Antonians have the edge this year - Trinity-Antonian
Antonian side that has played consistently good cricket this season takes on an unpredictable Trinity side that is over-reticent on their 91st Big Match at the Asgiriya Stadium on the 9th – 10th of March.
Last year, the Trinitians stormed the Katugastota bastion and produced an exhilarating display of batting to take the honours.
However, honour was restored a week later when the Antonians won the limited over to produce a result that should never have been.
Selvyn Jamion’s Antonians having beaten the Royalists and the Bens go into this game with confidence. The skipper has been the leading wicket-taker with 37 and last week he turned up trumps with the bat making 78. His opening burst can be quite incisive. Peter Samarakoon is the other leather launcher and he forms a good combination with Jamion.
Medagoda and Ekanayake (off spin) and Reyal and Palihakkara are the spinners of note. Ekanayake 31 wickets, and some useful runs with the bat, has been a good acquisition.Reyal has 29 wickets to go with his left handed batting skills and his effervescent fielding.
Dissanaike, who has shed the keeping gloves, is the leading run-scorer with more than 600 runs. He has centuries against Kingswood and St. Joseph’s as his best efforts. The other ton-up-man is Sumindan whose efforts with the bat have lent-stability to the batting.
The Antonians also expect big runs from Medagoda and last year’s skipper Munas. The latter may not be orthodox itself, but his shot-making is effective. His cutters need watching. Reyal, Samarakoon and the skipper can shore up the batting.
With Pathirana available, the Trinitians have been competitive. In his absence, they have been quite woeful. There’s no reason why it should be so, as they have many second year players.
The skipper has had a fine season and has taken wickets by the bucketful. He has even opened the bowling but it has been a meaningless exercise. The Trinitians have invariably done well when he has struck it rich with the bat, as in the game against Wesley. The second innings batting performance against Dharmaraja should give the other batters the confidence to come out of the shadows.
Dilan Gangoda who has three fifties to his credit, opens batting with Munasinghe. Joachim seems to have shot his bolt with some solid performances at the start. The returning – Auwardt is a determined batsman. Bandara can be aggressive, while Romesh Perera has played many a plucky innings.
Apart from Pathirana, Perera has been the only other bowler to take wickets consistently. Jaleel also bowls off spin and can be a stubborn bat. Trinity’s newest recruit, Hasitha Ilangaratne, lends a cutting edge to the attack with his fastish deliveries. Suresh Wickrema, who is presently injured, is an all rounder of some ability.
The Antonians are expected to dominate the show, but the Lions, if they summon all their determination, skill and courage can take the fight to their opponents. However all things considered, this promises to be another draw.
St. Antony’s (from) – Selvyn Jamion (Capt.), Harshana Medagoda, Shamir Munas, Gimhan Dissanaike, Peter Samarakoon, Adel Reyal, Sahan Palihakkara, Malindu Perera, Eranda Hewapathirana, Jerome Sebgertsz, Kasun Ekanayake, Suneth Hettiarachchi, S. Sumindran, A. Galagoda, V. Yogaraj. (Coach - Champika Siriwardena).
Trinity (from) – Sachith Pathirana (Capt.), Arinda Bulunawewa, Romesh Perera, Dilan Gangoda, Lasith Jayatilleka, Rajitha Bandara, Derek Joachim, Wasika Munasinghe, Sanka Auwardt, Hasitha Ilangaratne, Biyan Perera, Suresh Wickerma, Kavin Weeraratne, Dinuk Weeraratne, Theva Niroshan.
(Coach: H.M. Muthalib).