Now we know it was no flash in the pan. Sanath Jayasuriya, the barnstorming showstealer of the World Cup, scored the fastest century in the history of one-day international cricket in a truly amazing game of cricket against Pakistan in Singapore yesterday.
The left-hander took 48 balls to reach his century, broke two other records on the way and contributed to another landmark into the bargain. Just for the record, Sri Lanka, the recently crowned world champions, beat Pakistan by 34 runs in the opening round of the Singer Cup in Singapore.
Besides scoring the fastest century, overtaking Mohammed Azharuddin's previous best of 62 balls against New Zealand in 1989, Jayasuriya tossed in 11 sixes in his 134, for record No2 - the most in a one-day international innings, and for record No3 he took 29 runs off one Aamir Sohail over, the highest in a single over in an international limited-overs match.
Small wonder the Sri Lankans were able to reach 349 for 5 in their 50 overs.
Jayasuriya himself was not aware of any of his records as he broke them. "I played my normal game and got runs," he said. "I saw the ball early today and I believed in myself."
The game followed a pattern familiar to all World Cup watchers - total carnage from the first ball as Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana indulged in a 15 runs per over feeding frenzy.
It did not last long, but then it did not really have to. Kaluwitharana was out to the last ball of the third over, by which time he made made 24 from the 10 balls he faced and the score was already up to 45.
The tone had been set, although the Sri Lankans did slow down to a mere gallop as Jayasuriya and Asankha Gurusinha put on 156 runs in 18 overs for the second wicket before Jayasuriya was out, driving, in the 21st over. Gurusinha departed almost immediately for 29 in the same over. Sri Lanka lost wickets regularly for the rest of the innings, but the show was still not quite over - Kumara Dharmasena, batting at No 8, contributed a career-best 51 to post what looked an invincible total.
Pakistan's response was an innings almost as exhilarating as Sri Lanka's - their 315 was built around 67 from Inzamam-ul-Haq and 68 from Salim Malik.
It meant the whole match had yielded a total of 664 runs. Surprisingly enough, this too was a one-day record.
SINGER CUP (Singapore): Sri Lanka 345-5 (S Jayasuriya 134, K Dharmasena 51; Waqar Younis 4-62). Pakistan 315 (Salim Malik 68, Inzamam-ul-Haq 67). Sri Lanka won by 34 runs.Reuse content