Evenly Balanced Teams Meet in the Trinity St. Anthony’s Centenary Big Match


Trinity College and St. Anthony’s College will meet in their 100th“Big Match” on Friday and Saturday (March 10/11) at the Pallekelle International cricket stadium, in Kandy. The winner will take home the John Halangoda Trophy.

The series started in 1914 but matches were not played in 1956 and 1957 owing to a dispute between the two schools on an age rule. Trinity has won 23 of the 99 past matches and St. Anthony’s 12 with 64 ending with no decision.

In the current cricket season, both teams have done moderately well. Trinity played 14, won 3,  and lost 3. Trinity got the better of its rivals in the first innings in the balance 8. St Anthony’s also played 14 marches, won 2, lost 2 and had a first innings lead in 7.

Trinity’s captain Shanogeeth Shanmuganathan did well with the bat scoring 1010 runs. Vice Captain Hasitha Boyagoda with 736  and Hasintha Jayasuriya with  612 were the other batsmen who stood out.

St. Anthony’s

Seated: S.P.Basnayake (Assistant Coach), Sampath Perera (Head Coach), Lenin Jayasinghe (Master-in-Charge), V. Jayasinghe (Vice Captain), Rev.Fr. Henry Bernard Wijerathna (Principal),  M. Alfer (Captain), P. Abeyrathna (Prefect of Games), S. Dharmarathna, Rev.Fr.N.Wijeratna (SC).

2nd Row from Left: T. Gunasinghe, M. Alawi,  P. Panditharathna, K.Dhananjan, S.Wickramarachchi, S. Hirudika, T. Lamahewa, J. Himsara, M. Absar, G. Achintha, D.Stauter, and S.S.Jayasinghe.

3rd Row from Lef:- M. Kamil, T. Abeykoon, G. A. Ebert, G. Pankaja, M.Rukshan, and N. N. Ashok.



Seated: Naveen Ekanayake (Fielding Coach ), Dilka Panagoda (Assistant Coach), Thisaru Dilshan, Dammika Kulatunga (Masterin-Charge), Shanogeeth Shanmuganathan (Captain), A. Fowler-Watt (Principal), Hasitha Boyagoda (Vice Captain), Kavinda Jayasuriya (Head Coach), Shane De Silva (Prefect Of Games), Rushan Jaleel (Head Coach - Strategic Planning, Development and Implementation)  and Lasantha Herath (Physiotherapist).

Standing  from Left: Chanuka Bandara, Avishka Senadeera, Himanga Sooriyampola, Kalana De Silva, Buwenaka Wijesundara, Vimukthi Nethumal, Hasintha Jayasuriya, Shuib Salahudeen, Osanda Dananjaya, Ruvin Peries, Thiyagaraja Banugoban, Trewon Weerasuriya, Kavinda Dassenayake, Srianjan Thangaraja, Narendranath Ashokumar, Bathiya Dissanayake, Anushka Senadeera, Tharanga Dahanayake, Poorna Wansekara, Abhisheke Anandakumar, and Tanka Chandrarathna.


Shanmuganathan who is an all-rounder did well with the ball also, collecting 60 wickets while  Vimukthi Nethumal bowled for 25.

For St. Anthony’s the captain of the team M. Alfer got a total of  652 runsand  M. Absar 660.

Among the St Anthony’s bowlers,  S. Dharmarathna accounted for 75 wickets followed by the Vice Captain V. Jayasinghe with 43 and G. Achintha 21.

Trinity and St Anthony’s Battle for Centenary Honours

By Harindra Dunuwille

This week, on March 10thand 11th, the traditional school cricket rivals of Kandy, Trinity College and St. Anthony’s College will battle for honours in their centenary “Big Match”, considered the oldest of such matches played in the city. Big matches are not about cricket per se.It is a great annual celebration, especially for the two schools involved, present students and alumni as well as their families and other supporters. It is part history and tradition, part emotion, part renewal old friendships and part reliving old memories. For the present writer it is all of the above.

Records show that the two schools, first played a cricket match in 1907, with each team consisting of a mix of Staff and Students, followed by another such game in 1910. However, the first proper match with schoolboys was in 1914 played at the Bogambara ground. Trinity was led by C.E. de Silva and St. Anthony’s by C.C.Senaratne. The Anthonians had won this inaugural match, but Trinity had evened things up the very next year.

In the long line of matches played, some significant feats are worthy of mention On the Trinity side, the unique achievements of C.Dharmalingam, a wily left arm medium slow bowler are extraordinary. He had figures of 9 for 14 in 1938 and figures of 6 for 17 and 6 for 31 in 1939, which included a hat trick in each innings of the opposite side. He later played with great distinction for All Ceylon XI ( as the team was then called),  and I had the privilege of having him bowl to me and my team mates in the 1960s at the nets in Asgiriya, and more importantly imparting his considerable knowledge to a like bowler. On the Anthonian side, the record breaking opening partnership of A.C.M. Lafir and Ronald Stevens of 266 stands to date, with Lafir making 176 runs and Stevens, 120. Lafir had the further honour of receiving the John Halangoda trophy in its first year of offer, as a result a convincing Anthonian victory in 1954.

A word about John Halangoda is appropriate. He was a Trinity product who played for the school, but distinguished himself as Cricket Coach par excellence at St. Anthony’s. Years later, a reversal took place, where P. H. Theodore Silva who Captained St Anthony`s joined the Staff of Trinity, and had the distinction of winning his Cricket Eagle in school and being awarded the Trinity General Lion for dedicated service.

