ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 40

Srimantha and Lahiru see Petes to safety

By M. Shamil Amit

The 73rd Battle of the Saints between St Joseph’s and St Peter’s concluded at the P. Sara Stadium ended in another stale draw. The Peterites after being bowled out for 193 from their overnight score of 161 for 6 made to follow on with a deficit of 142 runs fought back to end the day on 279 for 3.

Peterite batsman Srimantha Wijeyaratne who played the inning of his life saw them through to safety. (Pic by Ranjith Perera)

The road to recovery was initiated by an invaluable third wicket stand of 131 runs between opener Srimantha Wijeyaratne and skipper Lahiru Peiris. The pair came to their rescue after the Petes were again in a tentative position at 52 for 2 when play stopped for lunch.

Slowly but surely with some cautious batting they got the Petes out of the woods as they reached 119 for 2 an hours play after lunch break with Srimantha reaching his half ton in 86 balls with five boundaries. The pair was separated after being associated in an invaluable 131 stand with Srimantha being clean bowled by spinner Shameera Weerasinghe for a well compiled 79 from 145 balls which included eight boundaries

Anuk Silva joining his skipper carried on the good work as the pair added a further 96

runs for the fourth wicket without being separated when play was stopped due bad light. Skipper Lahiru remained unbeaten on 111 which took him 195 balls that had 13 boundaries while Anuk cracked his second half ton of the match making 51, reaching his half ton in 86 balls with five boundaries.

Earlier the second day’s play began with the Peterites striving to avert the follow on as they had only 21 overs to make a further 74 runs to achieve that. But they failed as right arm pacies Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera polished off the tail as the Petes lasted only 12 more overs in the morning session play to end their innings on 193 in reply to the mammoth 335 for 5 in 60 overs scored by the Josephians.

Overnight batsman Anuk Silva was able to add only another four runs to his personal score and was the seventh to be dismissed while from the tail end batsmen only Umhar Samsudeen was able to reach the double figure mark. The Sri Lanka Under 19 youth players Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews made things impossible for the Petes as the former ended with figures of 6 for 51 with the latter taking 3 for 66.

The first day’s play saw the Josephians sent into bat having things their own way with opener Dimuth Karunaratne on fire as he reached his century before the lunch break which could be a series record. He set a new record of 131 in 128 balls inclusive of 17 boundaries and three sixes which was the highest by a Josephian erasing the 114 n.o. made by Fred Perera in 1934 with the Joes reaching an astonishing 206 for 1 in just 38 overs by lunch before ending on 335 for 5 in the allotted 60 overs of batting.

With a deficit of 142 runs the Petes made to follow on fell into deep trouble as they lost Andri Berenger with the score on five. A partnership was in the making between Wijeyartne and Krishal Magage but pacie Thisara Perera got rid of Magage just before the lunch break when the batsman was settling down as they went into lunch on 52 for 2.Resuming after lunch the Josephians did not put in any effort to make a breakthrough which put the batsmen on top. Their fielding was sloppy and it looked as if they were not interested in turning the game in their favour. Josephian skipper Rajeeva Weerasinghe used seven bowlers without any success.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.