111th St Servatius-St Thomas Matara Big Match
By M. Shamil Amit
The traditional encounter between St Servatius and St Thomas Matara which is deemed to be the second oldest inter-schools big match in Sri Lanka will be played over three days from today onwards at the Uyanwatte Stadium in Matara.
This is also only the third match to be played over three the other two being between Royal and S. Thomas’ Mt Lavinia and the Jaffna encounter between Jaffna Central and St John’s Jaffna.
The match will be the 111th in the series with St Thomas in the lead having recorded 32 wins to the 27 wins registered by St Servatius and the rest ending in draws.
The two sides are led by fourth years coloursman with St Servatius this year being led by Lahiru Kokila and St Thomas by Nipun Rangana. The two sides also posses experienced players with their batting and bowling department being on par.
Looking back at the performances of the two teams St Thomas has played 12 matches recording five outright wins against Devananda Ambalangoda, Siri Piyaratana MMV Padukka, St Thomas Kotte, Revatha MMV Balapitiya and Devapathiraja Ratgama with the rest ending in draws.
St Servatius on the other hand has played ten matches recording wins over Lumbini MV and Revatha MMV Balapitiya but have undergone two defeats to Maris Stella and Trinity with the rest drawn.
St Thomas batting has depth which could bother the St Servatius bowling. They have four centurions in the side in skipper Nipun, deputy skipper Ravindu Damsara, Ishan Abeysekera and Ravindu Damsara who made an unbeaten double ton.
The four batsmen have surpassed the 450 runs mark and they will be the players that their opponents will have to keep an eye on. The bowling will be spearheaded by skipper Nipun and Ashan Denura who have both taken over 45 wickets.
St Servatius batting will revolve around their skipper Lahiru and his deputy Nimanda Subasinghe while the player to watch will Sanjeeka Ridma who made a debut 100 in the big match last year.
St Servatius who came into the top division only this year would have gained immense experience after contesting with stronger teams this season. So St Thomas cannot afford to take them lightly as they could pull off a surprise given the fact that the weaker team has dominated in a match between traditional rivals.