|Thomians in the process of team building
Despite most of the members in the team being freshers the lads from Mount Lavinia have the makings to survive against the strongest of opposition
The cricketers at S.Thomas College Mount Lavinia have over the past few years held their own against tough opposition with ease simply due to the fact that the team was packed with experienced cricketers. Some of the cricketers who shone for the school during the past four to five years were Upeka Fernando, Naren Ratwatte, Bathiya Karunaratne, Gihan Fernando, Nilanka Peiris, Lakmal Fernando, Meshad Peiris, Dilshan Gunawardena and Jivan Mendis. If one were to run through the cricket records at S.Thomas it would be evident that most of these cricketers began representing the school from a very young age. After hours of hard practise, dedication and commitment these players graduated to the senior side. They had the honour of being presented with school colours and were associated with a traditional big match, against arch-rivals Royal College, which is 123 years old. However all these talented cricketers had to do something that the authorities wished they would never do, leave school. Now the officials dealing with cricket at S.Thomas have a tough task in their hands that of grooming a set of juniors to fill in the void left by the seniors who have departed.
The school has produced many outstanding cricketers who have represented the country. They are Donald Fairweather, P.I.Peiris, Anura Tenakoon, Duleep Mendis (All these cricketers represented the country while being schoolboys), C.Smith, D.L.de Saram, V.G.Prins, M.H.Tissera, G.Reid, P.B.Tennakoon, K.N.Amalean, R.G.De Alwis, F.S.Ahangama and K.I.W.Wijegu nawardena.
Come the big match this year Thomians young and old are sure to rekindle the past by going through the pages of the souvenir put out by the school. There are many stories related with the Royal-Thomian. The souvenir published by S.Thomas College in 2001 provides an interesting report of the big match finishing in one day. The story is as follows. In 1906 the Royalists were cheaply bundled out for 71 runs due to a fiery spell of hostile bowling by Thomian skipper L.H Arndt who took a haul of 8 for 38. The Thomians replied with a quick 100 runs. In the 2nd innings continuing his great form with the ball skipper L.H Arndt captured 6 wickets for just 17 runs shooting the Royalists out for a mere 34 runs. The Thomians needing just another 6 runs to win, did this with great style in just 1 ball resulting in a 10 wicket emphatic win for the Thomians making it the quickest win for them.
The Thomians this year are led by dashing opening batsman and fourth year Coloursman Arjuna Rajawasam. The other seniors in the side are Tharindu Fernando (Vice captain), Kaushal Silva, Videsh Balasubramanium and Pramuditha Rodrigo. The team has played 10 matches todate and has recorded two outright victories and five first innings wins. The lads from Mount Lavinia pulled off the two wins over Thurstan and Dharmapala Pannipitiya respectively. However the side fared miserably against Ananda where they were forced to fight all the way to escape defeat. S.Thomas made 149 all out in their first innings to which the visitors replied making 251. The Thomians in the second innings were perilously placed at 84 for 9 before being saved by time.
The most outstanding batsman for S.Thomas this season has been Kaushal Silva who has already topped 467 runs. The others who have been among the runs this season are skipper Arjuna Rajawasam, Damith Warusawithana, Navin Perera and Sanju Mendis.
The only Thomian bowler who impressed during the third term matches was Tharindu Fernando who has picked up 37 wickets.
The Thomians are coached this year by well known cricket commentator and former SSC star Ranil Abeynayake who replaces Dinesh Kumarasinghe who was in charge of the cricketers for many years.
S.Thomas College cricket pool is as follows-Arjuna Rajawasam (Captain), Tharindu Fernando (Vice Captain), Kaushal Silva, Videsh Balasubramaniam, Pramuditha Rodrigo, Damith Warusawithana, Shehan Shanthikumar, Suneth Perera, Charith de Silva, Nirukshan Fernando, Navin Perera, Prasanna Fernando, Dhanushka Colombage, Daham Rathnayake, Sajith Kularatne, Rayendra Karunaratne, Sanjeewa Mendis, Isuru Warnakulasuriya, Ravinath Panduwawala, Tharindu Fernando, Lakmal Jayawardena and Shane Godwin.
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