27th February, 2005  Volume 11, Issue  33 

First with the news and free with its views                                     First with the news and free with its views                             First with the news and free with its views                                    


76 Battle of the Maroons - By Pelham Juriansz

Ananda have slight edge

Ananda College, Colombo have a very slight edge if any over arch rivals Nalanda as they meet in their   76th  encounter at the SSC grounds on March 5 and 6. During the series Ananda have registered 14 wins with Nalanda registering six.

 Ananda, by virtue of the fact that they have registered five outright wins with good wins against Trinity and Wesley and an innings win against St.Benedicts seem to have their nose slightly ahead in this encounter. The other two wins have been against Dharmasoka, Ambalangoda and Sri Rahula, Katugastota.

Nalanda, on the other hand have registered 4 wins with their best win being against Isipatana College. They also beat Lumbini Vidyalaya, Richmond and President's College.

Ananda are led by fourth year coloursman and the first batsman to reach 1000 runs this season, Mahela Udawatte. They have an able spinner and match winner in vice captain Achela Ranasinghe who has mesmerized many a side with his spin. Similarly, Nalanda have a match winner in leg spinner Gihan Rupasinghe. And if the saying rings true that "batsmen score runs, but it is the bowlers who win matches then Ananda and Nalanda could well look to these respective bowlers to clinch the match.   

Who's Who.. Ananda

1.    Mahela Udawatte

      Mahela has shone with the bat scoring five "tons" and five half centuries. He has scored 1070 runs this season and is a member of the Sri Lankan under 19 squad.

2.    Achela Ranasinghe

      Vice Captain of the side. 3rd year coloursman. The main strike bowler of the side.Has captured over 70 wickets this season and scored 125 runs.  Has four five wicket hauls and two six wicket hauls with a best of six for 19 vs Sri Rahula, Katugastota.  

3.      Thilina Kumarasinghe. 4th year coloursman . Last year's captain. Has scored over 340 runs, with 3 half centuries  and has taken over 25 wickets.

3. Charith Jayaweera

      Charith has captured 55 wickets with four five wicket hauls.

4.      Pradeep Boteju

      The teams batting revolves around Udawatte and Boteju. Boteju has scored one century and three half centuries and has taken 10 catches. He has cored 618 runs and opens the batting.                                                             

5.    Amal Athulathmudali

      The other opening batsman of the side. Has scored 360 runs and captured 20 wickets.

6.    Wishwa Wijesuriya. Member of the under 19 world cup squad. Middle order batsman who has scored over 200 runs and has taken over 20 catches.

7.      Ranganath Wijetunga . Baby of the team. Has scored over 250 runs with half centuries and has taken 20 catches.

8.      Chathura Herath 3rd year coloursman. Stumper of the side. Has over 15 victims in 5 matches. Middle order batsman. Member of the under 19 world cup squad.

9.    Malith Gunathilake.

      Fresher. Left arm spinner who has captured over 15 wickets. Good middle order batsman.

10.   Gayan Rupasinghe. Fresher Right arm paceman who opens the bowling. Has captured over 10 wickets. Right handed middle order batsman       

11.   Mahee Wathuregama.

      Reserve wicket keeper. Good lower order batsman. Has over 10 victims.

12.      Pasindu Jayawardena.

      Fresher. Left arm fast bowler. Good fielder in any position.

13.   Bishan Dabare. Fresher/left arm fast bowler, safe fielder and lower order batsman.

14.      Sachira Madapatha. Fresher/right arm off spin bowler/left handed middle order batsmen.

      Who's who ... Nalanda

1.    Yasas Hewavitharana (Captain) 4th year, Right hand bat and right arm bowler who opens bowling. Has captured 30 wickets at an average of 15.19 and scored over 600 runs.

2.    Sakura Wijetunga (vice captain). 4th year. Stumper of the side who has 25 victims and top order left handed batsman who has scored 350 runs.

3.      Tharindu Attanayake -4th year. Top order batsman who has two centuries to his credit with a top score of 174 against Royal. Has cored 630 runs.

4.    Gihan Rupasinghe. 3rd year left hand top-order batsman. Right arm leg spinner of immense quality. Has captured 90 wickets this season with 15 wicket haul against Richmond, his best figures being 9 for 67 against Richmond. Has also scored a century against Wesley. Highest wicket taker in current schools season.

5.      Sachitra Serasinghe. 3rd year coloursman Right hand opening bat and right arm off spinner.who has scored 900 runs inclusive of 3 centuries. Off spinner who has   captured 39 wickets at an average of 12.89.

