Sri Lanka put up a clinical performance in the first match of Group B which was against the minnows of minnows, Bermuda. At the Queen’s Park Oval in POS, Trinidad, Bermuda were skittled out for a sorry 78 to lose by a heavy margin of 243 runs.
Mahela Jayawardene had won the toss and had decided to bat first on a wicket that was promising to be quick. And Sanath Jayasuriya was off to an inauspicious start as he got rapped up on his knuckles to a rising delivery in the first over by Kevin Hurdle. Jayasuriya’s index finger of his bottom hand was bleeding as well. But the bowling resources from Bermuda were very limited with the new ball being hurled at barely 110 kmph. Kevin Hurdle was the quickest of the lot bowling at 125kmph but he was out of the attack after a long and hopeless over in which he had bowled as many as 13 no balls! The Lankans found it difficult to play their big shots and at drinks they had lost both its openers – Jayasuriya, caught cutting for 22 and Tharanga caught behind down the legside for 30.
Jayawardene was dropped at slip in the first ball he had faced and after that he steadied himself to put on a 150 run-stand with Sangakkara to lay the platform for a big total. Both these batsmen were brilliantly caught in the deep and therefore Sri Lanka could post just 321 losing 6 wickets. Mahela top scored with 85 from 90 with 6 fours and 2 sixes. Sangakkara was the second highest scorer with 76 from 83 with 6 fours. But the most promising innings was that of Chamara Silva’s. Batting at no.5, Silva wasted no time and was using his feet often to play some scintillating drives towards covers, he remained unbeaten on a classy 55 from just 45 balls with 4 fours.
Bermuda were rattled up by the pace and bounce off Lasith Malinga who almost got the fifth World Cup hat-trick! Malinga had first got David Hemp, the left hander to fend a rising delivery to slips and the new man, Skipper Irvine Romaine was dead in front of the stumps to a quick inswinger. The hat-trick delivery was fast and quick and was full in length to strike Janeiro Tucker on the pads and that looked to have gone onto knock the legstump out of the ground. But Daryl Harper gave the benefit of doubt to the batsman and thus denied what could have been an exciting moment in the World Cup! The clean up job after that was shared by Farveez Maharoof (4 wickets ) and Muttiah Muralitharan (2 wickets). The Bermudians succeeded in smacking Murali out of the ground on a couple of occasions! The top scorer for Bermuda was no.8, Lionel Cann slogging 28 runs off 32 which included a six off Murali. Only two batsmen managed to get into double figures in Bermuda’s 78 all out in 24.4 overs! Mahela picked up the Man of the Match for his steady knock in the morning. The Bermudian batting and bowling seems to be the weakest of all the 16 teams. Most of its players were carrying lot of overweight with the best one being the left arm spinner, Dwayne Leverock, fondly called as Uncle Sluggo who is believed to be 130 kilograms!