to test Aussie might
the back of the minds of the world champions, Australia
lies a spot of bother, which in effect is the only black
mark in an otherwise dominant run in the test arena as the
world's No. 1 team. Simply they have faltered under
testing circumstances in the sub continent. It comes as no
surprise the overnight inclusion of Shane Warne into the
test side in a desperate bid to curb the badly exposed
Aussie bowling department minus the consistent Glenn
McGrath. The preceding Indian tour speaks for itself.
Jayasuriya's men brought Aussies down to earth when the
baggy green caps featured in the island three seasons ago,
although it has been an upward drive from then onwards.
Galle International Cricket Stadium since its introduction
has been a happy hunting ground for the host nation.
Therefore, the setting for the first Test statistically provides
an advantage for the Lankans. However, come Monday, Ricky
Ponting and crew would be a different kettle of fish altogether.
It is most likely that the leg-spinning duo of Warne and Stuart
McGill would make it to the final XI.
aggressive Aussie top order have got into the habit of piling up
300 plus scores in just three sessions of play. The run machines
Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Martyn, Lehmann, Katich and Gilchrist
are not the most pleasant sites an opposition would prefer to
counter. The challenge is before Hashan Tillakaratne and Co. All
of the above named have no fear of using their feet when facing
the spinners, which concern has attributed immensely to the
Sri Lankan camp is not in any way short of experience though the
lessons learnt from such experiences leave much to be desired.
The national selectors have re-laid their confidence with the
old warriors - a privilege enjoyed in only this neck of the
Kumar Sangakkara has gone without a century for 14 Test matches
since compiling a masterly 230 against the Pakistanis in the
Asian Championship Final. Not every one can play the role of
Adam Gilchrist or Mark Boucher. Even so they bat down the order
and not at the all-important No.3 slot. The 26-year-old elegant
left-hander has done his best not to become a victim of
circumstances. Talented Prasanna Jayawardena is left in the
lurch for purported inadequacy with the willow instead of
boosting up his confidence. Also the impressive run of Thilan
Samaraweera in his revised role as a test batsman leaves little
or no space for a specialist stumper.
Lanka would in all probability go in for the first of the three
tests with only four front line bowlers. Chaminda Vaas, Muttaih
Muralitharan, Nuwan Zoysa and Kaushal Lokuarachchi or Upul
Chandana. One of the latter two are tipped to get the nod ahead
of Rangana Herath who came in for some stick from the Aussies in
the warm up game.
return of lanky Nuwan Zoysa at a time when young prospects
Dilhara Fernando and Prabath Nissanka are on the injured list is
a blessing in disguise for the Lankan camp. Zoysa seems to have
finally woken up and looks a man determined to prove his
potential. His reaction immediately after dislodging the ball to
the fence for the winning runs in the fifth and final one day
international filled in the unfound aggression of the Sri Lankan
of a world record either by Murali or Warne can be a remote
prospect as far as this series is concerned, as the stakes are
too high for either of them to dominate the series. However, the
race for the 500-wicket mark will draw much enthusiasm.
Lankan openers Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya have come
in for much criticism of late and many consider that Jayasuriya
is on borrowed time. The southpaw has got an ideal opportunity
to end the lean run in his hometown. The Aussie speedsters Jason
Gillespie and Brett Lee had the correct measure of Jayasuriya in
the limited over series and will pursue on the same lines to
disturb his defence. Whether Jayasuriya had adopted a method to
curb this shortcoming could be witnessed in the weeks to come.
Aussies take the field tomorrow minus the legendary Stephen
Waugh. They would no doubt miss the solid concrete
establishment. There certainly is a huge vacuum in the upper
middle order and the advantage of having two world-class fast
bowlers in their rung would not be of much use in exploiting the
Galle wicket. The two nations weighing the pros and cons are on
an equal footing ahead of the first Test.
monthly medal - February 2004
over 45 players, this month's monthly medal will go down in the
books of Victoria Golf & Country Resort - quite prominently
as the scores were amazing with eight players returning scores
well under the 70 stroke mark.