6.      Prabath Kariyapperuma. 3rd year. Right arm medium pace opening bowler who has captured 30 wickets at an average of 19.93..

7.      Sameera Abeysinghe- 3rd year. Medium pace and good bat who has scored over 250 runs.

8.    Lahiru Wickremasinghe-2nd year. Opening bat who has scored over 400 runs.

9.      Madhawa Warnapura- 2nd year. Right hand middle order batsman who has scored 353 runs and leg spinner.

10.   Ashan Priyanjana 2nd year right hand middle order batsman who has scored over 400 runs.

11.      Milinda Weerasinghe -Left hand middle order batsman and right arm off spinner. Represented Sri Lanka in the Under 17 Asia Cup.

12.   Manosh Kulasena-Left arm leg spinner.

13.   Eranga Paranayapa-Right arm pace bowler.

14.   Lahiru Aponso.- Left arm pace bowler.

15.      Chaturanga Wickramasinghe left arm pace bowler.-

 Battle of the Blues 

Roaring seventies 

I was encouraged to write this article by my former skipper and opening partner Sasi Ganeshan when I phoned him recently.

Sasi suggested that I write an article about our era for the 126th "Battle of the Blues". When wondering what "my or our era" consisted of I was thinking that maybe it would be good to start at the "seventies", what I would term as the "roaring seventies" as this was the decade where I watched every match with enthusiasm and was fortunate enough to play in one and be on the "reserve" balcony in one.

Well, to be quite honest I did not watch a single "Roy-Tho" as it is called in the '60's, even though I began watching cricket earnestly from 1965(third term) when "Big Cousin" Denham played for St. Peter's. This trend continued till 1969, when I was escorted to the "Joe-Pete" rather than the "Blues Battle". So I was satisfied (or rather had to be) to listen to the commentaries as honestly and succinctly told by the late Lucien de Zoysa and the evergreen Bertie Wijesinghe.

To get down to business and the decade of the "seventies'. 1970 saw the fifth year coloursman Prabodha Kariyawasam skipper the Thomians and none other than the "wily" off spinner Asitha Jayaweera the Royalists (Asitha was to skipper the Royalists two years later as well).  It was my first Royal-Thomian and wasn't I thrilled. "Kari" (as I got to know him later when representing Mackwoods) was a skilful bowler as well as a more than useful middle order bat. Duleep Mendis was a fresher in the Thomain side having crossed over from St. Sebastians and was yet to prove himself at the Mount school.

The Thomian batting that year was nothing much to write home about and the only redeeming factor for the blue and blacks was the bowling of skipper Kariyawasam who captured 5 for 59. The Royalists were propped up in both innings by two solid half centuries from Nirmal Hettiarachchi  and my coach at STC Prep B.N.R. Mendis also played for Royal. Kamal Samarasinghe and Kari played two good knocks of 30 odd for the Thomians. But it was Royal who had the upper hand having the Thomians on the ropes at 84 for 8 in the second essay with Mendis doing the damage claiming 4 for 15 with his "offies". "Kari" managed to stop creating history by losing the Royal-Thomian yet again having managed to lose it the previous year to Eardley Lieversz's Royalists. So ended my first "Roy-Tho" without much incident.

1971 was a different proposition altogether and both Royal and S. Thomas had superb batting sides and it was Royal who set the Oval alight with Jagath Fernando leading the way with a magnificent undefeated 160 and Gajan Pathmanathan chipping in with an elegant 97. The Thomian bowlers toiled hard on a placid pitch.

The Thomians not to be outdone replied to Royal's 295 for 2 with 247 for 5 declared with a sound opening partnership and contribution from the elegant Ravi Sathasivam(54), Kamal Samarasinghe(60), and of course the inimitable Duleep Mendis with a crackerjack 103. The two second innings' of both teams were entertaining to say the least.

Well, on to 1972 and what I would term the innings of the decade. I was just 13 years of age and what I witnessed that year would be etched in my memory forever.

The Thomians were led by none other than Duleep Mendis.  I still remember reading the morning papers and being thrilled to read and observe the pictures of our Thomian heroes. Further, this was my first "Big Match after joining the Mount Lavinia school.

Asitha Jayaweera was leading Royal yet again and the Thomians took first lease of the wicket. The second best bat in the Thomain side Kamal Samarasinghe was out caught behind by Ray de Silva off S. A. de Silva with the score reading 1  for 1. The Royalists would have thought that if they got Duleep early the match would be wide open. But they were disappointed for Duleep Mendis was in no mood for jokes. With A.D.H. Samaranayake at the other end Duleep put  the Royalists to the sword and bludgeoned his way to 184 which broke the highest individual score at the match set up only the previous year by Jagath Fernando. It was an innings worth watching and one that I consider to be the best that I have seen at the "Big Match".  The present Thomian coach Ranil Abeynaike contributed 27 but it was Duleep's match and after that champagne knock the Thomians cared little else for the outcome because defeat was far from coming.

