Devapathiraja College Ratgama confirmed their superiority in girls cricket and the reputation as a major talent provider to the national women’s cricket team when they won their fifth consecutive Inter School Under-19 girls’ cricket title on Tuesday.
They beat Ratnavali Balika by 14 runs in the final of the 2019 edition played at Mattegoda.
Chasing 137 runs to win, the girls from Gampaha were bowled out for 122 runs in the final over as Sachini Nisansala picked up three wickets with her left-arm spin. Telishiya Chathurangi took two wickets for 21 runs.
Devapathiraja College first won the Under-19 cricket title in 2015 after losing the final in the inaugural edition in 2014. Since then they have been unbeatable in finals. “It is not an easy task to accomplish. The girls’ commitment is paying off”, said the team coach Mahesh Sandaruwan who has been training the team since 2014.
The school has a boys team also playing in the country’s premier Division I schools cricket tournament after improving their ranks (Division III and II) during the last few years.
“The team get lot of motivation from the fact that they have several former players in the national team,” said Sandaruwan who had taught the ABC of cricket to at least three women’s national players who featured in the recent ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
“There are a number of them who can play for Sri Lanka during the next few years,” he said.
The stage for yesterday’s victory was set by captain Kaveesha Dilhari and Shikari Nuwantha who scored 49 and 52 runs respectively for the winners to post 136 for six wickets in their allotted 25 overs.
Skipper Dilhari who was adjudged the Player of the Tournament cracked 49 runs in just 37 balls (3x4s). Nuwantha ‘s 52 runs came in 59 balls (4x4s).
For Ratnavali Balika left-arm spinner Vidushika Perera and Rashmi Sewwandi took two wickets each while Amandi Gunaratne stroked 41 runs (in 52 balls).
Player of the Match: Shikari Nuwantha
Best Batswoman: Amandi Gunaratne
Best Bowler: Sachini Nisansala
Player of the Tournament: Kaveesha Dilhari
Devapathiraja 136 for 6 in 25 overs (Shikari Nuwantha 52, Kaveesha Dilhari 49; Vidushika Perera 2/16, Rashmi Sewwandi 2/38)
Ratnavali Balika 122 all out in 24.3 overs (Amandi Gunaratne 41, Sanduni Silva 26; Sachini Nisansala 3/18, Telishiya Chathurangi 2/21) (RF)