Skipper Ruveen Fonseka scored a fine knock of 51, Mithul Senerath with an unbeaten 41, and leg spinner Shenash Fernando had impressive figures of 4 for 22 as De Mazenod College made an upset victory over favorites Nalanda College in their Inter-School Under 19 Division One quarter-final cricket fixture played Mount Lavinia yesterday.
Sent in to bat first, Nalanda struggled their way to 120 in just 34 overs while De Mazenod reached their target in only 31.2 overs to seal the nine-wicket victory to enter the semi-final.
Nalanda openers, Rusiru Vilochana (9), and Yasiru Samarakoon (2) were unable to push for a good start as the pair was departed within the first five overs and they were reeling at 20 for 2 at that stage. The National Under 19 all-rounder, Vinuja Ranpul came to the middle as the number three batsman, but he was unfortunately got run out for 7 only facing 14 deliveries which was the turning point of the game. Nalanda was 33 for 3 in 9 overs.
Experienced Nalanda all-rounder Raveen de Silva, the National Under 19 Vice-Captain, did not play yesterday due to an illness. However, De Mazenod bowlers pushed pressure from the beginning, while the Nalanda middle-order lacked reinforcements to hold the stronger side. They managed to secure only 120 (all out) in 34 overs.
Sajitha Vithnange top-scored with an unbeaten 33 runs, striking 2 fours and a six in 66 balls, while Chanul Athukorala scored 20 in 26 balls. However, that was not enough to make a good challenging total for Nalanda.
The 3 unnecessary run-outs including the wicket of Ranpul had Nalanda in big trouble. De Mazenod leg spinner Shenash Fernando was the chief wrecker snatching 4 for 22 in his ten-over spell from an already yielding Nalandian side.
De Mazenod chasing their target of 121 runs Skipper Ruveen Fonseka and Lester Jayaweera made a solid start by adding 42 runs in 13.1 overs. Fonseka played an anchor role scoring a fine knock of 51 with 3 fours in 113 balls while Jayaweera made a good supporting role scoring 21 in 23 balls with three fours. Fonseka further associated a match-winning 71-run second-wicket stand with Mithul Senerath who scored an unbeaten 41 with one four and three sixes, setting up a superb victory in 32nd over.
Nalanda: 120 all out in 34 overs (Kushmitha Silva 16, Chenul Athukorala 20, Sajitha Vithanange 33*, Shenash Fernando 4/22)
De Mezenod: 121/2 in 31.2 overs (Ruveen Fonseka 51, Lester Jayaweera 21, Mithul Senerath 41*)