The 109th “ Battle of the North”, the Big Match encounter between Jaffna Central College and Jaffna St. Johns College, commenced at the Jaffna Central College Grounds today.
Jaffna Central College Captain Pathinathan Nirojan won the toss and decided to field.
First two sessions of St. Johns College batting was good and they scored runs without losing wickets. Jeni Flemin scored a tremendous 109 off 196 balls including 19 boundaries before tragically being dismissed off a run-out. This is the first century to be scored in this competition after 2005. St. Johns declared the innings at 300 for 7.
Sajeenthiran Kapilraj scored 50 runs, while A. Ghanamirthan and P. Thuvarakaseelan contributed 33 each. Mathusan bagged two wickets for 71 runs , while Nithushan , Alanraj, and Thiresan bagged one wicket each.
At the end of the first day, Jaffna Central was 9 runs without no loss.
With the encounter to be played over three days a result should be on the cards.
St. John’s is led by fifth year coloursman Sajeenthiran Kapilraj and have won ten out of the 14 matches they have played this season. With that impressive record they qualified to the semi-final round in the under-19 division III cricket tournament. Jaffna Central is led by fourth year coloursman Pathinathan Nirojan and have won five matches out of the ten that they have played so far.
The Battle of North is the oldest playing Big Match in the Northern Sri Lanka and according to records available from the 108 matches that have been played so far St. John’s College is leading the series with 34 wins as against 27 by Jaffna Central College with 39 drawn and one abandoned while results of 7 matches are not available. Last year St. John’s was on the verge of winning the encounter, but the officials of the two schools were forced to call off the match due to crowd invasion. However, the St. John’s College were declared winners, which resulted after a discussion between the officials of the two schools.