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Sunday, 28 February 2016

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Ananda and Nalanda have much to answer: Will it be another big yawn?

Two leading Buddhist schools Ananda College and Nalanda College will meet in the 87th annual Battle of Maroons cricket encounter to be played at the SSC ground on March 5 and 6 for a trophy in memory of former Ananda captain Sujeewa Kamalasooriya who died in the 2004 tsunami down south.


Dasun Seneviratne
(Nalanda captain)


Nisal Francisco
(Ananda captain)

The Battle of the Maroons between these two schools began in 1924 when Ananda was captained by RS Rajakaruna and Nalanda by BS Perera and the inaugural match ended in a draw.

The big match was not played during the Second World War in 1942 and '43.

Ananda will be led by fourth year coloursman Nisal Fransisco and Nalanda by Dasun Seneviratne a third year coloursman.

Ananda also have a prized player in Sammu Ashan who skippered the team last year and represented Sri Lanka at the recent U-19 World Cup.

Ananda lead the series with 12 wins while Nalanda has won six times.

Ananda won in 1926, 1927, 1930, 1932, 1934, 1937, 1938, 1939,1941, 1965, 1982 and 2003 under Damindu Kularathne.

Nalanda won in 1925, 1928, 1947, 1949, 1950 and 1953 under WW Silva. They have not won for 61 years.

Ananda produced Sri Lanka's only World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga while Sunil Wettimuny, Mithra Wettimuny, Sidath Wettimuny, Brendon Kuruppu, Marvan Atapattu, Dhammika Ranatunga, Sanjeewa Ranatunga, Oshadee Weerasinghe, Charith Senanayake, Dinuk Hettiarachchi, Thilan Samaraweera, Avishka Gunawardena, Thilina Kandambi, Dinesh Chandimal and Sachithra Senanayake are their other high profile products who played for Sri Lanka.

Nalanda produced Sri Lanka's first Test cricket captain Bandula Warnapura and several other Sri Lanka players Anura Ranasinghe, Lalith Kaluperuma, Sanath Kaluperuma, Gamini Wickramasinghe, Roshan Mahanama, Asanka Gurusinha, Chamara Dunusinghe, Kumara Dharmasena and Mahela Jayawardene.

This year Ananda played 14 matches and won three matches against Bandaranayake MMV Gampaha, Dharmapala Pannipitiya and Dharmasoka Ambalangoda.

They won six matches on first innings while losing only to Trinity College.

Nalanda played 17 matches and won three against Thurstan, Rahula Matara and D.S. Senanayake while losing to S. Thomas' College. They also won eight matches on first innings.

Ananda's deputy skipper and left hand batsman Kavishka Anjula scored 688 runs with two centuries and two half centuries. He also captured 45 wickets. Skipper Nisal Fransisco has 614 runs under his belt while left arm leg spinner Dileepa Jayalath has captured 62 wickets. Fresher and right hand batsman Kamesh Nirmal scored 354 runs with two centuries in five matches while Nipun Hakgalla the wicket keeper has 40 victims (34 catches and six stumpings) and scored 310 runs. Rahal Avishka has scored 360 runs while Asel Sigera aggregated 405 and captured 38 wickets. Supun Waragoda took 33 wickets and scored 240 runs while Sri Lanka youth cap Sammu Ashan played only one match in the season as he was involved with national duties.

Nalanda's Kavindu Bandara scored 413 runs and captured 93 wickets while Dasun Seneviratne the skipper scored 545 runs. Nimnaka Ratnayake has 535 runs to his credit while Kasun Sandaruwan made 511 runs with a century.

As the wicketkeeper he has 35 victims (23 catches and 12 stumpings). Dilan Suraweera scored 433 runs and took 36 wickets. Last year's skipper Malinga Amarasinghe scored 425 runs while Thinura Hettiarachchi made 361 runs and Suhanga Wijewardena 352 with a century.

Aroshana Kumara was also among the runs with 325 runs while Ayantha de Silva took 23 wickets and Asel Kulatunge 20 scalps.

Ananda College squad: Nisal Francisco (captain), Kavishka Anjula (vice captain), Sammu Ashan, Dileepa Jayalath, Nipun Hakgalla, Dinuka Jayarathne, Rahal Avishka, Ashel Sigera, Supun Waragoda, Lahiru Udayanga, Sahan Suraweera, Dushan Hettige, Kamesh Nirmal, Kalana Perera, Aveesha Wilwalaarachchi, Lahiru Attanayake, Achila Iranga

Coach: Rohan Soysa

Nalanda College squad: Dasun Seneviratne (captain), Kavindu Bandara (vice captain), Malinga Amarasinghe, Dilan Suraweera, Aroshan Nipun, Kasun Sandaruwan, Ayantha de Silva, Lakshitha Rasanjana, Nimnaka Ratnayake, Thinura Malaka, Suhanga Wijewardena, Umeshka Dilshan, Asel Kulatunga, Kalana Perera, Madushanka Gunadasa, Eranga Jayasinghe

Coach: Keerthi Gunaratne

- (YK)

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