Nottingham:Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara hailed golden oldie Sanath Jayasuriya as a "genius" after the opener smashed 81 in the 15-run win over West Indies in the World Twenty20 on Wednesday.
Left-handed Jayasuriya, at 39 the oldest player in the 12-nation tournament, hit his runs off 47 balls, an innings studded with 10 boundaries and three sixes.
Jayasuriya and Tillekeratne Dilshan hammered an opening stand of 124 to lay the foundation of their team's 192-5.
"Sanath is a genius and he was ably supported by Dilshan. They proved that with a good start you can put up a very defendable total," said Sangakkara.
"The main thing today was to get momentum and I'm happy with the way the guys played."
Jayasuriya made just two in the opening victory over Australia and has been struggling recently for runs with many questioning his place in the team.
But he answered his critics in style in Wednesday's Group C match at Trent Bridge.
"I am enjoying my cricket, but I get great support from my teammates," said the veteran.
"Dilshan and I like to play our natural game and it was great for our confidence.
"In the first few overs if you see the ball well, then you are there. I was positive and played my natural game."
West Indies skipper Denesh Ramdin said his team will be back on form in the Super Eights when regular captain Chris Gayle, who sat out Wednesday's match, will be back from injury.
"We needed to get a good start but we had to chase the game. We'll play hard cricket in the Super Eights and we'll bounce back."
Sri Lanka begin their Super Eights campaign on Friday against Pakistan at Lord's while West Indies tackle defending champions India on the same day at the same venue.