Webb and Price lead Glos boys to second tour victory
Gloucestershire Under 18s v St Thomas’ College, Colombo
St Thomas’ 175 all out (42.4 overs)
Gloucestershire 178-1 (36 overs)
Gloucestershire won by 9 wickets
An unbroken stand of 127 between Ollie Price and Ed Webb saw Gloucestershire make it two wins from two in Sri Lanka with a nine wicket win over St Thomas’ College.
Webb (Thornbury) struck 11 fours and a six in an impressive knock of 72 not out from 83 balls while Price (Great and Little Tew) anchored the innings with an unbeaten 54 to chase down the 175 needed with nine overs to spare.
The pair had come together after Kiran Chakraborty (21) (Corse and Staunton) and Price had added 51 for the first wicket inside 10 overs. Price began his innings as the aggressor, latching on to anything short with aplomb. But as the innings went on he was happy to rotate the strike and allow Webb to play more expansively. The Colston’s batsman looked particularly at home against the spinners, providing a sweeping masterclass that the St Thomas’ bowlers were unable to find an answer to. Fittingly he struck the winning runs with a sweep through midwicket for four to continue Gloucestershire’s 100% record on tour.
Earlier, having lost the toss, George Pritchard (2-22)(Cheltenham) got Glos off to the perfect start as Munasinghe edged behind to Matt Brewer (Bristol) in the first over of the match.
The big seamer followed it up with another wicket in his second over as Gunarathne was trapped in front, having survived a big shout and a dropped catch at slip in his brief stay at the crease.
The home side rebuilt through opener De Mel and Bandarayakane who added 61 for the third wicket. The left handed De Mel dominated the scoring with Bandarayakane content to play second fiddle as Gloucestershire struggled to maintain their early pressure.
The introduction of left arm legspinner Harvey Jupp (Lechlade) spun things back the visitors’ way as he claimed the wickets of both batsmen in quick succession. Bandarayakane (15) was first to go after skying one to Webb at mid off to make it 77-3. De Mel fell two runs later for a well-made 47 as Jupp (2-31) took a fantastic diving catch off his own bowling.
At one stage 225 had looked on the cards but as skipper Tom Price (Great and Little Tew) claimed the final wicket, St Thomas’ were all out for 175 in the 43rd over. Price and Webb’s partnership ensured this was never going to be enough, leaving the squad in good spirits ahead of a rest day tomorrow.