Thomians retain the Mustangs Trophy for 4th consecutive year

S.Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia secured a memorable victory over Royal College Colombo at the SSC grounds on the 18th of March 2017. After being put into bat first on a pitch that looked tailor made for batsman the Thomians piled on a formidable total of 258 for the fall of 7 wickets

The backbone of the Thomian innings was a scintillating knock of 95 by Ravindu Kodituwakku. The left handed opening combination of Dulith Gunaratne and Kodituwakku built a solid foundation for the rest of the Thomian batting lining up, with a partnership of 59 runs. Gunaratne unfortunate though to be run out for a patient 15 runs. Next batsman Hapuhinna could not contribute as much as he would like as he was bowled by Royal skipper Helitha Vithanage for 8. Next up was the Thomian captain Nallaperuma. It was the partnership between he and Kodituwakku that gave S.Thomas’ the platform they needed to get to 250. Kodituwakku carrying on from the form he showed at the Battle of the Blues reached the nervous 90s with a handful of boundaries and a solitary six before being caught at deep mid-on. Nallaperuma steered the ship with Ishen Perera as the pair put on 50 plus runs for the 4th wicket. Nallaperuma eventually fell to his counterpart Vithanage who managed to rattle his stumps. The lower order collapse in the latter stages of the game did not hinder the Thomian charge as Ishen Perera fought on to ensure that they completed the allotted 50 overs with a total of over 250 runs.

For Royal it was skipper Vithanage who led the bowling figures with 4/41. The Royal chase got off to the worst possible start with Ravindranath succumbing to the pace of Kalana Perera. Nannayakkara and Wickremasinghe compiled a much needed 50 run partnership with Nannayakkara being aggressor of the two. Eventually it was Kodituwakku who got the breakthrough for the Thomians with Nanayakkara departing and Wickremasinghe soon following suit. Sooriyabandara and Keeper Madarasinghe didn’t contribute to the scoreboard both leaving in quick succession. Then it was the hallmark of the royal innings a gritty and monumental stand between skipper Vithanage and fresher Senaratna. Littered with boundaries and the occasional six Senaratnas heroic 71 was the highlight for the Royal supporters. It took two stunning catches by Dinura Gunawardene and Nallaperuma to dismiss the two batsmen. The lower order couldn’t sustain the rhythm brought in by Vithanage and Seneratna despite Himesh Ramanayake keeping things interesting till the very last over. Exellent death bowling by the Thomians ensured Royal college had the impossible task of scoring 18 off the last two balls.

Overall the encounter was an exciting one for the neutral and a nail biter for the supporters of both schools. It was a game that displayed the values of sportsmanship courage and strength  that both schools value and regardless of the result will be remembered as a great game of cricket.

Dulitha Ellawala.