It was South Africa vs England at the Benson and Hedges World cup 92 revisited in a proverbial time machine. The conflict in the rules regarding the use of Duckworth and Lewis method not only scuppered a gripping match, it provided the backdrop for a turbulent and utterly confusing finish. Amidst the chaos, the tradition of southpaw centuries continued as St. Thomas College regained the Mustangs trophy after three years defeating Royal College by 113 runs via the Duckworth Lewis system at SSC grounds yesterday.
In the last two years it was two Royalists-Chalaka Bogoda and Ramith Ramukwella-who had brought victories but this time St. Thomas opener Devin Jayasinghe took upon himself to reverse the trend. While he was the sole attraction in the morning, it took a turn for the worse in the afternoon. Royal was 130/4 in 29 overs when the rain intervened around 4.15 and according to the D/L calculations they had won the match by 2 runs.
Jubulent supporters swarmed the pitch pitching their trust in a heavy downpour but a passing shower later they had to be ejected since the match was about to start. And start it did and the target-259 runs in 35 overs.
Realising this was possible only on a ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not’ the two batsmen-Milan Abeysekara and Poorna Aluthge-batted out the 6 overs without any trumpet calls and they had themselves-in the form of organizers-to blame. The system the organizers used for the match was D/L system but normally in schools circuit Parabola system is the one that is in existence. The target became impracticable because although they legalized the D/L system, minutes deduction was done within the laws of Parabola. In D/L, 4.2 minutes are given for one over while 4.0 minutes are allocated for an over in Parabola.
The mixture of systems didn’t co-exist to say the least. Atleast a target of 129 in 6 overs said so. Royal who won the toss, was in early trouble in the pursuit as Sampath De Silva had to retire hurt due to cramps. Supun Subasinghe perished early but captain Imal Liyanage and Isuru Gunathilake set about resurrecting the chase. Liyanage hit six boundaries and monstrous six straight down the ground but was caught behind off Wijesinghe. Heshan Kumarasiri was in good touch but got himself to blame for his dismissal and when Abeysekara and Aluthge was in the crease did the lights begin to fade.
Earlier Jayasinghe carried the Thomian innings with a scintillating century where he shifted gears masterfully. After a cautious start in which Asiri Wickremanayake fell to Anupa Thilakartne, Jayasinghe went full throttle to wrestle the enterprise back and although Javed Bongso departed he found an able sidekick in his captain Sachin Peiris. They unified to add 107 runs for the third wicket and at 178/2 it seemed a target which could dispirit the Royalists were on the offing.
But it was a phase where the rate was tied down and Peiris lost his cool trying to break the shackles, to be caught at mid wicket off Kudahetty. Pathirana tried hard to excel at what his captain failed but he was castled by Kudahetty to give Royal a glimmer of hope. Thilaksha Sumanasiri found putting bat on ball rigorous task as the Thomians crumbled in the fag end of the innings. Samarasinghe was once on a hat trick when he sent Ravichandran and Mathangaweera to the pavilion in successive deliveries but last man Sahan Wijesinghe managed to derail the thrill.
Unreceptive to this was Jayasinghe who reached the century with a boundary which contained 12 flawless fours and a six but even he wouldn’t have, after setting St. Thomas up for a victory with the battalion of spinners to unleash, foreseen the parody that was to follow.
St. Thomas College
Devin Jayasinghe b. Thilakaratne 101
Asiri Wickramanayake c. Samarasinghe b. Thilakaratne 9
Javed Bongso c. De Silva b. Samarasinghe 15
Sachin Peiris c. De Silva b. Kudahetty 53
Chamod Pathirana b. Kudahetty 7
Thilaksha Sumanasiri st. Abeysekara b. Pathmanathan 5
Ramith Gunaratne c. Abeysekara b. Thilakaratne 1
Danush Peiris not out 9
Madushan Ravichandrakumar b. Samarasinghe 8
Rishane Mathangaweera LBW b. Samarasinghe 0
Sahan Wijesinghe not out 4
Extras (4 byes, 21 wides, 1 no ball) 26
Total (for 9 wickets) 238
Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-71, 3-178, 4-196, 5-204, 6-208, 7-213, 8-230, 9-230
Bowling: Kudahetty 9-1-54-2 Thilakaratne 9-0-39-3 Subasinghe 5-0-19-0 Samarasinghe 7-0-27-3 Aluthge 10-0-48-0 Pathmanathan 10-1-47-1
Sampath De Silva retired hurt 2
Isuru Gunathilake c. D. Peiris b. Mathangaweera 41
Supun Subasinghe c. S. Peiris b. Pathirana 3
Imal Liyanage c. S. Peiris b. Wijesinghe 39
Heshan Kumarasiri c. D. Peiris b. Ravichandrakumar 26
Milan Abeysekara not out 15
Poorna Aluthge not out 4
Extras: (1 bye, 1 leg bye, 13 wides) 15
Total (for 4 wickets) 145
Fall Of Wickets: 1-15, 2-78, 3-115, 4-120
Bowling: Pathirana 7-1-25-1 D. Peiris 5-0-20-0 Wijesinghe 5-0-22-1 Sumanasiri 5-0-28-0 Mathangaweera 6-0-23-1 Ravichandran 7-1-25-1
Result: St. Thomas won by 113 runs (D/L)
Umpires: K.C Fernando, Athula Wickremathilake
Scorers: Anura Rathnayake, Dirky Fernando
Pictures Courtesy Of Manoj Ridimahaliyadda