Trinity College and St. Anthony’s College celebrate the 100th anniversary of their cricket big match this year. This all important fixture between the two schools will be held on March 10 and 11 at the Pallekelle International Stadium. The Trinity-Antonian cricket encounter over here in Kandy is known as “Battle of the Blues”. This is one of the leading annual cricket matches played in the hills since 1914. This encounter is played for the John Halangoda Memorial Trophy. It is awarded to the team who manages to win the match by means of an outright win or at least records a first innings win. In this series three games were not played. These years were 1956, 1957 and 2001, when the match was not play because Trinity stopped playing mid-way during that season due to disciplinary reasons.

In the series, 99 games have been played and Trinity has recorded the most number with 23 wins compared to 12 wins by St. Anthony’s. Sixty-four matches ended in draws. The first encounter was played at the Bogambara grounds on March 17 and 18, 1914. Antonians led by C.C. Senaratne beat Trinity led by C.E. de Silva by 42 runs. The hero in that game was C.H. Wittachy.

The post-war period (1929-1947) was inauspicious for the Antonians, as they had a poor run in the field. Trinity during that time had C. Dharmalingam, a left-arm bowler who for two consecutive years nagged the Antonians with his left-arm spin. In 1938, he took 9 for 14 and in 1939 had figures of 6 for 17 and 6 for 31 inclusive of a double hat-trick, a world record.

Then there was T.B. Werapitiya, with scores of 100 in 1943 and 143 in 1944, became the highest scorer for Trinity in this annual big match.

Here are some of the notable performances:- Jack Anderson (SACK) scored 111 runs- first century in the series in 1918 at Asgiriya, A.C.M. Laffir (SACK) scored 176 runs in 1954, A.C.M. Laffir and Ronnie Stevens (SACK) had a opening stand of 266 runs A.C.M. Laffir (176) and Ronnie Stevens (120) in 1954. Trinitians lowest score was 37 runs in 1951, Antonians lowest total was 44 runs in 1938, Lalith Ramanayake (TCK) fastest century scored 100 runs in just 72 minutes in 1970 at Katugastota, Meril Dunuwilla (SACK) first century at Katugastota in 1970 after the turf was laid.

For a cricketer to score a century is considered a notable achievement. The centurions at this big match are Jack Anderson SAC -111 (1918), M.D.D. Jayewardane TC -120 (1922), L.C. de Mel TC- 111 (1923), T.B. Werapitiya TC – 100 (1943) and 143 (1944), Ronald Stevens SAC – 102 (1952) and 126 (1954), A.C.M. Lafir SAC – 176 (1954), S.W. Seneviratne SAC – 100 n.o (1958), Charlie Joseph SAC – 127 (1960), Jayantissa Ratwatte TC – 103 (1960), Franklyn Burke SAC – 145 (1962), Wasantha Seneviratne SAC – 110 (1964), M.T.M. Zarook TC – 110 (1964), Ralston Burke SAC -165 (1965), Randy Sims SAC – 100 (1969), Meril Dunuwille SAC – 106 (1970), Lalith Ramanayake TC – 110 (1970), Niroshan de Silva TC – 100 (1971), Premalal de Silva SAC – 148 (1973), Bernard Perera SAC 155 n.o. (1976), N. Dambawinna TC – 130 (1978), Marlon Vonhagt SAC -123 (1983), Angelo Wickremasinghe SAC – 144 (1984), Nuwan Kalpage SAC – 100 n.o (1990), Kaushalya Weeraratne TC – 148 (1999), Shameera Wijesooriya TC – 114 n.o. (2009) Kanishka Uggalpaya SAC – 107 (2016).
Old boys of both schools who are residing overseas are expected to be present at this centenary game.