Two leading Buddhist schools Ananda College and Nalanda College will meet in their annual ‘Battle of Maroons’ cricket big match, to be played on March 5 and 6 at the SSC grounds. This annual cricket encounter began in 1924. That year Ananda College was captained by RS Rajakaruna while Nalanda College was led by BS Perera.
Ananda, who are placed second in their group, and Nalanda, who are placed fourth, have struggled this season.
This will be their 87th meeting. Though both teams started poorly in U-19 D1 tournament this year they ended up with a few good victories that guaranteed their passage to the second round of the ongoing school season.
This year Ananda will be led by fourth year coloursman Nisal Fransisco while Nalanda will be skippered by Dasun Seneviratne, a third year coloursman.
Ananda have Sri Lanka under-19 vice captain Sammu Ashan who captained the Ananda team last year. He was a member of the Sri Lanka U-19 World Cup team.
This year Ananda have played 14 matches and won three against Bandaranayake MMV Gampaha, Dharmapala Pannipitiya and Dharmasoka Ambalangoda. They won six matches on first innings while losing only to Trinity College.
Nalanda have played 17 matches and won three against Thurstan, Rahula Matara and D.S. Senanayake while losing to S. Thomas’ College. They also won eight matches on first innings.
Overall Ananda College lead the series with 12 wins while Nalanda College has won six times.
The two day cricket big match is played in memory of former Ananda College captain Sujeewa Kamalasooriya who died in the 2004 tsunami.
The traditional One-dayer between these two schools will be played on March 13 at the same venue.