Jayawardene's ton seals series for Sri Lanka

Riding on Mahela Jayawardene's brilliant century, Sri Lanka mauled Pakistan by 6 wickets in the third ODI at Dambulla. Lanka lead 5-ODI series 3-0.

updated: August 03, 2009 13:56 IST
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Mahela Jayawardene hit his first one-day century in two years as Sri Lanka thumped Pakistan by six wickets on Monday to grab a winning 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

The former captain made 123 and shared an opening stand of 202 with Upul Tharanga (76) as the hosts cruised past Pakistan's challenging 288-8 in the 47th over of the high-scoring match.

Sri Lanka, who had won the preceding Test series 2-0, made light work of an improved batting display by Pakistan in which teenager Umar Akmal led the way with 66 off 65 balls. The 19-year-old, whose elder brother Kamran Akmal is the team's wicket-keeper, propelled Pakistan to the highest total ever at the Rangiri International Stadium.

But Jayawardene, opening the batting in place of the indisposed Sanath Jayasuriya, and Tharanga gave Sri Lanka the perfect start in good batting conditions.

Jayawardene hit 14 boundaries and a six in his 11th one-day century and his first since making 107 for Asia against Africa in the Afro-Asia Cup in Chennai in June, 2007. Left-handed Tharanga helped himself to nine fours, before both batsmen fell in successive overs.

Sri Lanka lost a third wicket in the space of 10 runs as Thilan Samaraweera gave Saeed Ajmal a return catch, but Thilina Kandamby (32) and captain Kumar Sangakkara (37 not out) steered Sri Lanka home.

Pakistan lost despite putting up their best total in the series after Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to field. Kamran Akmal made 45 during a 71-run stand for the second wicket with skipper Younus Khan (44) after opener Nasir Jamshed had fallen in the second over.

Pakistan suffered a middle-order slump when three wickets fell for 27 runs, before an aggressive Shahid Afridi helped Umar add 41 for the sixth wicket.

Afridi had smashed 32 off 20 balls with five boundaries when he was bowled by Muttiah Muralitharan. The off-spinner, the world's leading wicket-taker in both Test and one-day cricket, also bowled Umar soon after, the delivery after being hit for a six.

Pakistan plundered 86 runs in the last 10 overs to compile the highest total at the venue, surpassing Sri Lanka's 282 against India in 2004.

Abdul Razzaq and Rana Naved led the lower-order charge, making 30 runs apiece with a flurry of boundaries and sixes. Razzaq hammered two sixes and a four, while Naved marked his return to official cricket after breaking links with the unauthorised Indian Cricket League with two sixes.