A record six wicket haul from leg spinner Sachithra Perera inspired Ananda College to a splendid 39 run victory over their traditional rivals Nalanda College in their 36th annual inter school Battle of the Maroons limited overs cricket encounter for the Dr. N. M. Perera trophy worked off at the SSC ground in Maitland Place yesterday.
Sachithra Perera returned the best bowling figures in the series while claiming six wickets for 36 from 9.2 overs as Nalanda College were skittled out for 168 runs while chasing Ananda s modest 207 runs. Perera struck two early blows to put the Nalandians on the defensive and then went on to add the finishing touches during his second spell. He was later named as the Best Bowler and Man of the Match.
Nalanda of course had some hope of pulling off the game when Adeesha Nanayakkara was batting quite intelligently. The Sri Lanka Under-19 cap hit a top score of 57 with three sixes and two boundaries as Nalanda made a partial recovery following a middle order collapse.
Nanayakkara was later picked as the Best Batsman for his fighting half century. But they lost wickets at regular intervals despite useful contributions from Sineth Gunawardena (27) and Chandimanthu Rodrigo (19).
Earlier Ananda College went on to make 207 from 46.3 overs after they were put into bat by the Nalanda skipper Dinuk Jayasinghe. The Anandians responded magnificently through their openers Geshan Wimaladharma and Udesh Nadiranga as they set the pace for a big total.
Wimaladharma hit a solid 48 with nine boundaries and Nadiranga struck four boundaries during his knock of 44. However Ananda College failed to consolidate their position from there onwards and lost momentum through some irresponsible batting and running between the wickets.
In fact Ananda who at one stage looked like scoring over 250 runs completely lost their way and were bowled out well inside the 50 overs against some accurate bowling from Ishan Rangana and skipper Dinuk Jayasinfghe.
Ananda: 207 in 46.3 overs (G. Wimaladharma 48, U. Nadiranga 44, S. Devage 32, I. Rangana 3 for 56, D. Jayasinghe 2 for 27).
Nalanda: 168 in 40.2 overs (A. Nanayakkara 57, C. Rodrigo 19, S. Gunawardena 27, S. Perera 6 for 36).