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Jayasuriya blasts SL to easy win

Jayasuriya clobbers one to the ropes during yesterday’s Twenty-20 international cricket match at Westpac Stadium, in Wellington.
(AP Photo/NZPA, Ross Setford)

Rex Clementine reporting from Wellington

Left-hander Sanath Jayasuriya smashed a 23-ball fifty to guide Sri Lanka to an easy 18-run win (d/l system) over New Zealand in the first Twenty-20 here at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, yesterday. Chasing a target of 163, Jayasuriya started off aggressively against opening bowlers Shane Bond and James Franklyn, but reserved his best for medium paceman Andre Adams whom he smashed for 18 runs in four deliveries.

In the sixth over of the Sri Lankan innings, with rain coming down, New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming gambled by introducing Adams with the fielding restrictions still on and paid a heavy price as Jayasuriya took the bowler to task. The 37-year-old blocked Adams’ first ball but blasted the next four for 4,6,4 and 4 with the last stroke bringing up his fifty. Jayasuriya became the first Sri Lankan to score a half-century in Twenty-20.

Soon after Jayasuriya put Adams’ fifth ball for four, the umpires stopped play as the rain increased. The situation never improved and Sri Lanka were declared winners by 18 runs according to the Duckworth/Lewis system.

It was a calculated assault by the master blaster as he realized that Sri Lanka needed to be above the required rate after Upul Tharanga was dismissed for six. His onslaught helped the tourists to reach 62 for one in 5.5. overs and remain ahead of the required rate.

With Jayasuriya attacking, first Tharanga and later captain Jayawardene (2*) became mere spectators.

Fleming changed field settings regularly to curb the hard-hitting Sri Lankan, but there was no stopping Jayasuriya as he warmed up for the five match ODI series with an entertaining knock.

Twenty-20 cricket is tailor-made for a player of Jayasuriya’s calibre and he showed his liking for the condensed version of ODI cricket hitting ten fours and a six. All but five of his runs came in boundaries.

After electing to bat first, New Zealand got off to a flying start with Brendon McCullum (39) and Stephen Fleming (38) adding 80 runs for the first wicket in just 44 balls, but Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan picked up five wickets between them to stop the run flow and restrict the Kiwis for 162. Jayasuriya was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up three wickets with his left-arm spin.

The Kiwis were threatening to pose a big score when the openers were there, but Jayawardene’s smart bowling changes helped Sri Lanka to restrict the hosts.

When Muttiah Muralitharan came on, McCullum welcomed the off-spinner with a massive six and two balls later repeated the same. In all he hit two fours and four sixes before being caught by Upul Tharanga in the deep off Muralitharan, attempting another big shot.

When New Zealand reached 80 runs by the seventh over they were threatening to pose a total beyond 200. The promotion of fast bowler James Franklin at number three ahead of Nathan Astle didn’t work out as Sri Lanka’s spinners bowled intelligently and controlled the proceedings.

While Jayasuriya picked up three for 21 in his allotted four overs Muralitharan claimed two for 27 in his four.

Sri Lanka will move to Auckland to play the next Twenty-20 on December 26.

Scoreboard

New Zealand

B. McCullum ct Tharanga b Muralitharan 39

S. Fleming b Maharoof 38

J. Franklin lbw b Jayasuriya 18

R. Taylor lbw b Muralitharan 21

N. Astle b Jayasuriya 19

J. Marshal ct Silva b Jayasuriya 01

P. McGlashan st Sangakkara b Silva 05

A. Adams not out 06

S. Bond b Vaas 00

M. Gillespie not out 03

Extras: (lb 8, w-4) 12

Total: for eight wickets 162

Overs: 20

Fall of wickets: 1-80, 2-89, 3-107, 4-131, 5-135, 6-150, 7-158, 8-159.

Did not bat: J. Patel

Bowling: Vaas 4-0-28-0, Maharoof 3-0-30-1, Fernando 3-0-36-0, Muralitharan 4-0-27-2 (2w), Jayasuriya 4-0-21-3 (1w), Jayawardene 1-0-8-0, Silva 1-0-4-1

Sri Lanka

U. Tharanga ct Fleming b Bond 06

S. Jayasuriya not out 51

M. Jayawardene not out 02

Extras: (1lb, 2w) 03

Total for one wicket 62

Overs: 5.5

Fall of wickets: 1-36.

Did not bat: K. Sangakkara, M. Atapattu, C. Kapugedara, C. Silva, C. Vaas, Farveez Maharoof, D. Fernando, M. Muralitharan.

Bowling: Bond 3-0-24-1 (1w), Franklyn 2-0-19-0, Adams 0.5-0-18-0

Man of the Match: Sanath Jayasuriya

-The Island Sports-

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December 23, 2006 - Posted by | South Asia, Sports, Sports News & Opinion, World News

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