Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 27 February 2011





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Fresher - laden Nalanda has tough job against Ananda

CRICKET: The scales should tilt more towards Ananda by virtue of their season's seven outright wins to Nalanda's two wins when their annual 82nd Battle of the Maroons cricket encounter gets under way on March 5 and 6 at the SSC grounds.

The two leading Buddhist Institutions in the country has produced the bulk of the country's Test players, and Nalanda in particular are long overdue of a win in the 'big' match series. For over half a century (58 years), Nalanda has not won. Nalanda's last win was in 1953 under W.W. Silva. Henry Seneviratne was the Ananda skipper at that time. Ananda last won in 2003 under Damindu Kularatne when Nalanda was captained by S. Gangodawila.

During the past couple of years Nalanda's biggest setback has been their Campbell Place playground which is under renovation.

This has affected them badly as they are called on to play their 'home' matches elsewhere and restricted their practice sessions.

Prashan Wickremasinghe a right-hand opening batsman and a third-year coloursman who is also the wicket-keeper of the side, will lead Nalanda. He has scored the highest number of runs (491 in 17 Innings,including a century and three 50's). His deputy Sineth Gunawardene (over 450 runs with four 50's) is another forceful batsman, is the other coloursman. Besides these two players the Nalandians basically possess a fresher laden side.

Their bowling attack seems to have variety with two useful right-arm medium pacers in Rangana Cooray and Malinda Vimukthi spearheading the opening attack, followed by off-spinner Koshan Danushka, left-arm leg-spinner Dasun Hettiarachchi and right-arm leg-spinner Nikila Weerasinghe.

Ananda on the other hand, will bank on their right-arm leg-spinner Sachitra Perera who is going great guns in the Mobitel Observer Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer Contest.

He has already captured 97 wickets with still one more match to be played and in all probability he should reach the 100-wicket mark for the season.

Out of the 15, matches played so far, Ananda has defeated Richmond, St. Benedict's, St. Sylvester's, Dharmasoka, Dharmapala, Dharmaraja and Joseph Vaz.

Ananda skipper Geeshan Wimaladharma who opens the batting has led the team from the front, scoring over 800 runs with a century and five 50's. One drop bat Rasith Jayaratne also has been among the runs, topping the 400 run mark.

Ananda's middle order looks quite solid with Pasindu Madushan (over 400 runs and 42 wickets), Ruwinda Shamen and Sisura Samarasinghe within the 400-run mark range adding muscle to the batting.


Ananda College: Geeshan Wimaladharma (Captain), Danusha Madushan, Rasith Jayarathne, Pasindu Madushan, Ruwinda Shaman, Thushara Samarakoon, Sisuru Samarasinghe, Ushan Gunatileka, Sachitra Perera, Thamalaka Athulathmudali, Venuka Ashen, Panduka Paranamanage, Hiran Wijesuriya, Asanka Ranthilakage.

Nalanda College: Prashan Wickremasinghe (Captain), Charith Kumarasinghe, Vishan Wickremarachchi, Sineth Gunawardena, Koshan Danushka, Ishan Rangana, Gayan Madawatta, Rangana Cooray, Malinda Vimukthi, Dasun Hettiarachchi, Nikila Weerasinghe, Kusal Dias, Vibusha Tharusurath, Lahiru Jayakody.

Ananda College (Seated from left): Dilshan Mendis (Assistant coach), Saman Hettiarachchi (Master-in-Charge Junior), Priyankara Nandasena (Master-in-Charge), Sachitra Perera, Sampath Weragoda (Deputy Principal), L.M.D. Dharmasena (Principal), Geeshan Wimaladharma (Captain), Ruwinda Shamen (Vice Captain), Kumar Rodrigo (Deputy Principal), Major Jagath Alwis (Prefect of Games), Lucky Rogers Fernando (Coach), Standing (from left 1st row): Menuka Gunawardene, Uvindu Gallage, Thamala Abeygunasekera, Venuka Ashen, Tiran Wijesuriya, Rasith Jayarathne, Thushara Samarakoon, Dushmantha Dissanayake, Sisuru Samarasinghe.Standing (from left. 2nd row): Pasindu Madusanka, Panduka Paranamanage, Ushan Gunathileke, Danuka Madushan, Asanka Ranthilakage.

Nalanda College. (Seated from left):M. Wickremasinghe (Master-in-Charge), Susil Gunawardena (Asst. Coach), B.H.M. Ariyarathne Bandara (Deputy Principal) Sineth Gunawardena (V. Captain), J.H.M.W. Ranjith (Principal), Prahan Wickremasinghe (Captain), M.S.K. Gunathilake (Deputy Principal), Major H.D.L. Ravindra (Prefect of Games), Indrapala Senevirathne (Assistant Principal), Jayantha Senevirathne (Head Coach).Standing (from left 1st row): Dulanga Mahanama, Charitha Kumarasinghe, Oshadhi Pallewela, Malinda Vimukthi, Rangana Cooray, Anjan Abeyratne, Pramuth Hettiarachchi, Kosala Pallewela, Nikila Weerasinghe, Lahiru Wijerathne. Standing (from left 2nd row): Gayan Madawatta, Vibusha Tharusurath, Ishan Rangana, Vihan Wickremarachchi, Koshan Danushka, Kusal Dias, Lahiru Jayakody and Dasun Tharinda.



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