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Lanka open with crushing victory

 HAMBANTOTA, Feb 20 (PTI): Mahela Jayawardene scored the fastest century by a Sri Lankan in World Cup as the hosts crushed a hapless Canada by 210 runs to open their campaign in the mega event in grand style, here today.

Riding on Jaywardene’s 81-ball 100 and skipper Kumar Sangakkara’s 87-ball 92, Sri Lanka rattled up a huge 332 for seven after winning the toss and then skittled out the minnows for just 122 with 13.1 overs to spare.

Canada were never in the chase after losing three wickets in the first four overs at a score of 12 as the Lankan bowlers toyed with the batting line-up of their rivals at the Mahinda Rajapaksha International Cricket Stadium.

Rizwan Cheema (37) was the top scorer for Canada as only four of their batsmen could mange the double digit score. Cheema’s fiery knock came off just 35 balls with four fours and two sixes.

Skipper Ashish Bagai was the only other batsman who defied the Lankan bowlers to some extent as he made 22 runs off 47 balls.

Lankan pace duo of Nuwan Kulasekara (3/16) and Thisara Perera (3/24) rocked the Canada top order with a fiery opening spell and shared six wickets between them to contribute in team’s easy win.

Spin ace Muttiah Muralitharan, who stifled the Canadian innings in the middle overs along with colleague Ajantha Mendis and part time slow bowlers, took two wickets at the expense of 38 runs in nine overs.

Earlier, Jayawardene plundered 100 runs off just 81 deliveries, his second World Cup ton, while Sangakkara struck 92 after Tillakaratne Dilshan (50) kick-started Sri Lanka’s campaign in the tournament with a solid half-century.

The experienced left-right duo of Jayawardene-Sangakkara scored briskly and added 179 runs in just 22 overs for a third-wicket stand that put the hosts – who surprisingly left out express bowler Lasith Malinga from the final eleven – in the driving seat.

Jayawardne, who had 671 runs from 25 World Cup matches before today, got out after reaching his 12th ODI hundred, but Sangakkara was a little unlucky to have missed the landmark by just eight runs.

SCORECARD

Sri Lanka: U Tharanga run out 19, T Dilshan c Davison b R Cheema 50, K Sangakkara c and b Davison 92, M Jayawardene c B Rao b Davison 100, T Perera run out 11, A Mathews c and b Baidwan 21, C Kapugedera c N Kumar b Baidwan 2, T Samaraweera not out 18, N Kulasekara not out 7. Extras: (LB-3, WD-8, NB-1) 12. Total: (For 7 wickets in 50 overs) 332. Fall of wickets: 1-63, 2-88, 3-267, 4-276, 5-284, 6-295, 7-314. Bowling: Khurram Chohan 8-0-62-0, H Osinde 2.1-0-10-0, HS Baidwan 8.5-0-59-2, AS Hansra 9-0-47-0, Rizwan Cheema 7-0-47-1, W Balaji Rao 7-0-48-0, J Davison 8-0-56-2.

Canada: Gunasekera c Dilshan b Kulasekara 1, Davison b Perera 0, Surkari lbw b Perera 6, Hansra st Sangakkara b Samaraweera 9, Bagai c Sangakkara b Perera 22, Rizwan Cheema c Jayawardene b Muralitharan 37, Gordon c Sangakkara b Kulasekara 4, Khurram Chohan c Sangakkara b Kulasekara 4, Baidwan not out 16, Balaji Rao c Tharanga b Muralitharan 6, Osinde b Mendis 4. Extras: (lb 8, w 4, nb 1) 13. Total (10 wickets; 36.5 overs) 122. Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-8, 3-12, 4-42, 5-53, 6-68, 7-74, 8-103, 9-111, 10-122. Bowling : Kulasekara 6-2-16-3, Perera 7-0-24-3, Mendis 7.5-3 18-1, Muralitharan 9-0-38-2, TM Dilshan 5-0-14-0, Samaraweera 2-0-4-1.

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