Pallekele: Mahela Jayawardene on Saturday struck a record-equalling sixth half century in World T20 as Sri Lanka virtually assured themselves a semi-final berth with a crushing nine-wicket win over West Indies in their Super Eights match here on Saturday.
Chasing a modest target of 130, Jayawardene struck 65 off 49 balls to guide the hosts to victory with 28 deliveries to spare, after the bowlers set it up with a disciplined effort. This was Sri Lanka’s biggest win in terms of balls left.
Aiding captain Jayawardene in the chase was Kumar Sangakkara (39 off 34), and the two were involved in an unbeaten 108-run partnership for the second wicket, the highest for this wicket in the tournament.
In the process, Jayawardene equalled Chris Gayle’s record of six fifties. It was always going to be a difficult task for the West Indians after they failed to make use of the first strike.
And though Ravi Rampaul had Tillekaratne Dilshan caught behind with a delivery that kicked up on landing, Sri Lanka were always in the driving seat as captain Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara were in the middle.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the match. Match Referee Javagal Srinath imposed the fines after the side was ruled to be one over short of their target.