Jayawardene Century Sets Up Handsome Sri Lanka Win
Sri Lanka 332-7 (Jayawardene 100) beat
Canada 122 (Kulasekara 3-16) by 210 runs
ICC Cricket World Cup Group A, Hambantota
Video Bulletin: A Day For Big Wins
Sri Lanka powered their way to a 210-run win against Canada on the back of Mahela Jayawardene's 80-ball century in their Cricket World Cup Group A game in Hambantota.
Jayawardene's brilliance with the bat was followed up by a bowling performance that was too hot for Canada to handle and they were bowled out for 122.
Although Hambantota is a brand new international venue, Jayawardene reprised a role he has played so many times for his country, in the process scoring the quickest World Cup century by a Sri Lankan to put his side in a dominant position.
He stroked nine fours and a six, mixing classical driving with innovative sweeps and paddles before he was caught at fine leg by Balaji Rao off John Davison immediately having reached his century.
He had put on 179 with Kumar Sangakkara (92) for the third wicket and Sangakkara looked set to also reach three figures before chipping the ball back to Davison (2-56) for the easiest of caught and bowled chances.
Canada had struggled early on as Upul Tharanga hit 19 and Tillakaratne Dilshan 50 in 59 balls and they were further handicapped when key bowler Henry Osinde suffered an injury during just his third over and could bowl no more.
To their credit, they stuck to their task, and Harvir Baidwan returned two for 59 by removing Angelo Mathews (20) and Chamara Kapugedera (2) late on while Tissara Perera was run out for 11.
Thilan Samaraweera, unbeaten on 20, and Nuwan Kulasekara, on seven, added late runs as Sri Lanka passed 300 for the sixth time in World Cup history.
Opening bowlers Perera and Kulasekara then tore into Canada's batsman and made early inroads. Davison was bowled by Perera first ball, Zubin Surkari was then immediately dropped by Samaraweera but could only make six before Perera trapped him in front and Ruvindu Gunasekera was caught by Dilshan off Kulasekara for one.
With a slight threat of rain hovering around the game, Sri Lanka turned to spin early in order to get through 20 overs as quickly as possible, and as Ajantha Mendis built up pressure at one end, Samaraweera benefitted when he had Jimmy Hansra stumped for nine as Canada slipped to 42 for four.
Ashish Bagai then made 22 in 47 balls to add a touch of respectability to his side's score before Rizwan Cheema hit Muttiah Muralitharan for two big sixes on his way to 37 in 35 balls but wickets continued to tumble as Sri Lanka refused to cut Canada any slack.
Muralitharan eventually got Cheema when he looped a catch to Jayawardene while Kulasekara had both Tyson Gordon and Khurram Chohan caught by Sangakkara for four apiece.
Rao became Muralitharan's second wicket when his sweep could only find Tharanga in the deep and Canada's innings was wrapped up in 36.5 overs when Osinde was bowled by Ajantha Mendis for four.
Kulasekara's return was three for 16 as Perera's outstanding early spell earned him three for 24.
Sri Lanka's next match is against Pakistan on 26th February while Canada face Zimbabwe on 28th February.
© Cricket World 2011