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Sunday, 28 February 2016





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Joe-Pete big match opens new chapter

Two schools that produced many Sri Lankan cricketers take a course for the better:

The stage is set for the 82nd Battle of the Saints big match cricket encounter between St. Joseph's College and St. Peter's College at the P Sara Oval on March 4 and 5 with the encounter receiving a huge boost as the country's foremost heavyweight commercial promoter of sports Dialog Axiata stepped in as key sponsor.

Fr. Travis Gabriel (second from left) the rector of St. Joseph’s College and Fr Trevor Martin (second from right) the rector of St. Peter’s College along with Dialog Enterprise Chief Officer Jeromy Huxtable and the two captains Sanduruwan Rodrigo (left-St. Joseph’s College) and Vinu Mohotty (right-St. Peter’s College) at the launch and sponsorship of the annual Battle of the Saints big match at the Sports Ministry Auditorium, Race Course Colombo on Thursday ( Picture by Sudam Gunasinghe)

The Peterites move in with a better track record this season after posting five outright wins under coach Malinda Warnapura, the former Sri Lanka opener.

Speaking at its launch at the Sports Ministry auditorium on Thursday, the sporting rector of St. Joesph's College Rev Fr. Travis Gabriel said the big match and the two schools turned a new phase in reactivating interest in the encounter which experienced a drop in spectator patronage in recent years.

"The trend has been set and we are on the right track", said Fr Travis Gabriel addressing invitees and the media. "The Joe-Pete has a sense of belonging and we are fortunate that Dialog entered the scene to help us take it forward to a better level".

The two teams will play for the Rev. Father Maurice Le Goc Trophy in memory of the founder missionary of both schools.

This year St. Joseph's College will be led by batsman Sandaruwan Rodrigo while the Peterites will be under the captaincy of all-rounder Vinu Mohotti.

To enhance the interest of sporting rivalry between the two schools, a new logo was unveiled with their respective emblems side-by-side against a blue backdrop.

It will be a feature at all sporting encounters played between the two academies that possess a rich history of tradition for over eight decades.

"I would like to announce that the joint committee of the two schools which got off the ground just last year have taken the initiative to launch a new joint logo representing the Battle of the Saints in this year's encounter. The new initiatives taken by the joint match committee is sure to raise the bar of this annual event that draws the old and young from the two schools", said Fr.Travis Gabriel.

Rector of St. Peter's College Rev Fr.Trevor Martin said the big match between the two schools was one of the most looked forward to events in the Sri Lanka schools cricket calendar and this year will be no exception with both colleges expected to produce some top action on the field of play.

"We know the pulse of old boys of both schools and the standard that has to be maintained both on and off the field which has been the case with the Joe-Pete that we all look forward to", Fr. Martin said.

St. Joseph's College leads the series tally with 12 wins with their last win under the captaincy of Ruwantha Fernandopulle in 2008 while St. Peter's College last registered a win under Shehan Fernando's leadership in 2012.

The Peterites won the match on nine occasions and the past three encounters ended in draws.

Ever since the two schools decided to restrict their first innings to 60 overs in 2002, there had been three positive results.

For the first time the match as well as the limited overs contest, the following week, will be telecast live on Dialog television (channel one) as well as live streaming on website and My TV on mobile.

The chief guest on the occasion will be Berchman de Alwis, who skippered the Joes in 1964.

Both schools also say they are proud of the fact that they produced several top class cricketers in Angelo Mathews, Chaminda Vaas, Thisara Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne, Ashley de Silva and Michael Van Dort (from Joseph's College), Roy Dias, Rumesh Ratnayake, Russell Arnold, Vinodhan John, Amal Silva, Kaushal Lokuarachchi and Malinda Warnapura (from St. Peter's College) who graduated and played for Sri Lanka.

The Joe-Pete limited overs match played for the Rev. Fr. Peter Pillai trophy will be worked off on March 12 at the R. Premadasa International Stadium.

St Joseph's College squad:

Sandaruwan Rodrigo (captain), Kevin Corteling, Malshan Rodrigo, Vimukthi Peiris, Sachitha de Silva, Dario Dasanayake, Kavindu Jayatissa, Thasan Perera, Nipun Sumanasinghe, Charuka Ullandupitiya, Harin Cooray, Dineth Madurawala, Jehan Daniel, Revan Kelly, Ruchira Ekanayake, Havin Perera, Pahan Perera, Neran Goonetilleke, Shevon Fonseka.

Coach: Asela Pathirana

St. Peter's College squad:

Vinu Mohotty (captain), Hashan Wanasekera, Sadish Pathiranage, Randel Seneviratne, Dinal Jayakody, Chandula Jayamanne, Lakshina Rodrigo, Taneesha Weerakoon, Anishka Perera, Ravindu Silva, Sachin Fernando, Jeremy Fernando, Manelka de Silva, Santhush Gunatilleke, Ranmith Jayasena, Ashanth Malker, Shelon Rodrigo, Inesh Fernando, Vinul Gunawardena

Coach: Malinda Warnapura


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