D.S. Senanayake College Colombo has not been at their best in the schools cricket arena lately but with a optimistic vision for the season they are rising gradually. Under coach, Aruna Hettiarachchi, who is serving in his second season, D.S. Senanayake has been able to recover from their dismal season last year.
|The D.S. Senanayake cricket squad
The beginning of the 2011-12 school cricket seasons was not so impressive for the young lads. They have played six games so far but in the first two games against Trinity and St. Joseph’s they were not all that impressive and lost on first innings in both encounters. Their progress was evident in their next three fixtures against Royal, St. Sebastian’s and Ananda. The three encounters favoured the D.S. Senanayake lads who earned first innings points. Their comeback performances has given them new hope as D.S. Senanayke ended their third term on a high note and they continued to train harder to counter all their challenges ahead, starting with the first term.
“When I took over in the midst of the previous season, I noted few areas that needed to be addressed to fast. The fitness level, fielding and batting techniques were appalling. Before initiating on putting things straight I thought it is correct to address these aspects so other areas could be easily fitted in. Fitness and fielding were areas that could be handled very fast but the technical aspects were flawless.I looked into these areas with great care and today we are beginning to enjoy the dividends of this hard work,” Hettiarachchi stated.
D.S. Senanayke has recruited veteran physical trainer Ananda Atukorale as their physio and got the services of Mohamed Azhar, a past pupil of the school to take over the fielding department. In addition Hettiarachchi included a whole new strategy by gathering a massive squad of over 25 players and dividing them into the first XI and second XI pools based on performances. Seniority has been totally ousted in this exercise.
“This created a major change and a mini competition within the team. The boys began to practice individually and they were more eager than ever. And it made the team stronger and gradually transformed into a balanced outfit,” the coach added.
In the sixth encounter D.S. Senanayake faced St. Aloysius at Galle which was played for the R.I.T. Alles Challenge Trophy, and they triumphed by nine wickets. The win gave them the much needed boost to aim towards a successful season where 15 matches are listed to be played before the limited overs competition.
“Last season we only won a game in addition to the big match but could not qualify for the limited overs tournament. This season we are determined not to repeat the same mistake. Things have changed a lot at D.S. Senanayake and the standard will continue to grow further,” an adamant Hettiarachchi said.
This year Sri Lanka Under-19 wicketkeeper/batsman Lasith Abeyratne leads the side, assisted by Shaveen Cyril, a fine all-rounder. The team includes six seniors while two more of their kind, Binura Fernando and Supun Madushanka also won places in the Sri Lanka Under-19 squad as bowlers. They have a strong batting line-up to number eight inclusive of six capable all-rounders. Apart from skipper Abeyratne who bats at number six and deputy Cyril who opens the bat for D.S.S. with Harsha Udayakumara, Duleeka Brahmanage, Bandara brothers Kavin and Uvin are the most reliable batsmen of the team.
D.S.S. has four seamers and left-armer Binura is their strike bowler while young right-armers Kavin and Uvin have the knack to swing the ball. Skipper Abeyratne who is their regular wicketkeeper has switched as a medium pace bowler. They also have a variation of spin. Leg-spinner Supun Madushanka, left-arm spinner Tharindu Ilanperuma and off-spinner Cyril have had fair shares of wickets during the past six encounters. Hettiarachchi further said that each of these players have been given individual targets so collectively they will aim higher.
“Our motive this season is to play positive cricket and win games. We target at least six wins including the big match. The boys are high in confidence and it is certain that we will reach our aims”.