Jayasuriya brilliance seals win

A blistering century from Sanath Jayasuriya overshadowed Ross Taylor’s fine maiden ton as Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by seven wickets.

Set 286 to win, Sri Lanka got there with ten overs to spare. It was a display a little reminiscent of that at Headingley earlier this year, where they chased 322 in under 40 overs. Once again, they took advantage of mediocre bowling in the Powerplays.

Jayasuriya cut and pulled ruthlessly, taking advantage of the short square boundaries. New Zealand’s bowling was a disaster, lacking Kyle Mills and Shane Bond. The fact that James Franklin was the most economical paceman when his 10 overs went for 69 says it all. Jayasuriya scored 111 from 82 balls, with 12 fours and five sixes in an opening partnership of 201 with Upul Tharanga. This partnership included an amazing spell between overs five and fifteen where 110 runs were added.

Tharanga himself played very nicely for 68 at close to a run a ball. A much quieter innings than Jayasuriya’s, he was happy to let his more experienced partner score most of the runs. Both would fall in consecutive balls, Jayasuriya slashed to third man while Tharanga was caught behind, both off James Franklin. The result was by then a formality though, and Sri Lanka eased home with ten overs and seven wickets to spare.

Earlier, Ross Taylor and Nathan Astle were both on song with the bat to take New Zealand to 285-8. Brought together at 18-1 following the loss of Brendon McCullum, they added 151 in what was the only major partnership of the innings. Taylor, in only his third ODI, sat back at first, as Astle made the most of a let-off. Boundaries flowed off Malinga’s bowling, and soon Taylor got in – hitting three boundaries off a Chaminda Vaas over.

Sri Lanka fielded three seamers, but none of them were bowling particularly well. The introduction of spin helped slow the run rate little, but the run out of Astle was the spark they needed. After that, they were able to bog down the middle and lower order, so none of them were able to provide Ross Taylor with adequate support.

Taylor himself teed off after Astle’s dismissal. He launched two big sixes off Dilshan as he moved towards three figures. He battled cramp late on in the innings, but still managed to take himself to a magnificent unbeaten 128 off 133 balls, with 12 fours and four sixes.

New Zealand 285-8
Ross Taylor 128*, Nathan Astle 83
Chaminda Vaas 3-50, Lasith Malinga 2-66

Sri Lanka 286-3
Sanath Jayasuriya 111, Upul Tharanga 68
James Franklin 2-69

Sri Lanka win by seven wickets

Cricket Web Man of the Match: Sanath Jayasuriya

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