One of my earliest memories of cricket goes back to the year 1992. It was an Australia v Sri Lanka match played at the P Saravanamuttu Stadium in Colombo. Australia batted first and got around 250 in their 50 overs. The Sri Lankan openers that day were Roshan Mahanama and Hashan Tillakaratne. Both got out within the first few overs. Asanka Gurusinha at No. 3 made a painstakingly slow fifty. Aravinda de Silva came at No. 4 and smashed the Aussie attack that consisted of McDermott, Whitney, Dodemaide and Moody all over the park and made a run-a-ball hundred.
But just when it seemed like Sri Lanka was going to steal an unexpected win, Aravinda got out. Australia saw the opportunity and clawed their way back in with a couple of quick wickets, leaving Sri Lanka needing about 30 to win in the last 3 overs. At the crease, Sri Lanka had Arjuna Ranatunga who had to shepherd the tail, and finish the game.
Finishing chases in the subcontinent is an art as much as it is a science. Spinners slowing it down, forcing the batsman to generate all the power, the ball gripping off the surface and turning square at times, the discoloured white ball, the heat, batting gloves drenched with sweat. In my mind, there have been three great ODI finishers in subcontinental conditions – Javed Miandad, Arjuna Ranatunga and MS Dhoni.
- In the 1879, G.C.C. vs. Mc Cleand’s encounter, Vanderspar and G.S. Saxton Playing for the G.C.C. set up a first wicket partnership record of 250 runs, scoring 120 and 123 runs respectively.
- In the 1893 match Colts C.C. vs G.C.C. the G.C.C. suffered a hopeless defeat after scoring 29 and 49 runs in the first and second innings respectively.
- In 1896, J.W. Erskine captained the G.C.C team against Royal Dublin Fuisters.
- In the match of G.C.C. with Malays of Galle team, the G.C.C. were victors by 17 runs and the 1897 fixture, the G.C.C. lost to the Malay Cricket Club team by ten wickets.
- On March 11, 1902 the G.C.C. emerged victorious by an inning at Elpitiya against South African Borah Prisoners of war.
- In 1936 the Colts C.C vs G.C.C., encounter, K.C. Tennyson had a match bag of 7 wickets for 14 runs, taking 3 consecutive wickets for the first time.
- In 1938 in the Daily News Trophy Series, G.C.C. defeated the S.S.C team.
- In 1963, the “Daily News Trophy” was won for the first time by the club’s team, captained by George Fonseka.
- In the Donovan Andree Trophy, the G.C.C. was the runner up in 1976.
- In the 1987 – 1988 Lakspray Series of matches G.C.C. bagged 11 wickets for 139 runs against the Sri Lanka Air Force Team.