The much-awaited 100th Cricket encounter between Trinity College and St. Anthony’s College Kandy will be played on March 10 and 11, at the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium. They are the second oldest big match players at cricket in Kandy. The match is known as Kandy’s Battle of the Blues; this series was contested for the first time in March 1914. Out of 99 encounters, Trinity has 23 wins, St. Anthony’s with 12 wins and 64 ending without decision.
The first encounter was played at the Bogambara Grounds which Antonians won. Trinity won the next match, and a long-contested series has followed. 1918 to 1929, during the World War I, St. Anthony’s College premises including the practice pitches and the playing-fields were occupied by the British Army. As a result, Antonian Cricket deprived and they had lost to Trinity for 11 times consecutively. In the early days, Trinity had a bowler, 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 the figures of 6 for 17 and 6 for 31 inclusive of a double hat-trick.
Then there was T. B. Werapitiya with scores of 100 in 1942 and 143 in 1944, the highest score made by a Trinitian.
Meanwhile, the Antonians came back fighting in 1947, and nearly tumbled the Trinitians at Asgiriya after getting back in their premises, with facilities restored and having the services of a renowned cricket coach , John Halangoda a Trintians; today the trophies is in his memory. The strong Trinity batting line-up crumbled under the spin bowling of Dicky Dunuwille, the Antonian mystery bowler who was later responsible in changing the fortunes of Antonian cricket. Antonians, however, lost the match by 68 runs due to a spectacular fielding performance where seven close-in-catches were grabbed by Trinity’s Clarence Senanayake to dismiss the Antonians.
So, this year it is going to be interesting game, with both sides equally- balanced and the match will be graced by top spinner Muttiah Muaralitharan.