The 137th Royal-Thomian Cricket Encounter ended on the 12th of March, after three days of excitement, thrill and good play by both sides on the SSC grounds. Royal College emerged champions with 150/6 in 31 overs in the 2nd Innings.
The atmosphere – as one would expect from the oldest uninterrupted cricket encounter in the world, and arguably most important big match in the lot – was electric. All tents; boy’s tents, Stables, Thoroughbreds – you name it – were spilling over with encouragement for the players. With the “Royal Para” chanted with ferocity at the Royal tents by students in stalwart uniforms, the Thomians were yelling the “Thora Para at the top of their lungs” clad in Thomian Legion T-shirts and speckled by those who wore shirts from other events of Thomian history. EVERY BOY was standing on the chairs, creating new songs and friendly taunts were issuing from both sides. The old boys were no idle bystanders too, roaring, waving their flags, dressing up the tiniest of their children in school colours and giving them to wave flags too. Hats must be tipped to the fairer sex too, with the sisters and “friends” of the boys cheering them on and wives of old boys rallying with their husbands.
Boys kept their whole attention to the match, screaming “Go Saccha Go!” referring to the captain of S.Thomas’ College – Sachitha Jayatillaka. Keeping cans of Bitter Lemon and Cream Soda in their hands, sharing kottu mee and chicken wings, dancing and screaming to blaring music; the crowd was having the time of their lives. The student DJs have to be commended too. The revellers were supplied with a variety of songs appropriate for the moment, with “Bad Boys” by Bob Marley when things were going smoothly and “We will Rock You” when comebacks were apparent. With a “Bailatronic” there and a dubstep track there, it was a brilliant atmosphere.
At the end of the match, the awards were given as below-
Best Fielder – D.Gunathilake (STC)
Best Bowler – H.Ramanayake (RC)
Best Batsman – R.Opatha (STC)
Man of the Match – P.Sooriyabandara (RC)
Dialog Trophy – Royal College
D.S.Senanayake Memorial Shield – Royal College
As the prizes were being given out one could not help but notice the prime minister – a Royalist himself – silently watching the younger Royalists receiving the shield. Though Thomians lost, we kept to the lines of our beloved college song-
“We rejoice in victory,
When our foes we beat,
We have learnt, when fortune frowns
How to take defeat,
All unfriendly rivalry
From our lives we bar
To the College therefore sing
For all we have and are”
And the song reminds us why we are we are worthy of such excitement, such glory that comes with the Big Match.
By Yasith De Silva.
Courtesy of the Media Unit of S.Thomas’ College