The Annual Royal Thomian 1st XI Cricket Encounter played for the Senanayake Shield was held on the 9th, 10th and the 11th of March at SSC grounds in Colombo.
The first day of the much awaited traditional encounter saw the Thomian skipper Romesh Nallaperuma winning the toss and inviting the Royalists to bat first on an overcast morning. The Royal innings was built around a second wicket stand of 69 between Pasindu Sooriyabandara(35) and Ronuka Jayawardane (32) and further 83 between Himesh Ramanayake(41) and Ganith Sandeepa (42) who helped Royal to reach their final total of 255.The Thomian scorecard saw 33 runs for the loss of no wickets at Stumps on Day 01.
Thomian Vice Captain Ravindu Kodithuwakku and opener Dulith Gunarathne commenced the 2nd day to put on an opening partnership of 127 runs before Gunaratne was dismissed for 35 runs. Ravindu went on to score his half century but fell 2 runs short of a ton. The 1st innings scores were level when play was called off at 3.45 p.m.
Thomian wickets fell at regular intervals on the third day and the Royal camo managed to hold their opponents for the score of 357/9 dec. Himesh Ramanayake was the standout performer for Royal with 4 scalps. Helitha Vithanage and Manula Perera also contributed with 2 wickets each. Royal put into bat with the task of erasing a deficit of 102 runs found themselves in a spot of bother with five of their top batsmen back in the pavilion with just 61 runs on the board. The young duo Ahan Wickramasinghe and Thevindu Senaratne then came to the rescue of The Royal camp. They managed to put on 68 runs for the sixth wicket before Wickramasinghe was dismissed for 31. Senaratne went onto score a well deserved half century.They went into the tea break with Royal on 147 for 8 having faced 39 overs but as in the first two days of play the light began to fade and only 20 balls were possible (3.2 overs) after tea break before the covers were brought in, that signaled the end of proceedings of the 138th Battle of Blues.
Picture Courtesy : Media Unit of Royal College and Royal College Photographic Society