Sri Lanka set 136-run target for NZ in T20 opener

PROVIDENCE , Guyana: Sri Lanka set a modest target of 136 runs for New Zealand in the opening match of the World Twenty20 here on Friday.

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and elected to bat after which his team could make 135 for the loss of six wickets in the allotted 20 overs, thanks to Mahela Jayawardene’s brilliant 81 from 51 balls.

He smashed two towering sixes and eight boundaries and made 59 runs together with Dinesh Chandimal (29) for the third wicket partnership.

No other batsman could make any significant contribution while New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori tried six bowlers, all among wickets except himself.

Fast bowler Shane Bond claimed two for 35 as others took one wicket each.

Veteran Sri Lanka batsman Sanath Jayasuriya come down the order rather than play as an opener. He came at eighth number when only one ball was left.

Chanaka Welegedara, the left-arm seamer, was included as the Sri Lankans, runners-up last year, looked to go one better in the Caribbean.

New Zealand omitted pace bowler Kyle Mills and included Nathan McCullum, amidst speculation the off-spinner might take the new ball.

New Zealand: Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Gareth Hopkins (wk), Jacob Oram, Daniel Vettori (captain), Nathan McCullum, Shane Bond, Tim Southee

Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara (captain/wk), Sanath Jayasuriya, Chamara Kapugedera, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Chanaka Welegedara.