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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 September 2007, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Aggressive Jayasuriya sinks Kiwis
ICC World Twenty20 Group C, Johannesburg:
Sri Lanka 168-3 (18.5 overs) bt New Zealand 164-7 by seven wickets

By Mark Mitchener

Sanath Jayasuriya
Jayasuriya set about the Kiwi opening attack in typical fashion
Sanath Jayasuriya smashed 61 to steer Sri Lanka to a seven-wicket win over New Zealand who had made 164-7 in their World Twenty20 match in Johannesburg.

Jayasuriya tore into the Kiwis, adding 82 with Upul Tharanga (37) and 50 with Mahela Jayawardene (35 not out) before he holed out with the game nearly won.

Ross Taylor had hit 62 for New Zealand and shared fifty stands with Peter Fulton (25) and Jacob Oram (33no).

Both sides have already qualified for the Super Eight phase.

After Kiwi skipper Daniel Vettori had won the toss, Dilhara Fernando (2-30) had openers Brendon McCullum and Lou Vincent both caught in the deep, before Fulton and Taylor put on 70 for the third wicket.

When Fulton fell, the Kiwis were 95-3 in the 11th over, but soon lost Scott Styris, who fell lbw reverse-sweeping, and Craig McMillan, who was run out, as three wickets fell for seven runs.

Pace bowler Lasith Malinga - held back until the 13th over - eventually had Taylor caught behind after the right-handed bat had added 51 with Oram, who stayed on to help them post what they hoped would be a defendable total, which included seven sixes.

Ross Taylor
Taylor struck three huge sixes on his way to making 62 for the Kiwis
But Tharanga and Jayasuriya set about new-ball pair Shane Bond and Chris Martin in brutal fashion, clubbing boundaries at will while the fielding restrictions were still in place.

Jayasuriya survived one golden chance on 40 when he hoisted Mark Gillespie to mid-on, and was already walking off when Bond spilled a simple chance.

Vettori's left-arm spin finally made the breakthrough in the eighth over, with Martin showing Bond how to hold an outfield catch, but by then Sri Lanka were already nearly halfway to their target.

Styris had Kumar Sangakkara (14) caught on the midwicket boundary, but Jayawardene survived an early run-out chance to join Jayasuriya in feasting on the Kiwi bowlers.

Although Jayasuriya was eventually caught by Fulton at deep midwicket to give Vettori a second wicket with seven runs still needed after a well-paced innings, Jayawardene and Chamara Silva closed out the victory with seven balls to spare.

As group stage points are not taken through to the Super Eight phase, where the fixtures are predetermined rather than dependant on where teams finish in their group, the match had no statistical bearing on the tournament whatsoever.

But Sri Lanka will be pleased to have scored another psychological blow against the team they beat in the World Cup semi-finals earlier this year.


  • Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene:
    "Our fielding wasn't quite up to scratch, but we had to make sure we bowled in the right areas.

    "Dilhara Fernando and Lasith Malinga bowled well - they've been in the team for the last two years so hopefully they can use their experience now.

    "We need to keep playing like this as it can be very difficult in Twenty20."

  • New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori:
    "We thought we could defend our score if we bowled well, but we bowled poorly.

    "Dilhara Fernando bowled a good length for them, but we consistently missed our lengths.

    "We also missed a couple of chances in the field which could have cost us the game in the end."

    SEE ALSO
    Sri Lanka cruise to a record win
    14 Sep 07 |  Cricket
    New Zealand thrash hapless Kenya
    12 Sep 07 |  Cricket


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