Bloomfield move relentlessly towards Sara trophy title

By Sa`adi Thawfeeq

13 March 1997

1996/97 Sara Trophy (Div.1, Segment 'A' ) standings

Front-runners for the Sara trophy (Segment 'A') crown Bloomfield continued to move relentlessly towards their aspirations when they trounced Sebastianites by an innings and 65 runs to increase their overall lead over SSC to 37.0 points.

Bloomfield grabbed 23.0 points from their win over Sebastianites, for whom it was the final match of the season.

Bloomfield come out for the last time this season, when they meet Tamil Union in a key encounter starting tomorrow at Reid Avenue. An outright win here would put them firmly in the saddle to clinch the blue riband of local club cricket.


However, with SSC unable to play their last two games against Colts and Panadura SC due to the unavailability of their grounds at Maitland Place, the final decision on the champions may have to wait until these matches are completed, which won't be till the first weekend of April.

Beating Tamil Union outright won't be no easy task for Bloomfield as the club from Wanathamulla are keen to finish within the first three in the tournament. In a late spurt, Tamil Union have taken up the challenge for the title. But they may have left it too late, because there is no way that they can displace Bloomfield from the top. The most they could hope for is the runner-up berth, but that too may be possible if they take full point from Bloomfield.

Tamil Union who are playing their final match of the season, are currently equal on points with SSC on 195.5. They have Colts who trail them by 9.5 points with a game in hand to contend with. Colts host NCC at Havelock Park tomorrow and have their postponed game against SSC to complete their fixtures.

With both SSC and Colts out of action last weekend due to the non-availability of grounds, much attention was focussed on the Bloomfield-Sebastianites and Tamil Union-NCC games.


That Bloomfield were able to make short work of Sebastianites was largely due to the bowling skills of former Nalanda left-arm leg-spinner, Shanuka Dissanayake. Making his debut in Sara trophy cricket, the youngster made an immediate impact taking eight wickets in the match. The experienced Ruwan Kalpage's off-breaks proved an ideal foil to Dissanayake. Kalpage finished with a bag of seven wickets as Sebastianites were put out twice for totals of 121 and 238. Their only form of resistance came in the shape of Ranga Yasalal, who followed his unbeaten knock of 28 in the first innings with a defiant century (139 with 5 sixes, 15 fours) in the second.

Bloomfield who have a policy of batting first and putting their opponents under pressure, were provided the perfect base to launch their total of 424 for 5 declared when all the top order batsmen got runs. Pubudu Dasanayake (96) and Bradman Ediriweera (68) put on 137 for the first wicket, which was followed by a fine century from left-hander Naveed Nawaz (124) who added a further 128 for the second wicket with Dasanayake. With Sampath Perera also joining the run parade with a compact knock of 87, Bloomfield shot past the 400-run mark for the eighth time this season.


Two excellent spells of bowling by left-arm leg-spinner Niroshan Bandaratilleke (6/78) and right-arm medium-pacer Chandika Hathurusingha (7/63) saw Tamil Union come out firmly on top of NCC. Indika de Saram topped up the half-centuries of S. Herathge, Aruna Jayasinghe and captain Damien Nadarajah with a long overdue hun- dred that enabled Tamil Union gain a useful first innings lead of 153. Tamil Union had no difficulty in converting it into an outright win by eight wickets when NCC were dismissed by Hathurusingha in their second innings for 194. The only form of resistance came from former Sri Lanka Test batsman Sanjeeva Ranatunga, who stood alone in making 82.

Swanjee Madanayake brought BRC their first outright win for the season when he captured seven wickets to send Singha SC tumbling to an innings defeat inside two days in a low scoring match played at Havelock Park. The opposition was so weak that BRC's total of 265 was more than sufficient to bring them victory.

Police SC also secured an outright victory over Kalutara TC with P.K. Serasinghe returning excellent innings figures of 7/55, and C. Liyanage and D. Gunewardena contributing useful halfcenturies. R. Kottachchi took five wickets for the wooden spoonists for whom this was their eighth outright defeat of the season.

Source: The Daily News

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Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 15:14