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August 07, 2017
A Convincing Victory For SLMDA - Law Medical Cricket 2017
14th Law Medical Cricket Encounter was held at Harrow School Cricket Grounds on 15th July 2017.
Match Report by Dr. Ajantha Jayathunga

First XI
Having suffered a humiliating defeat last year the revamped SLMDA team had a renewed desire to take the legal team on at cricket. Grey skies, a thin drizzle and a green pitch were not ideal ingredients for batting. Even the change in leadership (under new captain Yovaan Ilangakoon) failed to turn the fortunes at the toss with Legal skipper Manoj Warnapala calling correctly and inviting the doctors to take the first lease at the wicket.

Yovaan's youthful energy seeped through the new-look team. The loss of the toss however proved not a bad thing as the bowlers failed to grip the ball in the initial stages due to the persistent drizzle.

Steady openers
The watchful opening pair of Manoj Wickramasinghe and Kapilan (Kaps) Balasubramanium were very clinical and punished any wayward bowling to progress steadily. They were cantering at 6 runs an over throughout their partnership. Easily surpassing the previous best opening partnership for the Medical team, they dominated the bowling completely. With the score at 130 Kaps made his first error and was caught at the midwicket boundary attempting to hoist a very poor delivery over the ropes. He fell just 3 runs short of a well-deserved 50.

Minoth causes havoc
Minoth Kanagaratnam, exploiting the disarray in the legal ranks, started at a brisk rate. Together with Manoj he pushed the fielders by stealing brisk singles and converting ones to twos and the scoring accelerated. Once settled, the pair peppered the boundary at regular intervals. After Minoth departed for a sparkling 70, the veteran campaigner Vinodh Elangasinghe entered the fray and produced a cameo helping to push the score to 270 at the end of the allocated 35 overs, losing only two wickets.

Manoj cracks a glorious century
Having missed his landmark by 4 runs last year Manoj Wickramasinghe was extremely determined to set the record straight. He produced a delightful knock with a superb array of strokes all around the ground. His cover driven six sailing out of the park became the memorable stroke of the day. He became not only the second centurion for the SLMDA but also the highest cumulative run-scorer in the 15 year history of the Law Medical encounters.

A feeble reply by the lawyers
The Law team had a gargantuan task ahead of them. They received a huge blow on the very first ball when the feared combination that caused extreme damage last year was broken as Adhikari was clean bowled by young Vijeraj. His partner, last year's centurion, Jeyashankar steadied the ship and, together with newcomer Chameera, tried to bring the reply back on course. Tight bowling by Ramali, Akram and Vijeraj slowed the scoring rate. The introduction of spin soon caused further damage and two double blows reduced the legal reply to a crawl. Whenever they tried to break loose they lost crucial wickets. The usually dependable older two Warnapala brothers departed cheaply, leaving the youngest, Ruwan to try and mount a reply. Losing wickets at the other end made this task a futile effort. Manoj Wickramasinghe could do nothing wrong, taking three wickets and also picking up a running catch. The fielding effort of the medical team was commendable, with Kaps behind the stumps looking particularly sharp and Mo Ramali plucking one out of the air in a reflex action. The lawyers eventually folded at 134, leaving the SLMDA victorious by 136 runs.

SLMDA : 270 runs for 2 wickets
Manoj Wickramasinghe 107 Not out, Minoth Kanagaratnam 70, Kapilan Balasubramanium 47. Vinod Elangasinghe 11 Not out
Anuradha Dissanayake 1 for28, Aruna Priyadarshana 1 for 28

ASSLUK; 134 for 10
Chameera Dondeenu 36, Jeyakrishnan Narayan 28, Ruwan Warnapala 19, Hemantha Warnapala 12 Manoj Wickramasinghe 3 for 25,Roman Akram 2 for 21, Prushoth Vijeraj 2 for 38, Anura Malaweera 2 for 5, Yovaan Ilangakoon 1 for 11

The Second XI - a similar story
The second XI encounter was contested in the adjoining pitch and was also a completely one-sided affair. Helped by two half centuries by Uditha Jayatunga and Dinath Alwis the Medical team racked up an impressive score of 247 in 30 overs. In reply a ragtag Legal team stumbled to 110 all out.

SLMDA second XI ; 247 for 8 wkts
Dinath Alwis 53, Uditha Jayatunga 50 Rtd, Sai Balasubramanium 27Rtd
Nandasiri Jayasuriya 23 rtd Upali Samarage 16 No Thushan Samarage 12
ASSLUK second XI ; 110 all out
Dilshan 25, Lalith de Kauwe 19 Neil S 14
Thushan Samarage 2 wickets Vinny Nirmalan 2 wickets Nandasiri Jayasuriya 2 wickets
Dinath & Auffer 1 each shared the wickets.

Concluding Remarks
This years Law-Medical encounter was another successful event, bringing on friendly but intense rivalry between the two professions in the Sri Lankan community. The fortunes have been changing year on year; a healthy state as the teams vie to outplay each other. The organisation of the event is undertaken by a couple of individuals particularly Wasantha Tennakoon. They need better support for the event.

The Netball match was sadly not very well supported. The match was played between two teams of four and Medics ran away with a score of 22:1.

There is a call to re-establish the evening ceremony which used to be the norm in the first few years of the contest. Moreover the rivalry brings on sterling individual performances which are not adequately recognised. The best players on either side and the player of the match needs to be given due recognition and a trophy awarded. The main trophy for the contest needs to be upgraded befitting the event of this nature. The trophies need to be awarded preferably at the ceremonious event preferably on the night of the event or at the next earliest opportunity.
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