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Last Updated:  Monday, 10 February, 2003, 19:27 GMT

Jayasuriya celebrates landmark ton
Sanath Jayasuriya hits out against New Zealand
Jayasuriya made 120 off 125 balls

Sanath Jayasuriya was the toast of Sri Lanka after leading his side to victory over New Zealand in their opening game.

Captain Jayasuriya hit a sparkling 120 as the Sri Lankans completed a comfortable 47-run victory at Goodyear Park.

It was the opener's 16th one-day hundred but his first in four World Cup appearances.

"I was very pleased to do that today, not for me but for the team," he said.

"You are obviously a little nervous when you are playing the first game of a World Cup.

"Earlier on I was a little tense but after five or six overs I thought I had to play a long innings and I played positive cricket."

Jayasuriya was unusually subdued early on and survived an appeal for caught behind and two missed chances by New Zealand wicketkeeper Lou Vincent in his 125-ball innings.

This first match was a very important game for both sides - almost a double-pointer
Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore

"I thought he had to work pretty hard at times during the innings but he played a very patient game today," said Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore.

"We're all used to seeing Sanath hit it to all parts.

"But it wasn't until the ninth or 10th over that he played one of his trademark shots so from that point of view he is able to once again show he is able to get a hundred without whacking a 50 in the first 10 or 15 overs.

"When he does that, more times than not the teams wins... and I'm just glad he's on my team."

Sri Lanka's victory left them in a strong position to make the next stage of the competition as New Zealand plan to forfeit their match in Kenya because of security fears.

"This first match was a very important game for both sides - it's almost a double-pointer," said Whatmore.

"Now it gives us a real chance to play a couple of more matches before we strike teams like the West Indies."

Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya
"I knew I had to play a long, positive innings"

Have Your Say on New Zealand
10 Feb 03 |  Have Your Say
Have Your Say on Sri Lanka
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say

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