Of the 99 encounters, Trinity leads with 23 wins as against 12 for St Anthony’s College, with Trinity recording a win the 100thyear in 2014.  It was a matter of personal joy for me to have been the Chief Guest on that occasion and award the John Halangoda trophy to the Captain, Niroshan Dickwella, who now opens batting for Sri Lanka.

The match was not played on two occasions. In 1956 and 1957, there was a disagreement between the two Heads of the schools regarding the age rule, but the match was restored with the arrival of a new Principal at TCK in 1958. A significant event in 1959 was the ruling made by the Principal of Trinity in withdrawing its Captain, Nimal Maralande as his 20thbirthday fell on the second day of the match. In 2001, the match was not played as Trinity cancelled its matches half way in the season for disciplinary reasons.

I had the honour of representing the school from 1962 to 1966. We had a colourful personality as our Coach, Mr. T. B. Marambe, himself a past Captain of Trinity. He brought some radical thinking and unorthodox methods of coaching. All of us batting at the nets were told to “wallop” as we see fit in the last 5 minutes of batting practice. Mind you this was long before limited over cricket was even thought of. He once raised eye brows, when he turned up for practice on his BSA motor bike (his Iron Horse as we called it) in a tweed cloth complete with belt, shirt, tie and coat!!

Two significant events stand out in my last year. One was the “calling” of Glen Vanlangenburg, for “chucking’ by Umpire John at the Wesley College match at Campbell Park. I can still picture the forlorn look that Glen gave me in resignation. I told him to finish the over by just turning the arm over, and brought him on at the other end. A polite and confident smile that I gave the other Umpire my have worked because he did not call Glen.

The next week we played St. Thomas` College at Mount Lavinia. All attention was on Glen, now termed a Chucker. It was the acid test. The Umpires` Association sent their two best and experienced umpires for this game, M. A. Jayasinghe and Hugh Felsinger, and Glen passed. The game itself turned put to be a thriller, with STC fighting for survival at the end. I was faulted for a late declaration by the Press. At the Tea interval, I was desperately looking for Coach Marambe, who casually sent a message that “you are the Captain, you decide”

At the end of Trinity`s best season since 1944, when we sat for the Team photograph, Mr. Marambe came into his own again. He told the Principal Mr. C.J.Oorloff, Ex Civil Service Officer, ‘you and I have no business sitting, it’s the boys who have done the hard work, so let’s stand at the back’. A far cry from what we now see in sports group photographs, where there are more Officials, including politicians, than players seated in the front row.

As we look forward to the 100thgame, all we ask, as always, is that the better team wins.

St Anthony’s: The School that Produced the World’s Highest Test Wicket Taker

Producing the bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan (1989-91) who holds the world record for highest number of wickets (800 in 133 matches) in Test Cricket as well as in One Day Internationals (534 in 350 matches) should be enough to make St Anthony’s College, occupy a distinguished place in the annals of Sri Lankan school cricket. But St Anthony’s (founded in 1854) that started playing cricket 114 years ago in 1903 has done much more in cricket and for cricket.

Like many other schools, including its big match rival Trinity College, St Anthony’s also started cricket in an informal style fielding a team consisting of both staff and students. In 1903 such a team played one match against Carlton Cricket Club, Colombo. The following year St. Anthony's played its  first interschool match, against Dharmaraja College. It was eight years later, in 1914, that the  St. Anthony’s met Trinity for the first time in cricket at the Bogambara grounds. From then onwards Antonians fell in love with the game and the Trinity-St. Anthony's “Big Match” became an annual fixture in the school cricket calendar.

The inter-war period was not particularly rewarding for St. Anthony’s cricket. Records show that between 1919 and 1947, the school lost as many as 20 of the 28 annual matches that it played against Trinity. It is said that the British army occupying school property including the playgrounds during the war years was one of the main reasons for this weak showing.

The end of the war brought a revival of the game in the school. In 1951 St. Anthony’s lost to Trinity. But after that, for 35 years Trinity could not get the better of St. Anthony’s. In 1954, the school celebrated its centenary beating Trinity by an innings. This was also the time when A. C. M. Lafir, one of the greatest schoolboy batsmen that Sri Links has known, played for the school. He scored over 1,000 runs in seven innings in the 1954 season with four centuries and – one, 176,  against Trinity  - with an average of 108.

Between Lafir in the early 1950s and Muralitharan in the late 1980s, there were several other Antonian cricketers including batsmen Charlie Joseph and Ranjith Doranagam in the 1950s, Franklyn Burke in the 1960s and wicketkeeper Mahes Goonatillleke in the 1970s, that shone on the cricket field.

The 1980s can be described as the golden era of St Anthony’s cricket when it produced three spinners. Muralitharan, Ruwan Kalpage and Piyal Wijetunge who won places in the national team. All three played in a Test Match against South Africa in 1993, which may be also a record for a Sri Lankan school.

3(Th Kandy News wishes to acknowledge with thanks that this account is based on Afzal Laphir’s article “The History of Antonian Cricket” published by the Old Antonian Social Club (Australian Branch) http://antonian.org.au/History_of_Antonian_Cricket.pdf


Daya Udurawana contributed to this feature on the Trinity-St anthony's Big Match








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