Jayawardene’s blitz buries Canada
Sri Lanka, riding on Mahela Jayawardene's second century in three Cup innings, piled up 332 for seven to virtually take the game out of Canada's reach. Canada, in reply, folded for 122 in the 37th over, to hand the hosts victory by 210 runs. Amol Karhadkar reports.india Updated: Feb 20, 2011 23:55 IST
They came from all parts of the Emerald Isles to witness the first-ever international tie in one of the least developed regions. More than those from Colombo and Kandy, the day belonged to the locals, who poured in large numbers into either sides of the grand stand at the newly-built Mahinda Rajapakse International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
While the carnival mood gripped the Sri Lankan batsmen, who plundered runs off a mediocre Canada attack in their opening World Cup game, the unfancied side's only consolation was that it fared much better than Kenya had at the hands of New Zealand in Chennai.
Once the Sinhalese version of the Cup anthem was played, the east and west stands erupted in a roar and the noise never stopped till the end of the first innings.
Sri Lanka, riding on Mahela Jayawardene's (100) second century in three Cup innings, piled up 332 for seven to virtually take the game out of Canada's reach. Canada, in reply, folded for 122 in the 37th over, to hand the hosts victory by 210 runs.
Jayawardene, who had scored an unbeaten century in the semifinal of the 2007 Cup against New Zealand in the Caribbean, led the Lankan charge with a 179-run stand for the third wicket with skipper Kumar Sangakkara (92).
The blazing sun added to Canada's misery - Henry Osinde and Tyson Gordon were forced into the dressing room with cramp.
The organizers at least lightened the mood for the fans by opening the gates late into Sri Lanka's innings.
Though the result was a given, Sri Lanka gave a glimpse of their strong batting line-up, albeit against one of the weakest bowling attacks.
Pacer Lasith Malinga was rested due to a mild back strain, but is expected to be fit to face Pakistan in Colombo on Saturday.