The 109th Dharmaraja-Kingswood cricket encounter will start tomorrow Friday at the Pallekelle Stadium, which is the oldest big match in the hills known as the "Battle of the Maroons".
The first game between the two schools was played in 1893. The two teams picked from the teachers and students and it had continued till 1899 the year where students were engaged at play.
Out of the 108 games played Dharmaraja College has pocketed 35, to Kingswood's 19 and rest ending in draws. The last win for the Dharmaraja College was in 2013 under Nuwan Karunaratne at the Pallekle Stadium. Kingswood College's last win was way back in 1958 under C. Maurice Fernando at Randles Hill.
One of the unforgettable year was in 1948, when the game ended in a draw where both teams were found to have made exactly the same total at close of play. The then Kingswood College principal Kenneth de Laneroll had called for the score book and checked on, and had said the opponents Dharmaraja College had done better than us, and he awarded the match to Dharmaraja College.
This writer goes back to the 1942 game, which had been an interesting one, where the first century of the series was scored, by P.L. Arthur Alwis and followed by T.B. Talwatte.
In this game, Dharmaraja College skipper T.B. Talwatte won the toss and invited Kingswood College to take the first turn of the wicket, and bundled them out for 70 runs. The debacle was caused by J.B. Wadugodapitiya, T.B. Talwatte and P.L. Athur Alwis, pocketing 2 for 15, 3 for 43 and 4 for 11 respectively.
Dharmaraja College going into bat lost four quick wickets for just 27 runs. With T.S. Jamion taking 4 for 11, at that point P.L. Arhtur Alwis came in to bat and joined his skipper T.B. Talwatte, at the fall of the 4th wicket, and the advice coming form the skipper to Arthur was "we must put a stop to Jamion's wicket tacking, But both the batsmen had been little nervous to face Jamion who was bowling line and length with the wind supporting them. However Arthur was able to hit a four through the covers in the very first ball he faced, and then he got into form and massacred the bowling of Jamion and others to take the score to 110 for 4.
In the mean time Kingwood skipper Jayasena tried all his available bowlers, when the Rajans were in full cry. Skipper Talwatte had to leave the field at 48 due to a nose injury off a delivery from Jamion , and it was Arhtur who scored the century first, and became the first centurion of the series 121. Talwatte coming back went on to scorer 104 not out and the Rajans were able to declare at 319 for 9 with Jamion ending with 5 for 90.
Kingswoodians in their second outing managed to score 97 runs and the Rajans were home at Lake View with the win by an innings and 152 runs, with P.L. Arthur Alwis taking a match bag of 9 for 39.
There is another interesting incident in the series, where in 1951, Kingswoodians led by S.R. Shelton Perera, notched up a massive 320 runs for 3 wickets and ended the first day, and in this game Kingswoodians beat the Rajans by ten wickets, in the fifth ball of the last over. This is how the last over was bowled, with ten runs to win. Two fours off the first and third deliveries and a single in the fourth delivery, now one run to win in two balls made it with a fine cover drive, with a ball to spare.
And the lowest score in an innings is from Dharmaraja College all out for 9 runs in 1918. Highest in an innings 400 for 9 declared by Kingswood College in 1957.
The highest score of the series is from Senaka Dissanayake of Dharmaraja College, he made a double century and for Kingswood College highest score is from Clifford Ratnawibushana 167 in 1959. Rest of the centuries other than P.L. Arthur Alwis and T.B. Talwatte are, in 1945, P.B. Munaisnghe 108 in 1951, Chandra de Silva 158 in 1952, R.J.K. Gunasekara 105 in 1954, Siri Ransinghe 112 in 1966, G. Yatigama 121 not out in 1970, D. Vithanage 100 in 1970, Ajith Naranpanawa 127 not out in 1975 and 120 in 1976, Dananjaya Navaratne 109 in 1979, Prasana Wasala 103 not out in 1983, Prasana Dissanayke 102 not out in 1985, R. Sooriyarahchi 113 in 2006 all from Daharmaraja College. For Kingswood College Freddi Whiete 120 in 1949, Mahidna Silva 132 - 1951, Asoka Perera 148 - 1952, C. Maurice Fernando 101 - 1957, Clifford Ratnavibushana 167 - 1959, Tissa Jayatilake 100 - 1966, M. Priyantha Wickremasuriya 127 in 1976 and 116 in 1977, B.H. Sherifdeen 100 in 1981, Mangala Dharmaprema 120 in 1984.