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June 22, 2011
Sri Lankans 351 for 5 beat Worcestershire 294 by 57 runs
Sanath Jayasuriya warmed up for the upcoming series against England by making 78 from 60 balls to help Sri Lanka to a 57-run win over Worcestershire.
Jayasuriya has not played an ODI since December 2009 but had been recalled to the side on the direction of the Sri Lanka government for the Twenty20 at Bristol and subsequent first ODI at The Oval before he retires. It's a move that has been criticised in many quarters and it's understood that senior players in the Sri Lanka squad are deeply unhappy about the decision to allow Jayasuriya back into the team.
He will, however, be buoyed by the performance, which included 10 fours and three sixes. Angelo Mathews, on his return from injury, made 81 and Jeevan Mendis contributed a rapid, unbeaten 99 as the runs flowed at New Road.
Having posted 351, Sri Lanka could have expected to cruise to victory but received a major fright from Moeen Ali, who made a career-best 136 from 90 balls. At one stage Worcestershire were 229 with 20 overs left and Moeen still at the crease but ended up losing their last seven wickets for 61 in 12.5 overs.
Matthews' return from a leg injury will be significant for the rest of the ODI tour. He has been a key component of the Sri Lanka side with bat and ball over the last few years and was missed during the Test series as Sri Lanka struggled to balance the side in his absence. Though he didn't bowl his 81 from 90 balls was crucial. Mendis, the 28-year-old allrounder, struck 11 fours and three sixes in his 71-ball stay, sharing a stand of 163 with Mathews.
The only respite for Worcestershire came from Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal's 10 overs on his club debut. He took three wickets including Mahela Jayawardene for 18 and Dinesh Chandimal for a duck.
Worcestershire's reply started with Lasith Malinga removing Jack Manuel in his second over for 4 before Moeen and Alexei Kervezee added 109 in 11.2 overs. After Kervezee departed to Ajantha Mendis for 45 Moeen found support from James Cameron. The pair took Worcestershire to 233 for 3 but Moeen was snared by Mendis and the chase tailed away. Malinga mopped up the last two wickets to finish with 3 for 25 and helped Sri Lanka return to winning ways ahead of the limited-overs international summer.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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