Dharmaraja–Kingswood Cricket Encounter
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|Dharmaraja-Kingswood Cricket Encounter|
|Timeline||1893 – present|
|Tournament format||Annual two-day test match encounter|
|Current champion||Dharmaraja College (2012)|
|Most successful||Dharmaraja College 33
Kingswood College 19
The Dharmaraja–Kingswood Cricket Encounter is a cricket match between two government-run national schools in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Dharmaraja College (with approximately 4,500 students) and Kingswood College (with approximately 2,500 students). It is the oldest cricket match series in the central province, having been played for 106 years. It is also known as the "Battle of the Maroons". The first match was played in 1893, with the Dharmaraja College team captained by the great educationist, later Sir Don Baron Jayathilake, who was the principal of Dharmaraja at that time. The Kingswood team was captained by A.E. Spencer. It was played at the Bogambara Stadium, which is no longer a cricket venue. That match, and some others that followed, were not exclusively schoolboy matches as they included a few members of the staff from each school. The first all-schoolboy Big Match was played in 1899 with J.C. de Mel captaining Dharmaraja and T.B. Marshall leading Kingswood. It was played at the Asgiriya International Cricket stadium until 2010. Since 2011, it has been played at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
This match is played for the T.B. Tennakoon Memorial Trophy.
Up to 2012, 106 cricket matches have been played. So far, Dharmaraja leads with 33 wins against 19 by Kingswood with 54 matches ending in a draw, including all matches from 1981 to 2011. The last time a decision was possible during the series was in 1980, when Dharmaraja defeated Kingswood by nine wickets under the captaincy of Janaka Mendis. Kingswood's last win was in 1957 under Maurice Fernando. On 26 March 2011, Dharmaraja College registered a seven wicket win under the captaincy of Hemal Munaweera at the Pallekale Cricket International stadium, ending 30 years of indecision.
- 1899 - First Kingswood vs Dharmaraja match for schoolboys only was played on July 1. Kingswood was captained by T. B. Marshall.
- 1914 - A. Jayasundera took 8 wickets for 9 runs as Dharmaraja beat Kingswood by an innings and 17 runs.
- 1916 - R. Burke took 8 wickets for 7 runs as Kingswood beat Dharmaraja by an innings and 24 runs.
- 1918 - Dharmaraja were out for 9 runs by Kingswood, which to date is the lowest score in an innings in any inter-school match.
- 1943 - First century in the series, scored by R. L. Arthur Alwis of Dharmaraja College. It is interesting to note that the Rajan's skipper, T. B. Talwatte, was deprived of this honour as he was injured by the Kingswood pace bowler, M. T. Jaimon and Talwatte had to leave the field temporarily during which time Arthur completed his century. Later, Talwatte too completed his century. M. T. Jaimon took 5 wickets for 90 runs for Kingswood. The match was won by the Rajans by an innings and 152 runs. J. P. Jayasena captained Kingswood.
- 1951 - Kingswood led by the left-hander Shelton R. S. Perera, scored an exciting win over Dharmaraja, having had to score ten runs in six balls and one run in two balls, which they did with a ball to spare. The winning stroke was hit by the captain himself.
- 1952 - Chandra de Silva scored 158 for Dharmaraja in this match, played at Randles Hill. Asoka Perera scored 148 for Kingswood. The match ended in a draw. De Silva's 158 was the highest individual score in the series to that date.
- 1956 - The highlight of the drawn encounter was the bowling feat of M. Nizar of Kingswood who took 6 wickets for 48 runs.
- 1957 - Kingswood amassed 401 for 9 wickets with Maurice Fernando scoring 101 runs. Dharmaraja replied with 269 runs in the first innings.
- 1958 - Kingswood defeated Dharmaraja by 10 wickets; this was the last time Kingswood defeated Dharmaraja. In this match Kingwood was captained by C. M. Fernando who was selected 'the School Boy Cricketer of the Year'. Dharmaraja was captained by D. D. T. Alwis. The Kingswood opening pair, considered the best among schools, was Maurice Fernando and Herly Jayasuriya. They put on an unbroken stand of 102 runs in the second innings enabling Kingswood to win. Herly scored a brisk 50 while Maurice scored 43 runs.
- 1959 - C. Ratnavibushana scored 167 for Kingswood, surpassing the earlier record of 158 as the highest individual score.
- 1960 - The match ended in a tie but Kingswood's principal, K. M. de Lanerolle, awarded the match to Dharmaraja having gone through the score book for better performance.
- 1964 - The match was postponed due to rain. In the rescheduled game the Rajans were two runs short of victory when the stumps were drawn.
- 1965 - The Jayasundera twins, Ananda and Upananda, played for Dharmaraja. Earlier Kingswood had twins.
- 1967 - The Kingswood skipper Tissa Jayathilake batting well with Mohan Kodituwakku, declared the innings still short of 9 runs of a century, which would have earned him the distinction of scoring consecutive centuries having scored an unbeaten 100 in the 1966 match. Another feature of this match was the bowling of the left-arm spinner Sena Abeygunaratne, who took 7 wickets for 32 runs in the Dharmaraja 1st innings of 143 runs.
- 1976 and 1977 - P. B. Wickremasuriya of Kingswood and Ajith Naranpanawe of Dharmaraja entered the record books by scoring centuries in both years thus becoming the only two players to score centuries in consecutive matches.
- 1981 - Cricket Captain of Dharmaraja College Janaka Mendis registered an outright win over Kingswood College. Since then for 30 years there was no decision.
- 1983 - Senaka Dissanayake scored a double century for Dharmaraja, the only double century in the series, which stands as the highest individual score for the series.
- 2001 - First one day match played in colour outfits which Dharmaraja won under Anuradha Jayasundara.
- 2011 - First match played in Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and the first school cricket match to be played at that stadium. Dharmaraja College won by 7 wickets under the captaincy of Hemal Munaweera putting an end to the 30 years of draws.
- 2012 - Dharmaraja College won the 106th Battle of the Maroons by 7 wickets under the captaincy of Viraj Karaputugala.
- 2013 - The 107th Battle of the Maroons encounter will be held on 22-23 March 2013 at Asgiriya International Grounds. The limited over match will be played on 30 March 2013 at the same venue.
- Kingswood-Rajans battle continues - Lankapuwath
- Kingswood-Rajans Big Match - LankaNewspapers
- "Big Match: Dharmaraja stun Kingswood with 7-wicket win". Sunday Times. March 24, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
- Cricket Encounter - SLCricket
- Highlights of Kingswood-Dharmaraja series - Dailynews
- Dharmaraja College website
- Dharmaraja College Archives
- Muditha Wijekoon - opening batsman par excellence
- The Kingswood-Dharmaraja match of 1958
- Rajans field a strong team this year