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Page last updated at 21:05 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 22:05 UK

Mahela Jayawardene helps Sri Lanka beat West Indies

ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights, Barbados: Sri Lanka 195-3 (20 overs) beat West Indies 138-8 (20 overs) by 57 runs
Match scorecard

Kumar Sangakkara (left) and Mahela Jayawardene
Sangakkara and Jayawardene put on the highest partnership of the tournament

By Harry Reekie

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara shared the tournament's highest stand as Sri Lanka breezed past hosts West Indies at the ICC World Twenty20.

The pair put on 166 for the second wicket to inspire the highest total so far at the event - 195-3 - with Jayawardene (98) just missing a ton.

West Indies hopes rested on captain Chris Gayle but he fell for only five.

Dwayne Bravo and Ramnaresh Sarwan battled but the hosts could only manage 138-8 in Barbados and lost by 57 runs.

It was a professional job by the Sri Lanka bowlers but opener Jayawardene was firmly the star of the show once again, adding another brilliant innings to individual knocks of 81 and 100 already in the tournament.

The quietly spoken right-hander has now scored over 100 runs more than any other player in the competition - an incredible feat in such a compact format and with only three games played.

606: DEBATE

And with Sangakkara also making a welcome return to form, Sri Lanka have joined Australia - and arguably England - as a team to beat in the West Indies.

Such batting exploits even threatened to overshadow the shock return to action of Muttiah Muralitharan, who had supposedly been ruled out of the entire tournament because of a groin injury.

Not that the spinner was ever called upon for any magic during another under-par batting effort from Gayle's team, who now face a clash with fellow strugglers India on Sunday after their heavy loss to Australia.

Another Sri Lanka veteran made a comeback of sorts - Sanath Jayasuriya - who was promoted to opener after coming in at eight against Zimbabwe.

But the 40-year-old did not enjoy his reunion with the new ball. Jerome Taylor had the left-hander in all sorts of trouble early on but just failed to make the breakthrough.

Kemar Roach was more successful, teasing Jayasuriya into a pull that looped to Taylor at leg gully, although the same bowler was left fuming moments later when Gayle shelled a diving chance at slip that would have removed Sangakkara.

That drop proved crucial as the left-hander made the most of his reprieve by finding some welcome form and establishing a platform alongside the superb Jayawardene.

Chris Gayle walks off
Gayle was unable to produce any batting heroics for the West Indies

The pair eased to a century partnership in only 63 balls with a dazzling array of strokeplay, with Jayawardene bringing up his third 50 of the tournament - following half-centuries against New Zealand and Zimbabwe - with a Tillakaratne Dilshan-esque scoop over the wicketkeeper.

The Windies were completely unable to slow the run rate in an under-par display of bowling, while a mix-up between wicketkeeper Andre Fletcher and Wavell Hinds that allowed a top edge from Jayawardene to drop to the ground two yards from the stumps was truly laughable.

The Sri Lanka batsmen once again made the most of the let-off by bringing up the 150-partnership and recording the highest stand of the tournament so far in an imposing total.

"Whatever the role you're given, you back yourself to contribute," said Jayawardene, who normally bats in the middle order.

"Opening the batting gives you more time and it suits my game."

Gayle, meanwhile, was at a loss to explain his team's inept fielding.

"We had our chances, but we put them down. I can't say why our fielding was so bad, we have worked extremely hard on it," he said.

The 'Gayle' factor once again became the only genuine source of optimism among the home fans as the Windies set about their reply but the skipper and crowd favourite lasted until only the third over before he sliced a simple catch to Angelo Mathews at cover for five.

Fellow opener Shivnarine Chanderpaul (11) had already skied one to short third man in the previous over and despite brave efforts from Bravo (23) and Sarwan (28), the Windies were never in any position to compete.

Ajantha Mendis (3-24) and Lasith Malinga (3-28) both finished with three wickets in a comprehensive victory.



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see also
World Twenty20 day eight photos
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Australia crush India in Barbados
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Dynamic England beat South Africa
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Pietersen shines in England win
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South Africa see off New Zealand
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ICC World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Cricket
Women's World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Women's cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
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