Sri Lanka ready to give ton-up Jayawardene a break

LEEDS, July 2, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka are contemplating resting Mahela Jayawardene from games in order to prolong the star batsman’s career. The only people who appeared to need Jayawardene to take a break at Headingley here on Friday were England’s bowlers as the 34-year-old marked his 343rd one-day international with a career-best 144.

Jayawardene’s innings powered Sri Lanka to 309 for five and laid the platform for a 69-run win in the second one-day international that saw the tourists level the five-match series at 1-1.

Normally a number three or four batsman, this innings was Jayawardene’s third one-day hundred in eight matches as an opener.

It is a position he has been elevated to this trip after Upul Tharanga was suspended for a drugs offence and with former opener Sanath Jayasuriya retiring after England’s 110-run win in the first ODI at The Oval on Tuesday.

“We are looking at Mahela opening in some games but resting from others and play for another three or four years,” Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan told reporters.

“He can’t play all the matches in the next three or four years. We can bring another op