Mahela Jayawardene's World Cup semi final hundred

Mahela Jayawardene's run of scores in the last World Cup reads as follows: one, five, nine, one, duck, duck and five.

That's 21 runs at the heady average of 3.5. By any stretch Mahela Jayawardene failed at the last World Cup.

During this current World Cup, Mahela Jayawardene has now hit 530 runs at 66.25. By any stretch it's a success.

Yesterday's 115 not out in the World Cup semi final was magnificent. His arrival at the crease seemed to coincide with the period of the match when players from both sides were paralysed with the enormity of the situation. Jayawardene said after the match that yes, it was a World Cup semi-final, but it was still just a game of cricket. Good thinking, that man.

He batted slowly for what seemed like an age, before lashing out in time-honoured World Cup tradition. It was the archetypal one-day innings. He reached his 50 from 76 balls - he'd hit three fours at this point. 33 balls later, he'd added 65 more runs made largely out of seven further fours and three sixes. This is how to bat in one-day cricket.

Mahela Jayawardene's been batting brilliantly for quite a while now. It's just unfortunate he's been overshadowed by Ricky Ponting and Mohammad Yousuf for most of that time. It would be hard to overshadow him if he wins the World Cup with another hundred though. Even an oversized replica of Matthew Hayden's chest positioned directly in front of the sun couldn't produce enough shadow for that. Not that there are any such plans, as far as we're aware.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

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