Jayasuriya's scintillating ton guides SL to 240/7

Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2002, 4:43 [IST]
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Leeds: Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya led from the front with a dashing hundred as his side piled up 240 for seven against England in their triangular series one- day international here at Headingley on Tuesday. Opener Jayasuriya's 112 was all the more impressive as rain had reduced the match to 32 overs per side rather than the usual 50. It was just the tonic Sri Lanka needed as they looked to bounce back after losing their first two games of the series. Dropped twice on his way to three figures, albeit once off a no-ball, Jayasuriya's hundred came off 78 balls including five sixes and six fours.

He was eventually out for 112, caught in the deep by James Kirtley off Matthew Hoggard going for another big hit. Upul Chandana's 30 was the next best score. Darren Gough, playing his first senior match since undergoing knee surgery after injuring himself in the final match of England's one-day series against New Zealand, finished with three for 45 from seven overs. But admist the blazing hitting, Andrew Flintoff stood out from the rest of England's all seam attack, with two for 18 from his seven overs. Both Hoggard (4-0-53-1) and Paul Collingwood (5-0-49-0) especially suffered from Jayasuriya's scything bat.

To the first ball of Gough's second over Kaluwitharana (7) went for a pull shot but spliced the ball to backward point where England captain Nasser Hussain took the catch, Sri Lanka 26 for one. But fellow Yorkshireman Hoggard suffered from the start, his first over going for 19. There had been suggestions that Hoggard would be dropped for this match. However, it was spinner Ashley Giles who was omitted after Hussain won the toss, Gough returning in front of his home crowd.

And it was Gough who almost dismissed dangerman Jayasuriya when on 28 the left- hander edged to Flintoff at second slip with Sri Lanka 44 for one. But umpire Steve Bucknor correctly called no-ball and Jayasuriya survived, adding insult to injury as he carved Gough for a huge six over point. Jayasuriya brought up his fifty with another six, this time off Kirtley.

He had faced just 42 balls including two sixes and six fours but was dropped shortly afterwards by Collingwood at backward point off Andrew Flintoff. And Jayasuriya made England pay with another six off Kirtley. Collingwood also got the same treatment, a full toss sailing over the boundary. England had Atapattu (18) caught by wicket-keeper Alec Stewart off Flintoff to leave Sri Lanka 118 for two in the 17th over. Flintoff alone was keeping the Lankans in check, bowling Mahela Jayawardene (four). But new batsman Avishka Gunawardene then got off the mark with four off Collingwood.

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