Friday, December 22, 2006

Sri Lanka, Sanath Jayasuriya and rain win the day

Sri Lanka, Sanath Jayasuriya and rain win the day

Sanath Jayasuriya enjoyed a field day at Wellington's Westpac Stadium, picking up three key wickets as Sri Lanka derailed New Zealand's batting onslaught, and then playing a blitzkrieg of an innings to propel his side to an 18-run Duckworth-Lewis victory. Rain forced everyone off the field with one delivery left in the sixth over of Sri Lanka's chase of 163, just as Jayasuriya slammed Andre Adams for 18 in four balls. With no respite in sight, Sri Lanka were declared winners based on their excellent run rate, despite being 101 runs adrift of their target.
Jayasuriya set off in manic fashion, slamming 51 from 23 deliveries. By the time Shane Bond removed Upul Tharanga for six, Jayasuriya had raced away to 27 from 15 deliveries with a brutal attack on Bond and James Franklin. Adams, in his first over in New Zealand colours since October 2005, was welcomed with the following greeting: four over backward point, four through square leg, six over wide long-on, and four more through extra cover. It was just as well that rain intervened, from Adams's perspective.
Led by their spinners, Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka clawed their way back into the first of the two Twenty20s to restrict New Zealand to 162. After taking a solid hammering from Stephen Fleming and Brendon McCullum - 80 runs were added in just over seven overs - Murali and Jayasuriya turned the game on its head with some controlled bowling and waited for the hosts to hit the self-destruct button.

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