This report was last updated: 19:06, 2023-03-25 (GMT +5:30)
It is finally here!
The moment we've all been waiting for is finally here!
All set for the Kurunegala's Big Match as both St. Anne's College and Maliyadeva College face off in the ultimate battle for the cricket supremacy in the city. It's sure to be a thrilling contest that you don't want to miss!
Here's the news from the middle so far: Maliyadeva won the toss and invited the St. Anne's team to bat first.
Day 1 - Lunch
At the lunch break, the St. Anne's batsmen had scored 44 runs at the expense of 2 wickets. The match is currently underway for the second session, and the scoreboard shows 69 runs without losing any additional wickets.
Day 1 - Tea
As the match paused for the tea break, we witnessed spirited performances from both teams, a hallmark of the Battle of the Rocks cricket encounter. St. Anne's College has scored 129 runs for the loss of 5 wickets, making this already a thrilling match!
Day 1 - Stumps
The last session of the day was full of drama! And both teams made comebacks. First, Devans took four quick wickets, leaving St. Anne's College with a score of 164 for the loss of 9 wickets. The Annites captain was the last wicket to fall, and he decided to declare the inning without sparing the final wicket, possibly hoping to avoid a draw and achieve a decisive result.
In their first innings, Devans seemed to start well, but the Annites bowlers fought back fiercely, taking two wickets and slowing the run rate of the Maliyadeva College’s batsmen, who ended up scoring only 33 runs before the bails were removed.
Today's game saw many twists and turns, with both teams taking charge at various points. This is a classic example of the competitive nature of the Battle of the Rocks. Remember, this is a contest between two top teams vying for ultimate cricket supremacy in the city. Nonetheless, both teams played cordially and within the spirit of the game, making it a pleasure to watch.
For everyone who was expecting a great game of cricket, both teams delivered just that. With much excitement already building, Day 1 of the 2023 Battle of the Rocks came to an end, with even more excitement waiting for the second day.
Day 2 - Lunch
The first session of Day 2 belongs to both Annites' Geethika De Silva and Devans' skipper Ameesh Thennakoon. Geethika came through with all three wickets that fell for the Devans today, in addition to the one he took yesterday. At the lunch break, the Devans' score board showed 131 runs with five wickets lost. Their score was largely rotated around Maliyadeva's captain Ameesh Thennakoon, who played a responsible innings with his 43 runs. Annites' bowlers put a lot of pressure on his wicket, and this is surely a wicket they will be eager to claim once play resumes.
Throughout the session, we witnessed both Maliyadeva and St. Anne's teams trying their best to gain an advantage over their opponents. It's still a bit too early to predict the outcome of this game. Let's see how the second half of the game unfolds when the players from both teams return to the field after the lunch break.
Day 2 - Tea
The play paused for the tea break as Annites were batting for their second innings. Devans, who were 131 runs for 5 wickets at lunch, lost four more wickets before declaring at 191 runs for 9 wickets, prompting an end to their innings. It's interesting to note that captains of both teams went on to declare when they were nine down.
After Devans' innings ended, Annites came to bat and made 23 runs with the loss of one wicket before the tea break was called. While the fall of the wicket was a setback for Annites, they still have a chance to make a comeback in the match.
The Match Ended in a Spirited Draw
The Annites players showed their fighting spirit by holding their nerve, resulting in the 2023 Battle of the Rocks Test Encounter ending in a spirited draw.
During the final session of the day, St. Anne's Vice Captain Manaam Muzammil led the Annites' resistance with his colorful 44 runs. Although the draw was always on the cards, it was evident with the way Annites were playing that they were trying everything to end the match with a decisive result. At various points, the game was seen more as a rapid Limited Over Encounter than a Test Match. However, this came at the cost of sacrificing wickets to launch quickfire attacks by the batsmen, a risk which they happily took.
Devans, on the other hand, played with a similar mindset, which resulted in the loss of 17 wickets from both teams on the final day alone. Both teams were determined not to settle for anything less than a win, which is the competitive nature of the Battle of the Rocks that is seen every year.
While Manaam Muzammil energized Annites' batting lineup with his 44 runs in the second innings, Devans' skipper Ameesh Thennakoon did the same in his first innings with his 43 runs. However, he was quickly dismissed by Annites when he returned to bat for Devans' second innings. Special mention should be made of Annites' Geethika De Silva, who took four crucial wickets in his first innings, followed by one quick wicket in the second innings.
In addition to the 17 wickets that fell on the day, the batsmen from both teams earned 217 runs for their teams. It was certainly a highly competitive and thrilling match to watch, with both teams giving everything they had.
We congratulate both St. Anne's College and Maliyadeva College for their part in this game that ended in a spirited draw and look forward to the exciting One Day Encounter tomorrow.