Mahela Jayawardene struck an unbeaten century to lead Sri Lanka into the World Cup final with an 81-run victory over New Zealand at Sabina Park on Tuesday.
The Sri Lanka skipper's maiden World Cup hundred helped the team post a mammoth total of 289 for 5 in their 50 overs.
His masterly knock saw the 1996 champions overcome a mid-innings stagnation and finish with a flourish after electing to bat.
Sri Lanka put on 102 runs during the last 10 overs and Jayawardene's 115 not out included 10 fours and three sixes from 109 balls faced after a slow start which saw him take 48 balls to score a boundary.
Opening batsman Upul Tharanga earlier compensated for the cheap dismissals of Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumara Sangakkara with a quick knock of 73.
Jayawardene, who completed his half century from 76 balls, shifted gears effortlessly in the final overs and slammed the New Zealand bowlers to all parts of the ground.
Tillakaratne Dilshan joined Jayawardene at a crucial stage of the game, with Sri Lanka 152 for four in the 35th over, and the pair stepped up the pace, putting on an 81-run partnership in 64 deliveries.
Jayawardene, who had been dropped by Bond on 70, took complete charge in the final overs, showing his class with two superbly timed and placed boundaries from late cuts off Franklin in the 47th over.
He completed his century with another four dissecting third-man and deep backward point.
In the end, his knock his knock proved the decisive factor as the New Zealand batsmen wilted under the pressure of such a huge score.
Photograph: Getty Images
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