Slick Jayawardene floors Windies
Mahela Jayawardene starred as Sri Lanka made it two wins from two in the World Twenty20 Super Eights by comfortably beating West Indies at Pallekele.
Both sides emerged victorious in their opening encounters of this phase and were looking to edge closer to qualification for the semi-finals.
But the hosts took control after losing the toss, Ajantha Mendis claiming 2-12 from four economical overs as West Indies were restricted to 129 for five despite Marlon Samuels’ 50.
That total provided few problems for Sri Lanka and Jayawardene, who struck 10 fours and one six in compiling a masterful unbeaten 65 that saw his side home by nine wickets.
Kumar Sangakkara, meanwhile, provided able support by striking 37 not out in a 108-run partnership.
The Windies looked doomed from the start following a poor first six overs, in which they scored just 20 runs and lost their two openers; Johnson Charles was stumped off Mendis and Chris Gayle edged a Nuwan Kulasekara slower ball behind.
Dwayne Bravo announced himself by punching Kulasekara for four and went on to play some glorious strokes, including an excellent straight six off Herath.
However, having struck four fours and two sixes, he pulled Mendis straight to long-on to depart for 40.
Samuels mixed good running with the odd boundary to lead an impressive riposte, however, and looked set to take West Indies to an imposing total when striking two fours and a six in the 18th over.
Pitching the ball up proved fatal for Kulasekara as Samuels launched him high over his head for the biggest maximum of the tournament thus far - 102m - before adding boundaries through cover and down the ground.
He eventually fell in the last over, though Andre Russell chipped in with 19 not out to take West Indies to their eventual total.
Tillakaratne Dilshan predictably got Sri Lanka off to a flying start, striking three successive off-side fours off Fidel Edwards in the second over.
The opener’s intent was to prove his undoing, however, as he edged Ravi Rampaul behind.
Yet that merely heralded the arrival of Sangakkara, who, along with usual partner in crime Jayawardene, put on a clinic of composed sprint-format batsmanship.
Without taking any undue risks, they had taken 55 off the powerplay - something that was remarkable given the lack of expansive strokes.
The tempo rarely changed, with Jayawardene playing a variety of cuts and flicks to keep the run-rate ticking over, while Sangakkara played more in front of square.
That contrast - as it has so often in the past - proved decisive and Sri Lanka cantered home with 4.4 overs to spare.