The following year S. Thomas' was led by, to my mind, one of the best schoolboy bowlers to come from the "school by the sea" Ranil G. Abeynaike. Going into the "Big "un Ranil had captured close to 90 wickets, if my memory serves me correct, and the Royalists were out to "tame" him.

The Royalists batted first and were bundled out for a mere 124, with the only worthwhile contributions coming from P.N.S. Kariyawasam (39) and L.Paulausz(27).

The wickets were shared amongst the 3 A's as we used to call them. Ranil Abeynaike(4), and Ajith Abeygunawardene(2) and Ravi Abeywardene(2).

At close of play on the first day the Thomians were in a comfortable position at 124 for 3 but collapsed the following morning to be all out for 160, the chief wrecker being Samuel Lawton with 6 for 52.

The Royalists were in a different mood in the second essay and thought that they would take the attack to the Thomians. A rollicking opening partnership of 126 between Kariyawasam(69) and Chelliah(81) set the stage for a total of 235 for 6 wkts at which stage the Royalists declared.

The Thomians left a target of 210 odd were as usual tottering at 114 for 8 at stumps, with Gamini Kumarage and Ravi Abeywardene hanging on for dear life.

Thomian grit prevailed once again.

Came the year 1974 and the Thomians had one of the worst teams possible losing to Trinity by an innings before the big match. The Royalists opened with Kariyawasam and Jagath Pattiarachchi, who ended up emulating David Ponniah's feat of scoring a century on debut. In "fact" Patti went one better and performed this feat in the first innings.

By Pelham Juriansz

Saints warm up for "Big Match"

St. Joseph's and St. Peter's warmed up for their "Big Match" next month (March 11 and 12) with similar 7 wicket wins against St. Sebastian's and S. Thomas' last week. The Joes further defeated De Mazenod College to register their ninth win for the season, which must certainly be a record for them.  

St. Joseph's are riding the crest of a wave defeating the Sebastianites after 34 years. It might be a good sign for the Joes that they have recorded a win after so many years against the Sebastianites. It was under Rohan Fernando that they beat the Moratuwa lads and it was under Rohan that they last won the "Big Match". 

S.Thomas vs St.Peter's

 The Thomians were made to eat humble pie at the hand of the Peterites. S.Peter's batting first totalled 208 for 9 declared and then went on to dismiss the Thomians for a paltry 79 and made them follow on. The Thomians in the second essay fared a bit better to make 210 themselves but it was not sufficient to stave off a seven- wicket defeat.

The Thomians were 96 for 3 at lunch on the second day but were far from safe. The Thomians who have a capable batting side must be wondering what type of "tsunami" hit them when they were dismissed for 79 in the first innings. Hans Fernando was the chief wrecker for the Peterites. In the second innings off spinner Shanaka Wickremasekera and Lakshan Rodrigo did the damage. Mendis, Naveen Perera, Kaushal Silva, Nisham Mazahir and Dhanushka Colombage scored for the Thomians.

St.Joseph's vs St.Sebastians'

The Joes can do nothing wrong this season as they came up with their eight outright win. The Sebastianites were bundled out for 128 and 167, not challenging enough for the Joes. The Josephians in their turn scored 213 and set a challenging target of 84 to win in the second scored it in the 12th over to win after more than three decades. The Josephians with this win have now won eight outright and have thus even bettered the record of Rohan Fernando's side of 1972 when they won seven games.

S.Thomas vs Trinity

S.Thomas redeemed themselves somewhat in this game after their debacle against the Peterites. Batting first they totalled 228 all out after being in a rather precarious position at 106 for 6 at one stage. Once again the lower order rallied round to ensure a safe first innings score. The bowlers through Sajith Kularatne and Vidyesh Balasubramaniam restricted the Hill Country boys to 163 thereby ensuring a good first innings lead. However ,with the big match just three weeks away the Thomians opted for batting practice instead of giving the Trinitians a target. Ashan Pieris stroked his second century while last year's skipper Kaushal Silva helped himself to a half century thereby making 998 runs so far in the season.

Ananda vs Dharmaraja

Ananda's skipper, Mahela Udawatte was the first to score 1000 runs this season in their encounter with Dharmaraja College for the P.W.Perera trophy.

