Christchurch, New Zealand: Mahela Jayawardene smashed 104 Sunday to lead Sri Lanka to 218-9 after batting first in the opening limited-overs international against New Zealand on Sunday.
Jayawardene made his 18th one-day century as the only Sri Lanka batsman to look comfortable against New Zealand's tight bowling and disciplined fielding. He put on 73 for the fifth wicket with Lahiru Thirimanne to revive Sri Lanka's innings after it had been 82-4 on the fall of captain Angelo Mathews, who chose to bat after winning the toss.
It was indicative of the Sri Lanka innings that Thirimanne and Jeevan Mendis shared the next highest scores of 23, making starts but failing to capitalize.
Jayawardene fell during the 47th over in which Mitchell McClenaghan took three wickets to finish with 4-36.
Jayawardene was playing his first innings in New Zealand this summer after his recent retirement from test cricket meant he missed the two-test series which New Zealand won 2-0.
He came to the crease when Sri Lanka was 16-2 after Adam Milne, New Zealand's fastest bowler, had removed Dimuth Karunaratne for 5 and Kumar Sangakkara for 4 in an opening spell which rocked Sri Lanka.
Jayawardene lacked support. He put on 35 for the third wicket with Tillakaratne Dilshan in a partnership which promised to stabilize the Sri Lanka innings. But Dilshan was only 19 when he walked past a ball from spinner Nathan McCullum and was stumped by Luke Ronchi.
Mathews was then run out for 15 as Sri Lanka treated key wickets wastefully and left Jayawardene to provide the substance of their total.
His first serious support came from Thirimanne with whom he was able to staunch the flow of wickets. But Thirimanne was unable to force the scoring rate and was eventually out, caught by Kane Williamson off McClenaghan, during a batting power play in which Sri Lanka added only 24 runs for the loss of one wicket.
Mendis dashed 23 from 25 balls, putting on 45 for the sixth wicket with Jayawardene before falling with the total 200. His was the first of three wickets to fall at that total as McClenaghan dismissed Mendis, Jayawardene and Thisara Perera in the same over — Jayawardene and Perera with consecutive balls.
When Jayawardene was out, caught by Corey Anderson, he had faced 107 balls, scoring at almost a run a ball with 12 fours and a six.