Tim Michell, in the Moonee Valley Leader, 3 May 2017, where the title is “Aberfeldie all-rounder Ravindra Karunaratne crowned VTCA North West Division player of season”
KIEREN Gray doesn’t have to be concerned with managing the workload of star off-spinner Ravindra Karunaratne. The Sri Lankan is one of the fittest players in Turf Cricket, allowing Gray to entrust him with bowling long spells to keep batsmen in check or chase wickets. Against Sunshine United in Round 11 of 2016-17, Karunaratne bowled the second over of the North West Division fixture. He was still rolling the arm over hours later and took the last wicket when the Tigers were dismissed for 147 at Selwyn Park.
From 39.4 overs, he returned figures of 4-75, highlighting his ability to contain batsmen with 12 maidens.
“One game, he bowled unchanged from one end, he bowled 39 and a half overs,” Gray said.
“He was able to bowl well for long periods and not let the opposition get away.
“If you bowl that many overs you are always going to take some wickets.”
Ravi Karunaratne shows off his talent with the bat for Aberfeldie. Picture: Richard Serong.
Karunaratne’s quality was recognised with the Tony Isaacs Medal as North West Division’s premier player of the season at the recent VTCA awards night. The all-rounder also claimed the Ray Scriven Medal in 2015 after a standout campaign in North A1.
The 30-year-old has an incredible record since joining Aberfeldie six seasons ago, compiling 2551 runs and collecting 202 wickets. Karunaratne has also made Aberfeldie’s club champion award his own, taking out the top honour for the past six seasons. “Occasionally one of us will pip him with the batting or bowling but he seems to get the club champion every year,” he said. “There’s not much competition at the moment for him.”
Karunaratne took 50 scalps and amassed 396 runs in 2016-17, helping Abers finish on top of the North West Division ladder before it crashed to a heavy semi-final defeat against Sunshine United. Gray’s go-to man again proved his quality on the big stage, claiming 6-59 from 34.1 overs in the 78-run loss.