79th annual Battle of the Saints
Dashing right hander Janith Liyanage struck twin half centuries as St. Peter’s College took major honours in their 79th annual Battle of the Saints inter school Big Match against the traditional rivals St. Joseph’s College which ended in a draw at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo yesterday. The middle order batsman followed up his first innings top score of 60 with an equally brilliant performance to help his team hit up a formidable 253 for 7 in the second innings. The second year coloursman raced to a run a ball half century with back to back sixes and altogether cleared the rope on six occasions while stroking two boundaries before getting out for a well compiled 64.
This was also Liyanage’s third successive half century against St. Joseph’s College in the Big Match series as last year he hammered an unbeaten 68 in the second innings to guide his team towards an emphatic six wicket victory at the same venue. Liyanage was in tremendous form as he hammered the Josephian bowlers to all parts of the ground while putting on 104 runs for the second wicket in even time along with opening batsman Shasheen Fernando.
In fact left hander Fernando went on to hit a top score of 81 studded with four sixes and five boundaries having earlier figured in an opening stand of 89 runs along with Jason Buultjens who struck nine boundaries for his half century. The Peterites eventually declared their second innings shortly after tea leaving St. Joseph’s College a tough victory target of 209 runs to be scored in 27 overs. However the Josephians managed to score only 138 for 5 with middle order batsman Priyamal Perera stroking a fluent half century before bad light halted play after 24.2 overs.
Earlier St. Joseph’s College went on to build up a first innings lead of 45 runs with the overnight pair of skipper Sachin Hewawasam and wicket keeper batsman Sadeera Samarawickrema extending their third wicket partnership to 112 runs. The pair also fell short by just four runs from overcoming the previous best third wicket stand for St. Joseph’s College set by the combination of Trevor Croner (73) and Dushan Soza (58 n.o) way back in 1975.The Man of the Match Janith Liyanage of St. Peter’s College receiving his award from chief guest Ranmore Martinesz.