Mahela Jayawardene is showing the world that an orthodox approach can be wildly successful in Twenty20. Jayawardene has scored 279 runs at 139.50 in Sri Lanka's first three games and his unbeaten 98 off 56 balls was responsible for a heavy Super Eight defeat of West Indies on Friday.
While most batsmen try to muscle every shot in Twenty20, Jayawardene has been able to succeed with a more traditional approach and still own a strike-rate of 163.15. He was helped by some ragged fielding from the opposition. He was first dropped by Andre Fletcher and three balls later, things became even more farcical as Jayawardene top-edged Benn almost straight up in the air, and Fletcher and Wavell Hinds, the two closest fielders, both stood back and watched the ball plummet down, each expecting the other to go for it.
It looked as though Jayawardene would be able to reach his second hundred of the tournament when he took 10 runs from Bravo's final two balls to reach 97 with six balls still to be bowled. He was stranded at the wrong end in the final over, unable to reach the landmark, but through him Sri Lanka were able to post a massive total.
Jayawardene, 32, is also showing you don't have to be a young shot-maker to excel. "I am enjoying it," he said of opening the batting. "For me it was about me pushing myself with my technique and ability to see how it would suit for me to play T20 cricket.
"Batting in the middle was a challenge, I adapted and I did different things but I think opening the batting has given me much more freedom to go out and express myself - guys need to find that."