London (AFP) - Sri Lanka veteran Sanath Jayasuriya warmed up for his farewell to international cricket with a sparkling 78 as the tourists beat Worcestershire by 57 runs in a one-day match at New Road on Wednesday.
Jayasuriya, who played for Worcestershire last season, struck three sixes and 10 fours before flicking spinner Shaaiq Choudhry to Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal at deep square leg to end a 60-ball innings.
The left-hander, who last played a one-day international against India in 2009, turns 42 at the end of this month.
He was controversially selected for the one-day leg of Sri Lanka’s tour of England following political pressure to ensure he received a fitting send-off from the international game.
Jayasuriya didn’t feature in the Sri Lanka side beaten by India in this year’s World Cup final. That tournament saw Upul Tharanga, his successor at the top of the order, test positive for drugs.
Now Jayasuriya, plans to play in the lone Twenty20 match against England at Bristol on Saturday and the first of five one-dayers between the countries at The Oval on Tuesday before retiring.
He has so far played in 444 one-dayers in his 21-year career amassing 11,825 runs and is credited with helping change the role of an opener in limited overs cricket due to his dynamic displays during Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup triumph.
Also in the runs as Sri Lanka piled up 352 against Worcestershire were all-rounders Jeevan Mendis, who made 99 not out and Angelo Mathews (81). Off-spinner Ajmal took three for 42.
Worcestershire’s reply featured a career-best 136 from Moeen Ali, who struck three sixes and 16 fours in his 90-ball innings.
But once he was out the run chase subsided, with Sri Lanka slingshot quick Lasith Malinga and spinner Ajantha Mendis taking three wickets apiece.