Joe – Pete clash on 14/15 July at Oval

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One of the most competitive cricket encounters in Sri Lanka’s big match calendar, the 88th edition of the ‘Battle of the Saints’, between two premier Catholic Boys’ Schools – St. Joseph’s College and St. Peter’s College – is scheduled to take place on 14 and 15 July. This year, the venue for the highly anticipated battle for supremacy for the Rev. Fr. Maurice J. Le Goc Trophy is the P. Sara Oval in Colombo.

Due to the unprecedented times which have led to the adverse situation in the country, the ‘88th Battle of the Saints’ will be played behind closed doors.

Whilst the ‘88th Battle of the Saints’ and the ‘Joe-Pete Limited Over’ cricket encounters will be played without spectators, it will be broadcasted live on Dialog Television channel number 140, and via live stream on the ThePapare.com and the Dialog ViU app.

The ‘Battle of the Saints’ is renowned for its competitive nature. The first innings of the match is limited to 60 overs to maximise the chance of a result during the two-days of play. In this year’s encounter, all-rounder Shevon Daniel will take the helm as the Captain of the Josephians, while the Peterites will be led by all-rounder Wanuja Kumara. Both players having represented Sri Lanka at the Under-19 World Cup in 2021.

Another notable fact in this year’s encounter is that Sri Lanka’s new found spin wizard – Dunith Wellalage, who Captained the Joes last year – will play his final season for the team, a rare feat for a schoolboy cricketer. Wellalage joins the 1996 World Cup winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga, Peterite legend Rumesh Ratnayake and a select band of very few others who have had the distinction of playing for country and school at the same time.

St. Joseph’s lead the series tally with 12 wins, with their last win coming under the Captaincy of Ruwantha Fernandopulle in 2008; while St. Peter’s with 10 wins were the winners of the 2016 encounter under Vinu Mohotty, which ensured the Rev. Father Maurice J. Le Goc Trophy was kept securely in the trophy cabinet in Bambalapitiya.

The much awaited and very popular Josephian-Peterite 50 Over Match played for the ‘Fr. Peter A. Pillai Memorial Trophy’, the first one day encounter among schools (commencing in 1975), which has always attracted the highest number of spectators for a school’s 50 Over cricket match, is scheduled to be played on the following Tuesday, 19 July at the same venue. The Josephian’s have won consecutively over the last 3 years and lead the series 24-20 with two matches ending in no result.

The two schools have produced many National Caps. Current Sri Lanka test skipper – Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Chaminda Vaas, Thisara Perera, Ashley de Silva, Michael Van Dort, Roshen Silva, Priyamal Perera and Sadeera Samarawickrama are the Josephians who represented Sri Lanka, while the Peterites have been represented by Roy Dias, Rumesh Ratnayake, Vinodhan John, Amal Silva, Russel Arnold, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Malinda Warnapura, Angelo Perera and Janith Liyanage.