Royal College pulled off a nerve-tingling 7-wicket win in fading light with an over to spare in the 127th Battle of the Blues against S.Thomas` College on Saturday at the S.S.C. grounds in front of a capacity crowd.
The Royal openers, established a record opening stand of 218 for the series. Senaratne (104 with 14 fours and a six) was the more aggressive of the two and aided by lapses on the field reached his century with attractive stroke-play while Maligaspe (140 with 17 fours) was more circumspect but not afraid to punish the loose delivery of which there were aplenty. Dimitri Siriwardena (40), Royal skipper of 2005, was then associated in a 80-run partnership for the third wicket with Maligaspe, and after his departure a slump occurred when 4 wicket fell for 10 runs.
Amidst rising tension and excitement, the Royal batsmen, powered first by Senaratne (22), as in the first innings, and ably assisted by left-handed Kusal Perera (42) and Dimitri Siriwardena (46*) raced home in the gathering dust to bring a memorable victory by 7 wickets.
Brief Scores: S. Thomas` College 1st Inn. 278 for 8 (N. Perera 58, N. Mazahir 46, S. Gnaskandan 57 no, C. Fernando 4/70,
Royal College 1st Inn. 432 for 7 (S. Senarathne 104, M. Maligaspe 140, D. Wijeratne 70, F. Ahamed 55, D. Siriwardene 40, D. Colombage 3/99, J. Thahir 3/102)
S. Thomas` 2nd Inn. 295 all out (S. Pussegolla 73, D. Colombage 81, H. Mawjood 2/21, D. Nanayakkara 2/25)
Royal College 2nd Inn. 144/3 (S. Senarathne 22, K. Perera 42)