monthly medal at Victoria has become a keenly contested event,
as the LECTRA Grand Prix sponsored by Apparel Technologies (Pvt)
Ltd - draws to a close in May 2004. A fabulous array of prizes
is up for grabs, including airline tickets for the winner of
month's LECTRA monthly medal was won by Sidath Hemachandra
(Gateway Kandy International School), who played an excellent
round to card a nett 61, whilst his twin brother Samapth, not to
be outdone returned a score of nett 66 - neck and neck with Sam
Gunaratne and Chamil Wickreasinghe. Sam Gunaratne's score on the
back nine holes allowed him to claim the runners-up position of
the February monthly medal. Noteworthy scores were also achieved
by Sidath Wettimuny - Nett 67, Binupa Wijesinghe - Nett 68 and
Suhyab Sangani - Nett 69.
ladies division too was keenly contested this month, with an
above average participation. Suven Selvaratnam who reigns
supreme on the Lectra Grand Prix board returned a score of Nett
71 to set an early lead, followed by Manori Jayakody - nett 72.
The afternoon round of play was the deciding factor as Chaturi
Engman carded a nett 70 to clinch the ladies title.
Hemachandra twins dominated Junior Division with Sidath &
Sampath being the winner and runner-up respectively. The winner
of the mini junior division, which allows children under 14
years to enjoy 9 holes of competitive golf, was Shamara Wettiuny
whilst Rudrani Devdas claimed the runners-up position.
Grand Prix points tally
Wijesinghe -1019, Sam Gunaratne - 662, Sahil Malhotra - 656,
Sidath Wettimuny - 635, Sanjay Wettimuny - 605, Srinivas Rao -
350, Mervin Hettiarchchi- 330, Tony Whitham - 270, Rohan De
Silva - 185, Primal Wijayanayake - 170
Wickremasinghe - 736, Veinert Holm - 543, Sidath Hemachandra -
482, Michael Emmott - 422, Ananda Manawadu - 412, K Hama - 369,
Majid Awn - 354, Alex Perera - 351, Sampath Hemachandra - 302,
Poul Rasmussen - 285
Selvaratnam - 332, Niloo Jayatilake - 326, Indira Tibblin - 284,
Chaturi Engman - 226, Roshini Sangani - 141, Manori Jayakody -
137, Sally Collins - 135, Yvonne Abhayaratne - 83, Ingrid Baum -
70, Arlene Kelaart - 40.
firm favourites in the historic encounter
125th Royal-Thomian annual cricket encounter, easily the
greatest sporting event in tradition and the longest
uninterrupted series in world history is scheduled to be held on
the 11, 12 and 13 March at the picturesque SSC grounds in
Maitland Place. The sequence even survived the two world wars
and the civil war in the North East.
the 'Battle of the Blues' is sacred to all, and naturally the
event evokes tremendous interest not only among the old boys and
the present boys, but also among the sporting public at large.
matches over 124 years were played, conforming to the highest
traditions of sportsmanship, of course with intense rivalry.
S.Thomas' College is a private Anglican school, in
Mt.Lavinia with about 3000 students on roll while Royal is a
government run prestigious school in Colombo 7 with around 8000
encounter is played for the D.S.Senanayake memorial shield. D.S.
donned the Thomian cap in 1901 and 1902.
The encounter not only involves the great game of cricket
but the fun and frolic which simultaneously goes with it, makes
it the greatest showpiece of the year.
The thousands of old boys who have migrated overseas make
use of this opportunity to visit Sri Lanka, especially to
witness this match to renew links with old friends here and to
meet those domiciled abroad.
authorities past and present of the two schools have made very
appropriately this event a very significant one by giving it the
deserved publicity by organising a sequence of memorable events
to coincide with this unique milestone.
most difficult task of publishing 'The history of Royal-S.Thomas'
cricket match 125' was undertaken jointly by the Royal College
union and S.Thomas' College old boys association. This book was
launched on 6 November 2003.
The launching ceremony of this commemorative book
published for the 125th encounter was made in the presence of
guests of honour R.Renganathan, Managing Director M/s Ceylinco
Insurance Co.Ltd., Principal of Royal and Warden of S.Thomas,'
Ajitha M. Pasqual, Additional General Manager, Seylan Bank Ltd.,
sponsors of this book, past captains and other distinguished
the latter part of January a Rs 4.50 denomination commemorative
stamp '125 years of Royal- Thomian,' was launched.
