Jayawardene century too much for Canada

Sri Lanka 332-7 Canada 122
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The Independent Online

Mahela Jayawardene was the "real star" of his side's 210-run victory against Canada in their World Cup opener, according to Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara.

The Lions put themselves in charge from the beginning as Jayawardene's century off just 81 balls laid the foundation – after opener Tillakaratne Dilshan's 50 – which was backed up by a 179-run third-wicket stand he shared with Sangakkara (92).

The 333-run target was always likely to prove too tough for minnows Canada and so it proved as their top half crumbled for 53 – with Thisara Perera and Nuwan Kulasekara grabbing three wickets apiece – and they eventually ended with just 122 on the board.

Wicketkeeper Sangakkara himself finished with three catches and a stumping to complete a superb individual performance, but the skipper believed it was the batting that paved the way for the seventh largest World Cup win.

"It was all set up by the openers," Sangakkara said. "They batted very well. Dilshan got a half-century but unfortunately couldn't kick on. But the real star was Mahela Jayawardene; it was very easy to bat with him. Once we got that foundation and that solidity, we were able to launch and go beyond 300."

Canada, on the other hand, were in no doubt as to the enormity of the challenge even before a ball had been bowled, but skipper Ashish Bagai was happy to be taking a few positives. "It was always going to be a tough task," he said. "But I thought we bowled well in the first 26 overs where we managed to keep them under five runs an over – and then two world class players took the game away from us."