After three years of behind played behind closed doors, spectators young and old returned for the 144th Royal-Thomian encounter at the SSC ground.
Royal College continued their domination on day two of the 144th Battle of the Blues encounter against traditional rivals S. Thomas’ College as they ended in a commanding position and had the Thomians in dire straits and struggling for survival at the SSC ground.
Royal skipper Dasis Manchanayake put in another fine batting display following his top knock of 137 in the first inning, when he hit a quick-fire 57 in 49 balls that included six boundaries to become the first Royal captain to score a ton and a half ton in the same encounter.
The morning session of play on day two saw Royal making a declaration on their overnight score of 326 for 8 and then having the Thomians in a spot of bother.
The sea side boys had an inauspicious start as they lost the first two wickets with just 27 runs on the board.
The Royal bowling pair of Bulan Weeratunga and Ranuka Malaviarachchi made things tough for the Thomians as they ran through the batting and have them struggling on 107 for 5.
The late order batting too failed to make any impression as Sandesh Ramanayake and Sineth Jayawardena shared four wickets between them to bundle out the Thomians for a low score of 153 runs.
Royal took the option of batting the second time, and after losing two early wickets skipper Manchanayake came to their rescue as he along with Uvindu Weerasekera put on a valuable 72-run partnership which was followed by Ramiru Perera and Savindu Senaratharachchi sharing an unbroken stand of 53 runs for the fifth wicket for Royal to end day on 168 for 4 for an overall lead of 316 runs.
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