Spinner Sohail Shakil picked up five wickets including a hat trick to set up the stage for defending champions St. Peter’s College to record a three wicket victory over Trinity College in the Inter School Under-17 Division I semi-final match between the last year finalists at CCC Ground.
Sohail changed, rattled the middle order batting line up with a hat trick to skittle out Trinity for 114 runs. The Petes chased the total for the loss of seven wickets to deny Trinity their third straight final.
Deciding to bat first Trinity lost their first three wickets for 58 runs before Arjuna Jayasinghe and Thavindu Makuldeniya, who put on a century partnership in the quarter-final last week, once again came together to repair the early damage. Petes fielders separated them with a run out to restrict them to 85 for four wickets at the half way mark of their innings. Then came Shakil with his hat trick in the 26th over to leave Trinity wobbling at 85 for seven wickets. Sohail picked up the wickets of Dinuk Wickramanayake (bowled), Ron Chandraguptha (caught by Julian de Zilva) and Dimal Koswatta (caught by Shasheen Fernando) in his second, third and fourth balls of the 26th over.
The spinner also accounted for the top scorer Arjuna later to complete a five wicket haul. While Sohail gave away just 24 runs in his ten overs, Dushan Hemantha picked up two wickets for six runs in 4.2 overs to clean up the tail.
Chasing the target, Petes top order tumbled as Dinuk Wickramanayake picked up two early wickets to leave them struggling at 25 for three wickets at one stage. Spinner Amrith Srimahan had Kavinda de Thisera bowled for six runs to further frustrate Petes. But when the match commenced after the lunch break, Jason Bultjans and Julian de Zilva managed to ease Petes’ nerves as,they put on a 45-run stand for the fifth wicket. The duo fell in successive overs with 39 runs still behind the target providing Trinity a glimpse of hope.But Chathuranga Rajapakse and Ranitha Liyanarachchi kept their wickets intact to lead the Petes to victory with 16 overs to spare. While Rajapakse scored 22 runs inclusive of four fours, Liyanarachchi was unbeaten on 13 runs.
Trinity 114 alt out in 34.3 overs (Bhagya Palihawadana 17, Arjuna Jayasinghe 44; Sohail shakil 5/24, Dushan Hemantha 2/06)
St. Peter’s 115 for 7 in 33.1 overs (Jason Bultjans 25, Julia de Silva 17, Chathuranga Rajapakse 22 n.o, Ranith Liyanarachchi 13 n.o, Dinuk Wickramanayake 2/17 , Amrith Srimahan 2/26