Jayasuriya hits 99 in Sri Lanka 295-run spree


COLOMBO, Reuters

Captain Sanath Jayasuriya struck 99 as Sri Lanka amassed 295 for five against India in their triangular tournament final on Sunday.

Jayasuriya, who elected to bat, hit 11 fours in his 102-ball knock but was dismissed when he pushed occasional off-spinner Virender Sehwag straight to Saurav Ganguly at short mid-wicket.

He shared in a 104-run stand for the third wicket with Mahela Jayawardene, who scored 57 off 80 deliveries.

Russel Arnold, who added a 45-ball 52, and Romesh Kaluwitharana (31 not out), added to India’s woes as 76 came from the last 10 overs. Jayasuriya and left-hander Avishka Gunawardene had given Sri Lanka an explosive start with 71-run opening partnership.

Jayasuriya began the onslaught by flicking left-arm fast bowler Ashish Nehra to fine leg for four and then drove him through the covers. He then cracked left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan to the cover fence and pulled him to mid-wicket for consecutive boundaries. He raised his third fifty of the tournament off 47 balls, pulling Sehwag to the mid-wicket fence.

Batting with a runner in the latter part of his knock due to cramp, he had a life on 71 when he lofted left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh to long-off where Zaheer misjudged a simple chance, failing to get a hand on the ball.

Gunawardene scored 34 off 31 balls but offered a difficult chance on eight when he edged Zaheer between wicketkeeper Sameer Dighe and a diving Vangipurappu Laxman at slip. He was finally trapped lbw by a straight delivery from off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.

Marvan Atapattu was out for five driving Sehwag straight to Ganguly at cover and Jayawardene was lbw to Harbhajan when he misjudged the line while going for a reverse sweep.

India beat Sri Lanka twice in three games in the round-robin stage. New Zealand was the third team in the tournament.