02 d’abril, 2007

Cricket ...l'esport d'un imperi. Fútbol ... el circens dels babaus


World Cup hosts West Indies fell to their third successive defeat as a superb century from Sanath Jayasuriya led Sri Lanka to a 113-run victory in their Super Eights game on Sunday.

West Indies, beaten by Australia and New Zealand in their opening two matches, no longer have their destiny in their own hands and are relying on other results
going their way if they are to have any hope of reaching the semi-finals.

Scorecard

Jayasuriya, who hit 10 fours and four sixes as he struck 115 in 101 balls, was ably supported by captain Mahela Jayawardene who made 82 as the pair put on 183 for the third wicket.

The West Indies never recovered from the early losses of Chris Gayle, Dwayn
e Bravo and captain Brian Lara as they fell to 42 for three. Guyanese pairing Shivnarine Chanderpaul (76) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (44) put on a 92-run partnership but their run-rate was too slow to leave the lower order with any real chance of making the target and Jayasuriya added to his fine display by claiming three wickets with the ball.

Once again, Lara's side were comprehensively outclassed in every department -- including in the field where the zesty approach of the Sri Lankans contrasted with the languid appearance of the West Indians.

The West Indies captain has lamented the failure of his frontline batsmen to deliver match-winning innings and Jayasuriya delivered an example of the kind of prolonged concentration and effective strokeplay Lara has been pleading for.



The day had begun promisingly for the 12,208 crowd, when opening bowler Daren Powell gained an early breakthrough, clean bowling Upul Tharanga to make it 18 for one.

Then recalled left-arm seamer Ian Bradshaw justified his return when he tempted Kumar Sangakkara into an edge which Denesh Ramdin snaffled up.



Aggressive stroke play


Sri Lanka were struggling at 35 for two but then, as so often, Jayasuriya took a grip on the game with his punchy and aggressive stroke play.

Medium pacer Dwayne Smith came in for some particular punishment, going for 18 in one over, with Jayasuriya crashing three fours and a six.

In the process the 37-year-old Sri Lankan overtook Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq to become the second highest run scorer in one day cricket after Sachin Tendulkar.

Along with some patient support from skipper Jayawardene, Jayasuriya rattled up his 25th one day international century in 86 balls as the West Indian seamers caused him little trouble.

Lara's charges looked short on motivation and confidence in the field and his bowling attack lacked penetration with the Sri Lankan pair choosing their own tempo for run-making.
When Powell finally broke through, a tired Jayasuriya playing on, the 1996 world champions had reached 218 with 11 overs to go and were well poised for a large total. Chamara Silva joined Jayawardene and took the total on to 251 before Dwayne Bravo dismissed the Sri Lanka captain with a yorker.

Tillakaratne Dilshan brought up the 300 in style off the last ball of the innings when he spotted Bravo's slower ball and despatched it into the stands.
Lara attempted to give the reply some early momentum by sending in the attack-minded Bravo to open with Gayle but once again the captain's attempt to halt the drift towards defeat was in vain.

The three early losses, including Lara's own wicket as he was superbly stumped by Kumar Sangakkara off left-arm seamer Chaminda Vaas, left Chanderpaul and Sarwan to rebuild but in doing so they fell heavily behind the pace required.

Chanderpaul, the only West Indian to have made a century in the tournament, showed his talent again with five sixes in his innings but once he had lost Sarwan, just as the pair threatened to up the tempo, a struggle turned to surrender as the middle and lower order collapsed - the last seven wickets going for just 56 runs.

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