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ICC World T20 West Indies vs Sri Lanka: Mahela Magic Leave Windies Spellbound

By on May 8, 2010

Sri Lanka 195 for 3 (Jayawardene 98*, Sangakkara 68) beat West Indies 138 for 8 by 57 runs…

Mahela Jaywardene’s superb form at the World Twenty20 continued as he made an unbeaten 98 in Sri Lanka’s 57-run win over the West Indies in the Super Eights on Friday.

The opener’s entrancing innings at the Kensington Oval was the centrepiece of Sri Lanka’s total of 195 for three – the best by any side this tournament.

But the West Indies helped last year’s losing finalists greatly by missing six chances during a wretched fielding display as they lost for the first time this tournament.

Jayawardene, given two reprieves, faced 56 balls with four sixes and nine fours as he followed up his 81 against New Zealand and 100 against Zimbabwe with another dominant innings.

The former captain’s average for the tournament now stands at a scarcely credible 139.5.

Jayawardene was joined in a stand of 166, the second best in all Twenty20 internationals by captain Kumar Sangakkara, who made 68 after being dropped on nought and 27.

Only Loots Bosman and Graeme Smith, with 170 for South Africa against England at Centurion last year, have enjoyed a bigger stand at this level.

West Indies lost two wickets early on as Shivnarine Chanderpaul and hard-hitting captain Chris Gayle both fell cheaply, with Sri Lanka holding their catches as the hosts slumped to 23 for two.

The innings never really recovered from that double blow and West Indies limped to 138 for eight off 20 overs.

Ramnaresh Sarwan (28) and Dwayne Bravo (23) were the only batsmen to pass 16 in an innings where extras was the third-best contributor with 17.

Spinner Ajantha Mendis took three wickets for 24 runs from his maximum four overs and paceman Lasith Malinga three for 28.

Senior spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, back in the side after recovering from a groin injury which officials feared might end his participation in this tournament, took none for 26 from four overs but his presence in the team was a huge boost to Sri Lanka regardless of his figures in this match.

After Sanath Jayasuriya fell cheaply, having being promoted back to his old opening slot, Gayle set the tone for what followed by dropping rival skipper Sangakkara, on nought, when he grassed a slip chance, despite getting both hands to the ball after an edge off paceman Jerome Taylor

Left-hander Sangakkara, who won the toss, was given another let-off when Kieron Pollard failed to hold a tough caught and bowled chance.

Sangakkara eventually holed out having faced 49 balls with three sixes and five fours.

Jayawardene, enjoying a new lease of life as a Twenty20 opener, showed his class early on when he advanced to loft fast bowler Taylor for six over long-on.

But he too was given a couple of lives, with left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn the unfortunate bowler on both occasions.

Jayawardene, on 65, was well beaten by a Benn delivery, only for occasional wicketkeeper Andre Fletcher to miss the stumping.

And, in the same over, Jayawardene had added only one to his score when a top-edge was skied behind but neither Fletcher nor short third man Wavell Hinds went for the catch and the ball fell safe.

No-one has yet made two Twenty20 international hundreds but the unselfish Jayawardene refused to hog the strike in the last over as Tillakaratne Dilshan ended the innings with a four.

Both teams are back here on Sunday, with the West Indies playing India and Sri Lanka facing Australia, who thrashed the Indians by 49 runs earlier Thursday.

Source: NDTV Cricket

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