The 124th Royal – Wesley 1st XI Cricket Encounter took place on the 27th and 28th of January at the Singhalese Sports Club Grounds. The match inaugurated in the year 1893 is played for the Shield named after Sir Frank Gunasekera, Deputy President of the Senate of Ceylon, a distinguished Royalist and a Headmaster of Wesley College. It is the 2nd oldest cricket encounter in the country.
Royal skipper Helitha Vithanage who won the toss chose to bat first. The match saw delayed start due to unfavourable weather conditions. Royalists managed to pile up a score of 210/4 in 58 overs at the end of first day’s play. The play resumed on the second day and the Royal batting line up managed to put up a score of 317/9 dec in 77 overs with the contribution of Pasindu Sooriyabandara (138), Helitha Vithanage (52) and Himesh Ramanayake (50*).
Wesleyites were 20/1 when the play stopped for lunch on day 2. After lunch the Wesley line up collapsed when 5 of their batsmen were back in the hut for a score of 119. A good batting display by Movin Subasinghe and Shenal Dangalle helped them to recover to put up a score of 204/7 in 65 overs when the umpires decided call of the last day’s play due to bad light. Himesh Ramanayake and Abhishek Perera managed to grab two scalps each. The Sir Frank Gunasekera shield was retained by Royal and the Eric Jayasekara trophy awarded for the best bowler was won by Senal Dangalle of Wesley College.