HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka (AFP) - Veteran batsman Mahela Jayawardene scored a sparkling century as Sri Lanka crushed Canada by 210 runs in their opening World Cup match at Mahinda Rajapakse Stadium on Sunday.
The 33-year-old scored his 100 off 80 balls for his 13th one-day hundred -- his second in World Cups and the fourth fastest in the history of the event -- which boosted his team's total to 332-7, much to the enjoyment of a sell-out 35,000 crowd.
New-ball bowlers Nuwan Kulasekara (3-16) and Thisara Prerea (3-24) combined to bundle Canada out for 122 in 36.5 overs.
The lop-sided contest once again gave weight to the International Cricket Council's decision to cut down the next World Cup -- to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand in 2015 -- to the top 10 teams, minus minor nations.
Earlier in the day New Zealand had mauled Kenya by 10 wickets in Chennai, after bowling out Kenya for just 69.
Canada, who promised much by putting up a valiant fight against England during their 16-run defeat in a warm-up last week, found the co-hosts too tough to handle in both batting and bowling in the Group A clash.
Skipper Kumar Sangakkara mixed up his bowling options as Canada lost wickets at regular intervals once their most experienced batsman John Davison had been bowled off Perera's first delivery of the second over.
Hard-hitting Rizwan Cheema top-scored with 37, including two sixes off world record wicket taker Muttiah Muralitharan, while skipper Ashish Bagai, with 22, showed some resistance.
Earlier, Jayawardene laid the foundation for Sri Lanka's big total with an invaluable third wicket partnership of 179 with Sangakkara, who made 92.
Jayawardene and Sangakkara built on the platform set by opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (50) after Sri Lanka won the toss at this new ground which became the 177th one-day venue.
U. Tharanga 19
T. Dilshan 50
K. Sangakkara 92
M. Jayawardene 100
T. Perera run out 11
A. Mathews 21
C. Kapugedera 2
T. Samaraweera not out 18
N. Kulasekara not out 7
Extras (lb3, nb1, w8) 12
Total (for 7 wkts, 50 overs) 332
A. Gunasekera 1
J. Davison b Perera 0
Z. Surkari 6
A. Hansra 9
A. Bagai 22
Rizwan Cheema 37
T. Gordon 4
Khurram Chohan 4
H. Baidwan not out 16
B. Rao c Tharanga 6
H. Osinde b Mendis 4
Total:(all out, 36.5 overs) 122
Fastest world cup hundred
Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene (R) acknowledges the crowd after scoring his century as Canada's John Davison walks during their ICC Cricket World Cup group A match in Hambantota, south of Colombo. REUTERS/Stringer
President at Sooriyawewa Cricket Stadium
The President at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Sooriyawewa to witness the 2011 World Cup One Day International match between Sri Lanka and Canada. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Deputy Minister Neomal Perera, Deputy Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, MP Namal Rajapaksa, Chief of President's Staff Gamini Senarath, High Commissioner of Canada Bruce Jery, Chairman Sri Lanka Cricket D.S de Silva were also present
- Pic by Chandana Perera