Nalanda vs Dharmasoka

It was a week for shocks as Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda almost defeated the mighty Nalandians. Dharmasoka scored 187 and Nalanda managed just five runs less when they made 182. In the second innings Dharmasoka did not fare that well being rattled for 126 and Nalanda made an attempt at victory but were tottering at 95 for 9 at close.


Royal drew their Sir Frank Gunasekera encounter with Wesley over the weekend. The Royalists are sill in the process of team building and have not come up with either a regular opening pair or a regular opening bowling combination. Wesley were given a very tempting target of scoring 178 in 36 overs but settled for a draw instead of going for guts and glory.


This too ended in the inevitable draw.

 Royal just managed 146 in the first innings and Mahinda did better to score 213. Royal made a better fist of it in the second innings declaring at 204 for 6 with coloursman Gayan de Silva stroking 52, Sukitha Senaratne 46 and skipper Dimitri Siriwardena 37.


Another team warming up for their big match is Thurstan who did not fare well with Kingswood. Kingswood made 227 in the first essay and Thurstan struggled to declare at 135 for 9. Kingswood declared at 125 for 5 in the second innings and then Thurstan made 140 for 8 in the second.

Royal -Prince of Wales

Royal, like their rivals S.Thomas' lost one of their "Big Match" warm up games against the Cambrians at Moratuwa.

 Prince of Wales batting first rattled up a superb 321 for the loss of 6 wickets and  dismissed the Royalists twice and then made the required runs for the loss of three wickets to win by 7 wickets.

Royal are continuing their miserable run this season with their second loss having lost earlier to the Josephians by an innings

- P.J.

Anuruddha Polonowita to retire

By Sunil Thenabadu  

ANURUDDHA Polonowita popularly known as Polon's, has decided to bid "adieu" to his coaching assignment after this year's annual Ananda-Nalanda big match. Polonowita possesses a humble, unassuming personality has  excelled as a renowned cricketer, experienced coach and as our current National Curator. He joined his "Alma Mater' Ananda College in the year 1943, when he was five years old, having lived in close proximity to the school premises.

It is quite evident that he was a born gifted cricketer having cricket in his blood. He represented the college U-14, U-16, and 1st XI teams as an all rounder and captain. He was an effective left arm orthodox left arm leg spinner, dependable batsman and a brilliant fielder at slips. He not only captained the Ananda team in 1957, but also was selected to lead the combined schools team. That particular year he was adjudged as the best school boy bowler. While still a school boy, he was selected play for the prestigious Sinhalese Sports Club.

He commenced his professional career as the Sports Officer of the Colombo Municipal Council, and was compelled to play for Nomads in 1962. The contribution he made as an effective all rounder helped the club immensely to be elevated to play in Division I cricket. In the year 1968 they won the P Sara Trophy under his able leader ship. He then became an automatic choice to play for then All Ceylon. He represented All Ceylon team during the period of 1960-1970, cementing his place for nearly a decade. Some well known contemporaries with whom played with at school were Daya Amarasinghe, Palitha Premasiri, Yatagama Amaradasa, Sunny Yatawara and his brother Parakrama and those at Nalanda were  Chandrasiri Weerasinghe, Sarath Silva, Daya Illukkumbura, Premasara Epasinghe, and retired Police D.I.G's Mithra Siriwardena, and Sumith Liyanage. At national level he had the opportunity to play under distinguished captains V.G Prins, C.I. Gunasekara Michael Tissera and with some players in the calibre of Abu Fuard, A. C.M.Laffir, Reid brothers, Dr. H.I.K.Fernando and Ranjith Fernando. One of his best all round performances that cannot be easily forgotten was against India under the leadership of The Nawab of Pataudi at Ahamabad where he scored a half a century, captured 4 wickets for 3 runs and held 4 catches, which proved beyond doubt his capabilities as an all arounder.

In 1966 he was appointed as the cricket coach, the post he has held up to this year spanning for nearly four decades. He coached with tremendous commitment, dedication and supreme sacrifice. His yeoman services helped his "alma mater" to groom , nurture and produce a number of Test players. A few prominent test cricketers who emerged from Ananda College that comes to one's mind are Arjuna Ranatunga, Marvan Atapattu, the former and current skippers of national side, Brendon Kuruppu, the current manager of our national team, the famous Wettimuny brothers Mithra and Sidath, Avishka Gunawardena and Thilan Samaraweera. Through his dedicated coaching he has produced from Ananda College a number of other players for Sri Lanka U-19 and "A" teams.

It is very sad to note that he has decided to bid "adieu" to his coaching assignment after this year's annual Ananda-Nalanda big match, after a period spanning for nearly 4 decades. The yeoman service rendered by him to his "alma mater" will be definitely be etched in gold.

