An excellent, fighting half-century from Dasis Manchanayake ensured Royal College clawed their way back into the 144th Battle of the Blues against S. Thomas' College – the Royalists on 128/4 after 32 overs.
Manchanayake reached the milestone scoring at just under a run-a-ball, facing 55 deliveries, and along with Ramiru Perera built up a 65-run partnership that slowed the momentum the Thomians had gained in the first session of play.
Royal College were earlier 83 for 4 at lunch with Manchanayake holding strong after his team were reduced to 19 for 3 in the first hour of play.
Akash Fernando struck in the first over of the day, finding the edge of Rehan Pieris, caught down the leg side for four, before Nathan Caldera accounted for the key wicket of Sineth Jayawardena, three overs later.
The Royalists lost a third wicket when a mistimed heave off Kavindu Dias' first ball was caught by Caldera, and were reduced to 19 for 3.
A 44-run partnership between Manchanayake and Ovina Ambanpola ensued, as Royal staged a recovery of sorts, before Ambanpola was bowled by Fernando for 30.
Royal College 128/4 in 32 overs (Dasis Manchanayake 50*, Ramiru Perera 31*)
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