The cancellation of the first day cover was ceremonially
held under the patronage of the Prime Minister and the Post and
Telecommunications Minister, at the Royal College hall.
Royal Principal Upali Gunasekera and Warden Dr. David
Ponniah of S.Thomas' were present. The stamp came into
circulation from 30 January.
order to strengthen the links of friendly rivalry, which
prevailed for a century and quarter period certainly calls for
elaborate celebrations. Another
significant event organised is the meeting of the Royalists with
the Thomians in their joint walk held on 21 February Saturday,
to show their solidarity and tradition forgetting the intense
rivalry. It was not
merely of a procession of schoolboys carrying their school
flags. It was a colourful event involving present and past boys
together with members of the staff, parents, and well wishers
who walked along a planned route.
was a magnificent pageant depicting the strong bonds of
friendship, goodwill and tradition that had, already
existed. Members of the illustrious old boy groups v.i.z.,
Mustangs, Stallions, Colts, too were present in their numbers to
add muscle to this wonderful event.
Prime Minister flagged off the parade from the Royal
College grounds, which ultimately culminated at the Royal
College sports complex. This walk was sponsored by M/s Caltex
who will also be celebrating their 125th anniversary this year.
Dialog GSM powers the 125th 'Battle of the Blues' by sponsoring
this encounter for the fourth consecutive year, has also
undertaken to sponsor the limited overs encounter on 20 March
under lights at the R.Premadasa Stadium.
Chairman of the 125th Royal-Thomian organising committee.
R.Udayakumar speaking at the press briefing at the Hotel
Galadari on 24 February emphasised on the history of this
uninterrupted record series where even the first Prime Minister
of Sri Lanka D S Senanayake, Premier Dudley Senanayake played
for S.Thomas' in 1927-1929. The first elected executive
President J.R.Jayewardene and Premier Sir John Kotelawela
represented Royal College in 1925 and 1914 respectively. He was
grateful to the committed Principal of Royal College and Warden
of S.Thomas'College for their guidance and for the co-operation
of the staff and students of both schools in making an gigantic
endeavour to make this event a resounding success. The official
sponsor for F & B will be Ceylon Cold Stores and Keells.
As a part of the celebrations 'Blues 125' carnival was
organised jointly by the old boys of the two colleges which was
held on 26, 27 and 28 February at the Thomian grounds.
old boy's charity dinner will be held, today at the Hotel
Hilton. Proceeds will be in aid of the S.Thomas' library
project. This event will be part of the celebrations to herald
another landmark event to this historic encounter. The Prime
Minister will be the chief guest while S.Skandakumar and
Dr.David Ponniah will propose the toast.
The traditional old boy's matches will be played today at
the CCC grounds. Both
over 40's and over 50's matches will be restricted to a 25 overs
aside. Many stalwarts who have performed admirably in the past
big matches would be seen in action.
gaining full ICC Test status in 1981, 14 past Royalists and
Thomians have played in official Tests/ODI's.
They are present chief, ICC match, referee Ranjan
Madugalle, Jayantha Amerasinghe, Asantha de Mel, Rohan
Jayasekera, Roshan Jurampathy, Jehan Mubarak for Royal while
Duleep Mendis, Saliya Ahangama, Guy de Alwis, Ishak Sahabdeen,
Kapila Wijeyagunawardena, Kausheek Amalean, Nisal Fernando and
Aruna Gunawardena for the Thomians.
lead the victories tally with 33 to Royal's 32 while 29
encounters have ended in no decisions. Of course many have ended
in thrilling finishes. Of the total number of 41 batsmen who
have notched up centuries for both colleges, 19 of them were
last one was made in 2003 by Ganganath Ratnayake, skipper of
Royal team in 2002 who made an unbeaten 111 following the match
saving knock of 75 runs he made in the 1st innings of the same
match, thus becoming the only second Royal batsman to achieve
his remarkable feat. Incidentally
he was the vice -captain of our U/19 team for the mini world cup
'Charlie' Warmakulasuriya holds the highest individual score in
the series by scoring a marathon 197 runs in 1980 occupying the
crease for eight hours and 20 minutes.
