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Jayawardene guides Sri Lanka to a 57-run win

Bridgetown: Mahela Jayawardene hammered an unbeaten 56-ball 98 and added 166 runs with Kumar Sangakkara (68) to guide Sri Lanka to a comprehensive 57-run victory over West Indies in their Group F Super Eight match in the Twenty20 cricket World Cup.

Electing to bat first, Sri Lanka rode on Jayawardene`s innings which was laced with nine fours and four sixes and Sangakkara`s 49-ball 68 which included five fours and three sixes to post an imposing 195 for three.

The visitors then returned with a disciplined bowling performance to restrict West Indies to 138 for eight to complete a clinical win at the Kensington Oval.

Dwayne Bravo (23) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (28) ignited some hopes of a successful runchase but once they were gone West Indies looked down the barrel, losing half its side for 100 in 15.3 overs.

For Sri Lanka, Ajantha Mendis and Lasith Malinga scalped three wickets apiece giving away 24 and 28 runs respectively, while Nuwan Kulasekara and Angelo Matthews picked up one each to contribute to the win.

Chasing 196 to win, West Indies started off well with Shivnarine Chanderpaul picking up six and a four in the second over but Angelo Matthews struck in the last ball to remove the opener caught by Chamara Kapugedera at short third man.

One ball later, skipper Chris Gayle, was also sent packing when his leading edge popped up towards extra cover with Mathews completing an easy catch as the Windies were reduced to 23 for two in 2.2 overs.

Dwayne Bravo (23) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (28) then went on a damage control mode and engaged in singles and twos and occasional boundaries to forge a 50-ball 53-run third wicket partnership to keep the Windies in the hunt.

But Lasith Malinga struck in the 11th over, removing Bravo and eight balls later Ajantha Mendis got rid off Sarwan who hit one back to the bowler as West Indies slipped to 82 for four in 12.1 overs.

Andre Fletcher (16), Keiron Pollard (9), Darren Sammy (2) and Wavell Hinds (5) also fall prey to the ever-increasing required run-rate as it was all over for the home team.

Earlier, Jayawardene and Sangakkara exploited the innumerable chances offered by the butterfingered West Indies fielders, who missed a stumping, and catches galore.

The duo involved in powerful hitting and set the tone from the start. Jayawardene specially was unstoppable and was on his way to a much-deserving century but with his teammates going great guns, he eventually was stranded at the other end in the last over.

PTI

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