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Sri Lanka blitz Kenya
14 Sep 2007
By: Richard Dickinson


Sri Lanka produced an astonishing batting performance to re-write the record-books of Twenty20's short history, posting the highest total ever in the format, 260 for 6, and the largest victory by runs, 172, beating the marks held by Somerset, who had made 250 for 3 against Gloucestershire at Taunton in 2006, and Nondescripts CC, who hammered Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club by 142 runs at Bloomfield, Colombo in 2005-06. In the process they assured their qualification for the Super Eight phase.

The chief architects of the massive total were the predictable Sanath Jayasuriya, who smashed a 44-ball 88, and the less expected Jehan Mubarak, who concluded the innings with 46* off 13 balls. Upul Tharanga joined Jayasuriya in an early assault on near enough everything, but his 10 off 11 balls was made to look pedestrian by later events. Kumar Sangakkara played an innings of 30 mostly composed of conventional strokes, but spanning just 18 balls nonetheless. Thomas Odoyo's 3 overs at the start cost a respectable 14, but no-one else offered even a semblance of control. Jayasuriya, despite a start which mixed mishits with clean ones, was soon bludgeoning the ball as only he can, and the wicketkeeper standing up to the stumps failed to curb him in the slightest.

When Sangakkara was bowled trying to sweep Jimmy Kamande, Mahela Jayawardene joined the party. The Kenyans had themselves to blame for allowing him to blossom, as Lameck Onyango and Odoyo collided on the boundary, injuring Odoyo and giving the Sri Lankan captain a life. Jayasuriya was finally dismissed in the 15th over, but Jayawardene went on to 65 from 37 (a strike-rate of 240.74). Chamara Silva and Tillakaratne Dilshan fell cheaply, but Mubarak was in murderous form, firing 5 sixes and 3 fours in his innings. The shell-shocked Kenyans could contemplate one of the most awful sets of bowling-figures in history: Peter Ongondo conceded 53 from 4, Nehemiah Odhiambo 57, Onyango 61, Kamande 48 (despite 3 wickets) and Steve Tikolo's 1 over covering for Odoyo conceded 25.

The Kenyans were never in with a chance at chasing the total down, and a double-strike from Chaminda Vaas, whose 4 overs cost just 15, at the start merely confirmed this. They lost wickets regularly, never found any momentum - David Obuya's 44-ball 27 was more notable for being tortuous than the top-score, and only 2 of his team-mates made double-figures, both with strike-rates under 80 - and eventually subsided to 88 for 9 in the final over. Odoyo did not bat, and the Lankans had earned their second record in three hours' work. They now face New Zealand in a group tie-breaker tomorrow afternoon.

Sri Lanka 260-6 (20 overs)
Sanath Jayasuriya 88, Mahela Jayawardene 65, Jehan Mubarak 46*
James Kamande 3-48

Kenya 88 for 9 (19.3 overs)
Alex Obanda 21, David Obuya 18
Tillakaratne Dilshan 2-4, Lasith Malinga 2-13, Chaminda Vaas 2-15

Sri Lanka won by 172 runs
Cricket Web Man of the Match: Sanath Jayasuriya

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