WC 2003 - Atapattu slams ton to guide Lanka to 256 for five
Published: Saturday, March 15, 2003, 23:11 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Sri Lanka wins toss against Zimbabwe, elects to bat
East London: Marvan Atapattu carried his bat through with an unbeaten century as Sri Lanka made 256 for five against Zimbabwe in a match it must win to enter the World Cup semi-finals.Atapattu hit 103 not out, his 10th One-day International century after Sri Lanka, electing to take first strike, appeared to have fallen behind with only 140 runs in 35 overs.Kumar Sangakkara lifted the scoring rate by hammering 35 off 25 balls after being dropped at deep mid-wicket by Douglas Hondo off Sean Ervine when he was on six.Sri Lanka will qualify for Tuesday's semi-final against Australia in Port Elizabeth if it wins. If it loses, New Zealand will take the final berth in the last four.Sri Lanka struggled at the start of its innings against steady bowling by Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak and Andy Blignaut, who bowled throughout the first 15 overs as Sri Lanka laboured to 52 for one.Skipper Sanath Jayasuriya was the first to go, caught behind off Streak for Atapattu and left-hander Avishka Gunawardena, who was picked ahead of out-of-form Mahela Jayawardene, put on 83 for the second wicket to provide a solid foundation to the innings.Atapattu shared stands of 53 with Aravinda de Silva (25) and 52 with Sangakkara before reaching his century off the third ball of the final over of the innings after facing 125 balls.He hit seven fours. His only chance came at the end when he skied Hondo off the last ball of the innings but was dropped by wicket-keeper Tatendu Taibu.Streak was Zimbabwe's most successful bowler, taking two for 40 in 10 overs.