Sri Lanka crushed Bermuda by 243 runs to claim the second-biggest victory in World Cup history on Thursday. Not a bad start for the 1996 champions.
Pace bowlers Farveez Maharoof and Lasith Malinga ripped through Bermuda's inexperienced batting order, bundling it out for 78 in 24.4 overs after half-centuries by skipper Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara helped Sri Lanka to 321 for six. Sri Lanka's victory margin is next only to the 256-run win for Australia against Namibia in the 2003 World Cup.
Bermuda, the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup, also faced the prospect of being bundled out for the lowest total in limited-overs internationals, but averted that through the resistance of its lower-order batsmen led by Lionel Cann.
When Bermuda slumped to 29 for six, it was in danger of finishing below Canada's 36 against Sri Lanka in 2003 as the smallest total ever at the World Cup. Zimbabwe's 35 against Sri Lanka in 2004 is the lowest total in all limited-overs internationals. Cann top-scored with a cameo 28 before he was the ninth man out. Opener Clay Smith fell for a duck in the first over from Chaminda Vaas before paceman Malinga (3-10) dismissed Saleem Mukuddem (0), David Hemp (14) and Irving Romaine (zero) in a five-over burst.
Maharoof returned the best figures of 4-23, removing Oliver Pitcher (6), Dean Minors (4), Delyone Borden (6) and finishing his fine spell by having Cann caught behind by Sangakkara. Cann's 32-ball knock included three boundaries and a huge six over the mid-on fence off ace spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. The amateur cricketers had occasions to celebrate earlier in the morning, reduced Sri Lanka to 78 for two in 12 overs before Jayawardene (85) and Sangakkara (76) added 150 runs for the third wicket.
Seamer Mukuddem had opener Sanath Jayasuriya (22) caught by Pitcher at point and Kevin Hurdle got over his early nerves to induce an edge off Upul Tharanga (30) to wicketkeeper Minors, giving Bermuda reason to celebrate.
That was short-lived. Jayawardene was dropped at slip before he had scored, and then spearheaded Sri Lanka's recovery. Jayawardene posted his 35th ODI 50, benefiting from two dropped catches _ both by the burly Bermuda policeman Dwayne Leverock. Jayawardene struck two sixes and six boundaries off 90 deliveries, while Sangakkara's 83-ball knock contained six fours. Sangakkara slammed his 37th ODI 50 and fell trying to swing left-arm spinner Leverock over the mid-wicket fence, where Janeiro Tucker took a fine catch on the boundary line.
Jayawardene was snapped by a diving Tucker at mid-wicket off medium-pacer Cann.
Bermuda paceman Hurdle struggled early, starting the World Cup with a no-ball. He overstepped again to end the first over but what happened in his second over _ the third of the innings _ brought him close to the dubious World Cup distinction of conceding the most runs in an over.
Hurdle bowled five no-balls and three wides in a 14-ball over that cost him 24 runs _ two short of Namibia bowler Rudi van Vuuren's record against Australia at Potchefstroom in 2003. Hurdle came back to claim 2-61, dismissing Tharanga and Tillekeratne Dilshan (12).
Mukuddem added the wicket of Maharoof (9) to emerge as the most successful of Bermuda's bowlers with 2-50.
Bermuda: IH Romaine, DCC Borden, LOB Cann, DL Hemp, KAD Hurdle, MO Jones, SKW Kelly, RDM Leverock, DA Minors, S Mukuddem, SD Outerbridge, OL Pitcher, CJ Smith, JJ Tucker, KL Tucker.
Sri Lanka: DPMD Jayawardene, RP Arnold, MS Atapattu, CM Bandara, TM Dilshan, CRD Fernando, ST Jayasuriya, KMDN Kulasekara, MF Maharoof, SL Malinga, M Muralitharan, KC Sangakkara, LPC Silva, WU Tharanga, WPUJC Vaas.