Karachi: There was no cake and confetti on view. Yet it was a birthday celebration of a different kind as Sanath Jayasuriya, who turned 39 on Monday, unleashed the party spirit in the only manner he knows — with a blistering hundred!
Jayasuriya’s 130 along with Kumar Sangakkara’s 121 and Muttiah Muralitharan’s five-wicket haul guided Sri Lanka to a 158-run victory over Bangladesh in a STAR Cricket Asia Cup semifinal league match at the National Stadium here on Monday.
Sri Lanka scored 332 for eight in 50 overs and snuffed out Bangladesh for 174 in 38.3 overs. Sri Lanka, with six points in its kitty and just one match to play in the semifinal league, is assured of its final berth while Bangladesh is out of the race.
The Bangladesh innings lacked direction with Raqibul Hassan’s 52 and Nazimuddin’s 47 being lone pockets of resistance.Powerful shots
Earlier, Man of the Match Jayasuriya’s 26th ODI hundred, an exposition of powerful shots backed by a sense of occasion, set a fast tempo after Mahela Jayawardene opted to bat. Jayasuriya’s ton (130, 88b, 16x4, 6x6) was amplified by his opening partner Sangakkara (121, 128b, 16x4, 1x6), who helped himself to his tenth century and third in this tournament.
Jayasuriya cut the first delivery for four off Mortaza and a run feast was laid out. The Matara marauder briefly lost his voice in the second over, a maiden, bowled by Shahadat. The next maiden was bowled by Farhad in the 15th over and they were brief let-me-catch-my-breath moments for Jayasuriya and Sangakkara.
The partnership that yielded 201 runs from 169 deliveries.
Jayasuriya reached his hundred in 55 deliveries, the sixth fastest in ODIs and interestingly the fifth fastest off just 48 balls also belongs to the Sri Lankan. Jayasuriya, after repeatedly finding the fence, found Tamim near the deep cover fence while trying to drill Alok Kapali over the off-side.
Sangakkara, however, continued the good work and his alliance with Jayasuriya ensured that the Sri Lankans had enough in the tank to tide past the meagre 71-run contribution by the next six batsmen.
The tournament after a break on Tuesday will resume with India’s game against Pakistan on Wednesday.