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30th ‘Battle of the Rocks’ on March 8-9

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The 30 ‘Battle of the Rocks’ between hometown rivals Maliyadeva College Kurunegala and St. Anne’s College Kurunegala will be played at the picturesque Welagedera Stadium Kurunegala on March 8 and 9 commencing 10.00 a.m.The 18th annual limited over encounter between these two leading schools in the north western province will be played on March 10    th at the same venue.

The two-day big match is revived after four years due to the untiring efforts of the two Old Boys Associations and authorities of the two schools.This year Maliyadeva is led by dynamic all rounder Tineth Manishka with another all rounder Rasanjana Jayaratne as his deputy. Although they have a very formidable line-up this season they didn’t play up to expectation. Maliyadeva recorded only one outright victory over Revatha M.M.V. Balapitiya and also recorded few first innings victories. Subsequently they lost three matches.

Skipper Manishka is a consistent performer this season. Right-arm medium pacer Manishka has already captured over 30 wickets and with his opening partner Keshsan Wijeratne they formed a very formidable bowling line-up in the team.Deputy skipper Rasanjana Jayaratne is another all rounder. He opens the batting with Charith Ratnayake. The left-arm spinner Jayaratne is also a key figure in the spin department.Wicketkeeper batsman Minod Bhanuka Ranasinghe has scored over 700 runs with two fine centuries. He got 154 runs against Rahula College and 137 against Panadura Royal College.

Keshan Wijeratne, Chamod Rajapaksha, Kusal de Silva and all rounder Taraka Rajaguru are other promising cricketers who should be among the runs. Taraka Rajaguru has scored a fine unbeaten hundred against Rahula College and missed another by mere 8 runs against Kingswood College. He topped 500 runs this season Their impressive bowling attack is spearheaded by skipper Manisha with Keshan Wijeratne and Sarinda Dassanayake. The spin trio of Chandima Bandara, Jayaratne and Kusal de Silva could be a big threat with over 150 wickets between them.

Former Maliyadeva College captain Buddhika Ellepola is the coach of the team with R.S. Bandaranayke as Master in Charge.St. Anne’s is led by third-year player Vikum Dharshana. He has soured over 500 runs with 67 as his best. Amith Jayaratne and Janith Perera the right-hand left-hand combination will open the innings. Janith Perera has scored over 250 runs this season with a top score of 69. Right-hand middle-order batsman Wanitha Wanninayake made runs against Rahula College just missing a well-deserved century. Left-hander Shehan Cooray all rounder Mohammad Afzal and Malshan Perera will bolster the innings down in the order.

The bowling attack is spearheaded by medium pacer Malshan Perera and Mohammad Afzal with Wanitha Wanninayake as first change Perera (35) Afzal (30) shared over 65 wickets between them this season. Annites have a very formidable spin attack this time; left-arm leg-spinner Kumarasinghe heads the list with over 50 wickets with 5 for 50 as his best. Janith Perera (left-arm leg-spin) Amith Jayaratne (right-arm off-spin) to follow the strong bowling line-up
Third year player Kavinda Kotuwegedera is the safe hands behind wickets. Former St. Anne’s College cricketer Lanka Kanumale is the coach of the side. While playing in the division II segment, St Anne’s recorded four outright victories this season over, Sri Devananda Ambalangoda, St Thomas’ College Kotte, St Xavier’s College Marawila and St Mary’s College Kegalle. Of the 29 matches played between these two schools, Maliyadeva have won three games and the rest were drawn.

St Anne’s College (from): Vikum Dharshana (captain), Amith  Jayaratne, Gayas Kumarasinghe, Malshan Perera, Janith Perera, Shehan Cooray, Mohammad Afzal, Asitha Wickramage, Udesh Hatharasinghe, Kavinda Kotuwegedera, Wanitha Wanninayake, Sarith Angelo, Pasindu Kavitha, Umesh Massakkara, Himal Janajith, Tharinda Wijesinghe, Vimukthi Bandara, Missaka Chaturanga Randeera Krishan Mahesh Srimal , (Coach)  Lanka Kanumale  
 Maliyadeva College (from): Thineth Manishka (captain) Rasanjana Jayaratne, Keshan Wijeratne, Chamod Rajapaksha, Chandima Bandara, Sarinda Dassanayake Kusal de Silva, Minod Ranasinghe, Charitha Ratnayake, Sachintha Pieris, Harsha Jayantha, Prabash Keppetipola, Taraka Rajaguru, Damith Perera Ashan Weeratunga, Uvindu Kahagalla, (Coach) Buddhika Ellepola.

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