Jayawardene hits ton as Sri Lanka score 332/7 against Canada

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Hambantota (Sri Lanka), Feb 20 (PTI) Mahela Jayawardene''sagressive century and an equally impressive knock from skipperKumar Sangakkara propelled Sri Lanka to a formidable 332 forseven in their World Cup opening match against Canada heretoday.

Batting first after winning the toss, Jayawardeneplundered 100 runs off just 81 deliveries, his second WorldCup ton, while Sangakkara struck an 87-ball 92 afterTillakaratne Dilshan (50) kick-started Sri Lanka''s campaignin the tournament with a solid half-century at the MahindaRajapaksha International Cricket Stadium.

The experienced left-right duo of Jayawardene-Sangakkarascored runs briskly and added 179 runs in just 22 overs for athird-wicket stand that put the hosts -- who surprisingly leftout express bowler Lasith Malinga from the eleven -- in thedriving seat.

Jayawardne, who had 671 runs from 25 World Cup matchesbefore today, got out after reaching his 12th ODI hundred, butSangakkara was a little unlucky to have missed the landmark byjust eight runs.

While Jayawardene hit nine boundaries and a six,Sangakkara found the fence seven times and cleared it onceduring their 179-run association, a commendable effortconsidering the sluggish pitch and the long boundaries.

A swept boundary off Rizwan Cheema signalledJayawardene''s intentions, who looked all at ease during hisstay at the crease.

The elegant right-hander then hit Jimmy Hansra for a fourin the 26th over, before Sangakkara whipped one off the samebowler over wide mid-on for a boundary.

The Sri Lankan skipper reached his fifty in style,pulling Harvir Baidwan over the infield for a four.

Earlier Dilshan launched Sri Lanka''s innings in a styleso typical of him.

The dashing Sri Lankan opener began with an awkwardboundary off Henry Osinde and then thumped Khurram Chohan''sinnocous half-volley through extra cover for a similar result.

Chohan was again at the wrong end of Dilshan''s onslaughtwhen the opener, after a brief interruption due to sightscreenproblems, smashed a length ball through the covers.

Even as Dilshan continued to dominate the relativelyinexperienced Canadian attack, his opening partner UpulTharanga (19) got into the groove with an off-drive off Chohanbut fell after getting a start, thanks to a horrible mix-upbetween the two batsmen.

Thanks to Dilshan, Sri Lanka scored 54 runs withoutlosing a wicket in the mandatory powerplay, the 50 coming in9.3 overs. The next powerplay, though, proved to be fruitfulfor Canada who conceded just 19 runs while taking a wicket.

A short ball from Baidwan in the 14th over helped Dilshanjoin the ODI 5000-run club. The bowler lands one outside offstump and Dilshan was on it in a jiffy, cracking it throughthe off side.

Dilshan holed out to deep cover while trying to go forone too many. Cheema landed one short and outside off, and agleeful Dilshan went for it but failed to clear deep fielder.

His departure, however, did not slow down Sri Lankanprogress as Jayawardene and Sangakkara kept the scoreboardmoving at a healthy pace.

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