While making this epic innings, he has tattooed his name
in gold letters in the record books.
He eclipsed the record held by renowned Duleep Mendis who
made 184 in 1972. Incidentally
Warnakulasuriya while making the century became the second
Royalist to make a debut 100 after Jagath Pattiarachchi made 100
not out in 1974. The
fastest 100 was notched by Royalist Neil Joseph who made a
scintillating 113 in 1925 in only 65 minutes.
following year too he made another sparkling century by
eclipsing his previous year's score by making 133 runs. For the
Thomians former Sri Lanka skipper Duleep Mendis and his nephew
Manoj Mendis have scored delightful successive centuries in
1971, 1972, and 1992,1993 respectively.
Manoj while scoring 124 runs in 1992, eclipsed the record
debut century score held by David Ponniah, the present Warden of
S.Thomas' made way back in 1967.
highest partnership for any wicket is held by Royal's Anushka
Polonowita (164) and Y.Dharmarathne (124) who added 254 runs for
the third wicket in 1996. Thomian
F.Thomasz who captured eight wickets for just three runs in 1884
holds the best bowling figures while M.O.Gooneratne, also a
Thomian records the best all round performance in the encounter
in 1935 when he scored 103 runs and captured 7 wickets for 34
runs. Twenty eight
bowlers 14 from either side have taken match hauls of 10 wickets
or more. Thomian L.H.Arndt's 14 for 55 in 1906 remains the best
of the lot for nearly ten decades. The highest individual
aggregate is held by Thomain Upeka Fernando who scored 392 runs
during 1995-1998. Barney
Gunasekera's (1930) 148 runs and 9 for 105 and Rochana
Jayawardene's (1983) 143 n.o. and 9 for 73 are the two best all
round performances recorded for Royal while M.O. Gooneratne's
(1935) 107 and 8 for 66 and Ian Pieris's (1953) 123 and 6 for 64
are the two best all round efforts by the Thomians.
During the entire series since 1880 only three bowlers
have performed the 'hat-tricks.'
G.P.Keuneman of Royal while S Elapata and R.Mahapatuna
achieved these feats for S.Thomas'in the years 1901, 1945 and
is captained by Tharaka Kottehewa a 3rd year coloursman who has
represented SL U/15, U/17 and is a reliable allrounder, while
Navin Dias is the deputy skipper also a 3rd
year coloursman and the most prolific scorer in the team
having made over 1000 runs this season.
He has made two centuries and captured 25 wickets.
Ganganath Ratnayake, a 5th
year coloursman is the most experienced and a dependable
player. He was the
vice- captain of SL U/19 squad to the mini world cup and is a
Morawake is another useful allrounder having scored over 500
runs including a century and has captured over 40 wickets with
his left arm leg spinners.
Janith Jayewardena, is the stumper of the side, a 3 year
coloursman, is a reliable batsman. Nadun Punchihewa, aleftarm
leg spinner and a fresher is surprisingly the highest wicket
taker this year. Chathuranga Somapala opens bowling with his
skipper, has taken over 30 wickets this season. Opener Dimithri
Siriwardena, a great grand nephew of legendary Sargo
Jayawickrema is the opening batsman who possesses a correct
technique and temperament is expected to come good on this big
is captained by 3rd year coloursman wicket keeper, right hand
dashing batsman Kaushal Silva who represented SL U/19 in the
mini world cup. His deputy is Vidyesh Balasubramaniam, also a
3rd year coloursman and the highest wicket taker this year.
Batting strength revolves around Isuru Warnakulasuriya, Navin
Perera and Sanjeew Mendis, Promuditha Rodrigo and Charith de
Silva. There is a variety in the bowling department with pace
and spin of Nigel Adams, Mendis, Rodrigo, Balasubramaniam,
Shanthi Kumar and Ravinath Panduwawala.
the elephant lemonade inter school points table Royal by virtue
of better performances this season occupies the higher position
than the Thomians. Royal
has a well balanced all round side with many experienced
players. It is the
fervent hope that both captains adopt positive ploys and play
attractive cricket in the best spirits with a view to bringing
about a result in this historic encounter.