In year 1968 he married Chithranganie, the daughter of Professor P.B.Fernando from Rosmead place where he has been residing since. His only son Anushka Polonowita was educated at Royal College as there was no Primary Section at Ananda College during that period. He excelled in academic studies as well as sports. He captained the college cricket team and was the Head Prefect of the school as well. In the Royal-Thomian cricket encounter, the greatest sporting event in the calendar by tradition in Sri Lanka he scored a scintillating 164 runs in the year 1996 and he together with  Yasath Dharmarathna who scored 124 runs together added 254 runs for the third wicket. Incidentally this partnership is the highest partnership ever recorded for any wicket in the annals of the history of Royal - Thomian matches which has an uninterrupted history of over 125 years. After leaving school he joined CCC a premier cricket club where he captained the club for two years. Simultaneously he has chosen a career in marketing and at present he is a senior executive in marketing at DIMO's. He is strongly knocking at the door for a birth in the National Side and has on in many occasions given enough food for thought for our national selectors. He also has two daughters, Shivanthi & Shehani both having qualified with degrees in Business Administration from universities in Australia. The former is married and is domiciled in Australia with her husband also a degree holder in Business Administration.

Anuruddha was awarded a scholarship to UK in 1971 to follow a course in Community Development & Sports. During this period he simultaneously held the office as President of 4 clubs V.I.Z, Peterson SC, Colpetty SC, Muthuwella SC and Nomads CC. During his tenure of office as the Director of Sports majority of the national players emerged from these clubs. He was also instrumental in commencing around 20 Pre-schools, particularly for the less affluent children.

Under the regime of President Premadasa and Mayor Sirisena Cooray, Polon's was actively involved with the construction activities of Sri Lanka's largest cricket stadium, the Kettarama International Cricket Stadium, when for the first time cricket under floodlights was introduced. After the completion of this project of gigantic magnitude Polon's was deservedly awarded a scholarship to follow a course in curatorship at the MCG in Australia. The experience he gained helped him immensely to become our National Curator since.

15-year-old Binupa clinches Donald Steel Trophy 2005

Fifteen-year-old Binupa Wijesinghe, a student of Gateway International, Kandy, who is fast becoming a champion golfer, playing to a handicap of 3 ousted the reigning champion, Martin Ebert from UK to clinch the Donald Steel Trophy in the sixth consecutive Donald Steel Trophy Golf tournament held at the picturesque Victoria Golf and Country Resort, last weekend with 89 golfers vying for honours.

A 36-hole amateur Scratch Stableford Competition was played . The tournament played over two days, with all competitors playing one round each day. The Ebert Pot which is decided on the36 hole Handicap Stableford Score was won by local favourite Roshan Dias with a nett aggregate of 79points. Sidath Hemachandra with a nett aggregate of 77 points had to settle for the runner-up position. Last year's winner Dr. Alexander Perera was unable to come to terms with the course this year. The Ebert Pot was presented by Martin Ebert.

Martin Ebert was back this year determined to defend his title but young Binupa Wijesinghe pushed Ebert to third place to claim the Donald Steel Trophy with a gross aggregate of 63 whilst Alain Gyi returning a gross aggregate of 55 was placed second Donald Steel was unable to attend this year and the trophy was presented by Elizabeth Bostcok.

In the Ladies division, there was fierce competition for the Pam Fernando Cup, which was secured by last year winner Suven Selvaratnam and was presented by Priath Fernando on behalf of Mrs. Pam Fernando.The Victoria Bowl was won by Sandy McAndrew who carded to excellent nett rounds of 43points and 39points respectively and Mrs. Eve Holloway presented the Victoria Bowl.

The longest drive for gentlemen was won by Romesh Abhayaratne and the ladies by Niloo Jayatilake. Priath Fernanado of United Tractors fame claimed the nearest to the pin for gentlemen. Nearest to the pin for ladies was won by Suven Selvaratnam. Danny Scheppers of Qatar Airlines clinched a hole in one on the fourth hole.

The course was playing excellent, mainly due to the untiring efforts of Mr. Tony Whitham, General Manager of Victoria Golf & Country Resort. The tournament was organized and logistics cordinated by the Club Secretary Mr. Stefano de Run.

On behalf of the sponsors Mr. Nuwan Gunasekara of Carlsberg and Mrs. Hyacinth Silva of Sri Lankan Airlines graced the occation. Sponsors for the event are Carlsberg, Sri Lankan Airlines, Mahaveli Reach Hotel, Earl's Regency Hotel, Hemachandra Jewellers ( Kandy) and Helly Hanson.

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