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Rediff.com  » Sports » Jayawardene century tames the Knights

Jayawardene century tames the Knights

April 05, 2010 00:27 IST

Mahela JayawardenaMahela Jayawardene hardly knew, whether he would be playing the match against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.

But an injury to Shaun Marsh during warm up meant that he was included in the side at the last minute.

With Kings XI Punjab short of an opener in Marsh's absence and a huge target, the former Sri Lankan opener volunteered to open the batting. And it turned out to be a master stroke for the visitors.

Chasing an improbable 201 for victory, Jayawardene scored a brilliant 110 off 59 deliveries, which also ended the losing streak of Kings XI Punjab and gave them only their second win in nine matches in the tournament.

Such was the class that he peppered the bowlers to all corners of park with utter disdain, an innings which included 14 boundaries and three towering sixes.

In the process he became the second Sri Lankan after Sanath Jayasuriya to score a century in the Indian Premier League and also second centurion for Kings XI Punjab after Marsh.

Jayawardene had two important partnerships on his way to the match-winning knock. After opener Manvinder Bisla was out for 18, Jayawardene was associated in a 98-run partnership in 53 balls with his skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who made a 22-ball 38.

Jayawardene was however lucky as he was dropped by Murali Kartik at third man, when he was on 51. The knock earned former Sri Lankan skipper the man-of-the-match.

It also ended a run of poor scores for Jayawardene in IPL 3. Before this century, he had managed just 112 runs in seven matches which resulted in him being dropped from the team.

Photograph: IPL/Getty Images