When Vijaya Malale set the Oval alight | Daily News

When Vijaya Malale set the Oval alight

ROYAL CRICKET TEAM - 1963 Seated from left: S. Rajaratnam, M. Rodrigo (Coach), S.S. Kumar (Captain), J.D. Wilson (Principal), E.C Gunasekera (MIC), V.P. Malalasekera. Standing from left: L.C. De Kretser, A. Anketell, T.R. Jansen, S. Sathikumar, M.H. Macan Markar, K. Sockanathan, C.M. Fernando.
ROYAL CRICKET TEAM - 1963 Seated from left: S. Rajaratnam, M. Rodrigo (Coach), S.S. Kumar (Captain), J.D. Wilson (Principal), E.C Gunasekera (MIC), V.P. Malalasekera. Standing from left: L.C. De Kretser, A. Anketell, T.R. Jansen, S. Sathikumar, M.H. Macan

The venue was the P Sara Oval and the occasion the 84th "Battle of the Blues" cricket encounter between two traditional rivals Royal and St Thomas’, the year was 1963.

The cricketer in question was Vijaya Malalasekera of Royal College who had played his first Big Match of the series in 1962 under the captaincy of Darrel Lieversz. He got out for 8 and 0.

The following year 1963, he was walking out to bat at No. 5 with Royal replying to the Thomians first innings score of 254-9 declared tottering at 35-3.

Vijaya Malalasekera

Malalasekera took over from here: “I recall when I went into bat we were 35-3 and 42-4 chasing the first innings of 254 by Thomians. We didn’t lose a wicket thereafter. Cedric Fernando and I put on 165 for the fifth wicket and we got 99 runs in 33 minutes after lunch. I remember scoring 20 fours and a six in my hundred 112 not out.

“It was an enjoyable innings and when you’re batting that well you are seeing the ball like a football.

“They had a very good side Premalal Gunasekera, Anura Tennekoon, Randy Morrell and Kumar Boralessa. 

“That hundred stands out as my most memorable moment of the Royal-Thomian match.” Explaining why playing in the event was an honour, Malalasekera said, “What’s so special about it is that it is the longest uninterrupted cricket game in the world and obviously it was a prestige to play in it either for a Royalist or a Thomian. You’re given a place in the team on performance. If you are interested in cricket you want to play in the Royal-Thomian match.”

After leaving school Malalasekera went to Cambridge University for studies and cricket.

“I didn’t pursue cricket so much and was more interested in my studies. When I came back I played for NCC and CCC and after marriage with children you cannot continue playing cricket because you have to look after the family.”

He was employed at Ceylon Tobacco Company whom he captained; and in 1970 was Royal’s Assistant Coach to Derrick de Saram for three years before becoming senior coach in 1983 holding the post for three years.

Malalasekera is presently chairman of the Royal College Cricket Advisory Committee.

- ST


 

Add new comment