BY M. SHAMIL AMIT
Two popular schools in Colombo, D.S. Senanayake College and Mahanama College, will battle for supremacy when they meet in their annual big match scheduled to be played on March 16 and 17 at P. Sara Stadium.
This is the 12th in the series and previously only once has there been an outright result when D. S. Senanayake won in 2014.
Looking back at the performances of the two teams this season DSS led by Vihan Gunasekera have played 15 matches, recording three outright wins against Bandaranayake MMV Gampaha, S. Thomas College Matara and St. Benedict’s College but have undergone five outright defeats to Isipathana College, St. Joseph’s College, Nalanda College, St. Aloysius’ College Galle and Prince of Wales.
Mahanama led by Heshan Hettiarachchi, on the other hand, are unbeaten having played ten matches recording two outright wins against St. Aloysius’ College Galle and St. John’s College Panadura.
DSS skipper Vihan has scored over 600 runs and will have to take the burden on his shoulders and give the others the much needed confidence. He will bank on allrounder Muditha Lakshan who is the side’s only centurion this season, being among the runs and wickets.
Lakshan has scored over 850 runs and taken over 55 wickets so much will be expected from him while useful contributions from Pasindu Adithya (375), Teron Shanel (350) along with Dasun Dimasha and Chamath Yatawara will be looked forward to for DSS to bolster the scoreboard.
The bowling will be in the hands of Lakshan who has had a successful season but support will be needed from two other spinners, skipper Vihan and Sachintha Hettige, along with pacies Pasindu Adithya and Dasun Dimasha to curtail the opponents.
For Mahanama, Pavan Ratnayake has been their top batsman having scored over 550 runs which includes two centuries and three half tons and he will be the player that the DSS side will have to watch.
Apart from Pavan they have four more centurions in the side in skipper Heshan, Pavatha Weerasinghe, Sonal Dinusha and Vinuka Rubasinghe from whom much will be expected while deputy skipper Pathum Boteju and Bishan Mendis will also need to make their contributions for Mahanama to put up a challenging score.
The Mahanama bowling attack will revolve around Hashan Sandeepa who is their top wicket-taker with over 55 wickets to his name and skipper Heshan Hettiarachchi who has taken over 40 wickets. Support will be expected from Dinusha, Lahiru Vithana and Boteju to keep DSS’ batting under control.
The big match will be followed by the 12th limited over encounter which is slotted to be played on April 24th at R. Premadasa Stadium and from the 11 matches that have been played so far DSS leads with seven wins against to the four by Mahanama, including last year’s encounter.