IPL: Sanath Jayasuriya plunders Chennai Super Kings with a 48-ball 114
Sanath Jayasuriya showed that at 38, he was not too old to hammer the bowlers. And Chennai Super Kings would surely vie for this fact © AFP (File Photo)

On May 14, 2008, Sanath Jayasuriya turned back the clock and played with the exuberance of youth. His century against the Chennai Super Kings helped Mumbai make a mockery of a challenging run-chase, as it was presaged during the innings break. Sarang Bhalerao revisits Jayasuriya’s tornedo.



The Wankhede Stadium was jam-packed.  The Mumbai crowd was vociferous. There was hardly any ‘comforting’ inch for the spectators. This game marked the debut of Sachin Tendulkar in the Indian Premier League (IPL). After missing the first six games of the competition courtesy of a groin injury, the little master finally took to the field.


But the day belonged to Tendulkar’s opening partner: A certain Sanath Teran Jayasuriya who turned back the clock and played vintage shots. He unleashed himself much in the similar manner like he had annihilated the Indian attack at the same venue 11 years ago, compiling a monumental 151 opening the batting for Sri Lanka.


The target of 157 looked competitive, but Jayasuriya’s incursion ensured that it was never imposing. The nonchalant flicks, the square cut that reached the boundary in a fraction of a second, and the straight pristine hits — it was an exhibition of making bellicosity look pretty. The plunder dithered the Super Kings’ spirits. The margin of error was miniscule. Manpreet Gony was discovering the rigours of bowling against someone who was waiting to hammer anything and everything being thrown at him. The gauntlet was thrown back at Gony and other bowlers.


Jayasuriya pierced the field like how a seasoned driver finds his way through the narrowest of streets in the cramped city of Mumbai. In the blink of an eye he registered a half-century off 25 deliveries. The home team had scored 78 in the mandatory Powerplay overs. Tendulkar had faced only eight deliveries upto this point and had scored 11. Jayasuriya had stolen Tendulkar’s comeback thunder, but the little master would have accepted that gleefully every single time, as it was the masterclass on show.


Tendulkar was dismissed for 12, bowled by Joginder Sharma; the Mumbai crowd went silent. But Jayasuriya continued with his ambush as Joginder was handed a stern punishment.


The contest spiced up when Jayasuriya’s compatriot — the celebrated off-spinner Mutthaih Muralitharan — was introduced into the attack. The southpaw welcomed his countryman with a deft touch that eluded short third-man. The bowler, not one to give up easily, then beat the Mumbai opener with his sharp turn. Jayasuriya admonished himself. The smiling assassin, Murali, had a wry smile on his face. Wankhede then witnessed some never-to-be-seen-again moments.


In his second over that felt like Round 2 of the bout, Murali attempted a leg-stump line. But Jayasuriya was well-set. He paddled the offie past short fine-leg and celebrated like a little child.


Chamara Kapugedera was given the ball when 25 were required from seven overs. It needed Jayasuriya only five deliveries to complete the most comprehensive annihilation. It was a cul de sac at its best. The Sri Lankan southpaw remained unbeaten on 114. Eleven sixes and nine boundaries punctuated Jayasuriya’s epic knock as Mumbai won by nine wickets with 37 balls to spare.


Jayasuriya showed that at 38, he was not too old to hammer the bowlers. And Chennai would surely vie for this fact.



Brief scores:


Chennai Super Kings 156 for 6 in 20 overs (Subramaniam Badrinath 53, Mahendra Singh Dhoni  43*; Dhawal Kulkarni 3 for 33) lost to Mumbai Indians 158 for 1 in 13.5 overs (Sanath Jayasuriya 114*) by 9 wickets.


(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter here)