The unfinished last wicket partnership between Gihan Vitharana and Uplitha Rajapakshe who batted for 16 overs helped Dharmaraja to prevent a loss at the hands of Ananda College in the Inter-school match which ended in a draw at Ananda Mawatha yesterday.
However, Sammu Ashan’s match-bag of nine wickets helped Ananda to claim first innings victory.
Ananda 311 for 9 wkts in 65 overs decl.
Dharmaraja 190 all out in 65.3 overs (Kavishka Dissanayake 26, Kavinda Ratnayake 77, Ruchira Puppulewatta 24; Sammu Ashan 4/63, Isuru Deelipa 3/35) and 125 for 9 wkts in 53 overs (Deshan Gunasinghe 40, Gihan Vitharana 8 n.o., Uplitha Rajapakshe 17 n.o.; Sammu Ashen 5/45, Isuru Deelipa 2/32)
What is praiseworthy here is that as much as leading the side to a glorious victory, defending the side in a last wicket dogged partnership is also a great effort worthy of praise. In this case, the dedication of Upulitha Rajapaksa (17) n.o and Gihan Vithana(8) n.o. defending against such a powerful bowling side for 16 overs is as good enough as a victory. Hence three cheers to the gritty last pair Upulitha and Gihan.
A similar effort saved Dharmaraja some years ago against DSS, by the last pair batting unbeaten for over an hour in Colombo.