings 131/7 dec:

Isipathana 2nd Innings 68/6: Naveen Gunawardena 3/27


PIX: Thurstan’s topscorer Charana Nanayakkara drives through the covers

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