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Royalist Pasindu Sooriyabandara (right) receives the the ‘Man of the Match’ award from Warden S.Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia Mark Billimoria at the awards distribution ceremony after the conclusion of the 137th Battle of the Blues at the SSC grounds last week. Also in the picture is Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

Young 16-year-old Royal College Colombo right handed one drop batsman Pasindu Sooriyabandara, who performed the rare feat of scoring a century on his debut at a Royal-Thomian cricket encounter, was adjudged as the Man of the Match.

Sooriyabandara scored a marathon 123 runs and batted close to seven hours at the 137th edition of the ‘Battle of the Blues.’
He became only the fifth batsman to score a century on debut in the Royal-Thomian encounter after Thomian David Ponniah (100 not out) in 1967, Royalists Jagath Pattiarachchi (100 not out) in 1974 and Sumithra Warnakulasuriya (197) in 1980 (Still stands as the highest score in a Royal-Thomian encounter) and Thomian Manoj Mendis (124) in 1992.

Pasindu who had the honour of becoming the youngest centurion in a ‘Battle of the Blues’ encounter ended the season with a tally of approximately 800 runs with his second innings knock of 28.
This season he had another century against St. Peter’s College. He single handedly saved the day for Royal when forced to follow on. He scored a brilliant unbeaten 125 in the second innings to save face for the Reid Avenue boys.

After representing the under-11, 13, 15 and 17 teams of Royal College Academy with distinction, he was drafted into the 1st XI team this year.

Pasindu who hails from a sporting family is none other than the son of former Royal College and Sri Lanka national basketball player Lucien Sooriyabandara and the grandson of former St. Anthony’s – Katugastota, Bloomfield C & AC and Police SC cricketer Franklyn Burke. Franklyn emerged as the best school boy cricketer of the year in 1962.

Franklyn Burke
Franklyn Burke
Royalist Pasindu Sooriyabandara celebrates scoring his century at the 137th Battle of the Blues
Royalist Pasindu Sooriyabandara celebrates scoring his century at the 137th Battle of the Blues