The underdogs Nalanda College edged out their traditional rivals and the more fancied Ananda College by two wickets in their 35th annual Battle of the Maroons inter school limited overs cricket encounter worked off at the SSC grounds in Maitland Place yesterday.
The Nalandians also clinched the P. de S. Kularatne Trophy which was on offer for the first time. They also notched up their 13th victory in the one day series in which however the Anandians are ahead with a total of 19 wins to their credit.
Nalanda College put up a tremendous performance to dismiss the strong Ananda batting line up for 192 runs and successfully reached their target with two wickets and two overs to spare.
Nalanda College got off to a flying start during their run chase with the openers Prashan Wickremasinghe and left hander Chetan de Silva adding 45 runs from seven overs. However with the introduction of the spinners Nalanda lost a couple of quick wickets and slumped to 152 for 6 by the 40th over.
Ananda College did well to reduce the scoring rate and also picked up wickets at regular intervals to keep their hopes alive to a certain extent. But Nalanda skipper Nipun Karunanayake and Adeesha Nanayakkara put their side back on track with a fourth wicket partnership of 72 runs. Newcomer Tharindu Vidanapathirana who was left out of last week s Big Match then added the finishing touches with an unbeaten knock of 32.
Earlier Ananda College electing to bat first after winning the toss recovered from a hopeless 19 for 4 to reach a respectable 192 runs at the end. They were rescued by middle order batsman Sameera Wijesuriya who hit a top score of 77 with five boundaries.
Wijesuriya added a valuable 67 for the fifth wicket along with Minura Janadhi (25) and put on a further 74 for the sixth wicket together with Madumal Jayaratne (38). But after their departure Nalanda came back into the game and wrapped up the innings with left arm seamer Vimukthi Perera claiming a superb five wicket haul.
Ananda: 192 in 49.3 overs (Minura Janadhi 25, Sameera Wijesuriya 77, Madumal Jayaratne 38, Adeesha Nanayakkara 2 for 25, Vimukthi Perera 5 for 44).
Nalanda: 193 for 8 in 48 overs (Prashan Wickremasinghe 16, Chetan de Silva 22, Nipun Karunanayake 31, Adeesha Nanayakkara 20, Tharindu Vidanapathirana 32 n.o, Mathisha Rashuwan 3 for 25).