Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Jayasuriya ton wounds Tigers

Birthday boy smashes quick-fire 130 as Sri Lanka reach final

Sanath Jayasuriya gave himself a birthday to remember as he struck a sublime 130 to guide Sri Lanka into the Asia Cup final with a 158-run win over Bangladesh.

Jayasuriya, 39, raced to his 26th ODI century in just 55 balls as he and Kumar Sangakkara (121) put on a mammoth 201 opening partnership off only 27.5 overs in the scorching Karachi sunshine.

Sangakkara followed up his century against Pakistan 24 hours earlier with an equally impressive knock to help the Lions up to 332-8 before Muttiah Muralitharan claimed his ninth ODI five-wicket haul to restrict Bangladesh to 174 all out.

After winning the toss, Jayasuriya and Sangakkara quickly tucked into some appetising deliveries from the Bangladesh attack and raced to their 50 partnership off just 49 balls.


The left-handed duo continued their assault to all parts of the National Stadium before Jayasuriya's innings - which included 16 fours and six sixes - came to an end after he was caught on the cover boundary off the bowling of Alok Kapali.

Sangakkara continued the momentum throughout the innings, with captain Mahela Jayawardene (20) the only other Sri Lankan batsman contributing to an innings dominated by the openers.

Bangladesh's response took two early knocks when opener Tamim Iqbal (8) and captain Mohammad Ashraful (14) fell cheaply to Chaminda Vaas and Thilan Thshara respectively.

The Tigers fought back bravely through Nazimuddin (47) and Raqibul Hasan (52), however the introduction of Muralitharan soon prompted a quick ending to proceedings.

The Sri Lankan magician finished with figures of 5-31 to complete an emphatic victory and end Bangladesh's feint chances of reaching the final.

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