Royal eat humble pie
By Bernie Wijesekera
St.Joseph's Darley Road, helped by two individual sterling performances by the batsman in form Sandun Dias 147runs in 145 balls (with 7 sixes and 14 fours) and a hostile left-arm fast medium bowling coming from Christopher Fleming - a match-bag of 29-8-91-10 annihilated Royal by an innings and 12 runs on day two at Reid Avenue yesterday. It was all over at 3.10 p.m.

At the same venue in 1997 the Joes beat Royal outright .This is St.Joseph's fourth outright win for the season. Earlier they beat de Mazenod, Maris Stella and St. Benedic'ts , Kotahena. The Darley Road school winning th

e toss elected to bat first. They amassed 293 all out - thanks to a stroke-filled 147 runs by Sandun Dias. He was involved in two fruitful stands for the 3rd wicket with Heshan Gunatilleke ,109 runs .This stand was followed by an eighth wicket with Fleming 21- realised 80 runs Dias, a discard for the Lankan Under-19 tour showed scant respect to the varied Royal attack. His 100 came in 124 balls.

Royal in reply were in dire straits -4 for 31. but at close on Friday Naveen Dias on 32 and skipper Taraka Kottehewa 32 n.o., held the batting together. Resuming their innings yesterday Royal middle-order batting fell on the wayside against the hostile bowling of Fleming who had the Royal batting in a flame - it was indisciplined batting by the middle -order and had nothing to do with the pitch - tailor-made for stroke-play.

Made to follow on with a deficit of 137 runs , Royal lost two wickets, for 8 runs at lunch. A pall of gloom fell at Reid Avenue, the game watched by avid Royal fans when seven wickets, fell for 91 runs - 101 for 9 just before tea. In this Royal innings Fleming joined Rajiv Vedachalam to wrought havoc with the Royal batting.

But the last pair C.Somapala and Wijeratne produced the best batting. The pair batting with grim determination put 24 runs for the last wicket to delay the outcome, until Wijeratne fell hit wicket to leg-spinner skipper Ranesh Perera - all out for 125.

It was a right Royal victory for the Joes to maintain their winning streak. St. Joseph's - first innings 293 in 69.4 overs (Heshan Gunatilleke 54, Sandun Dias 147, C. Fleming 21, Dulanjaya Wijeratne 5 for 70)
Royal first innings (overnight -91 for 4) contd. 156 in 53.2 overs.(N.Dias 39,T. Kottehewa 32, N. Punchihewa 15, Feroze A hamed 14 n.o/, C. Fleming 17-5- 44-6) and 125 all out (N.Dias 32, Dilan Nanayakkara 16, Feroze Ahamed 24, C.Somapala 13 n.o., Dulanjaya Wijeratne 16, C. Fleming 4 for 47, Rajiv Vedachalam 4 for 31, Ranesh Perera 2 for 5)


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