Mumbai: Former Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene stroked a brilliant ton in the WC summit clash against India but only in vain.

Prior to Mahela, five batsmen had hit a century in the WC final and interestingly all of them finished with a winning cause, but Mahela was the odd one out in the bracket.

Jayawardene's silky 103 not out propelled his team to a fighting 274 against India, but Sri Lanka's bowlers were unable to resist the might of India's batsmen. The home side won by six wickets.

Adam Gilchrist (2007), Ricky Ponting (2003), Aravinda de Silva (1996), Viv Richards (1979) and Clive Lloyd (1975) are the only other century-makers in World Cup finals. All of them finished on the winning side. India's Gautam Gambhir almost joined them on Saturday, but fell for 97.

De Silva's efforts in 1996 followed him to hero status in Sri Lanka. His three wickets, two catches and unbeaten 107 was one of the finest all-round show and led unfancied Sri Lanka to its maiden World Cup title, beating Australia in the final.
Jayawardene stroked 13 fours and needed only 88 balls for his 103.

"He's a classy cricketer and a classy bloke," former Australian batsman Ian Chappell said during his commentary for Indian television. "We should all be pleased for his century."

His batting hasn't always been so reliable. In 2003, Jayawardene returned from the World Cup having scored 21 runs in seven innings. He was almost as ineffectual four years previously.

However, he has been a key player for Sri Lanka at the last two World Cups. In 2007, he captained the team to the final, scoring his maiden World Cup century in the semifinal to lead his team past New Zealand.

Jayawardene's final game as captain was the unfinished second test against Pakistan in Lahore in 2009. On the third day, the coach carrying the Sri Lanka team to the Gadaffi Stadium was attacked by masked gunmen. Jayawardene was among the injured. Eight other people died.

Sangakkara took over the captaincy and his close friend Jayawardene, who wanted to focus on his batting form, is now his second in command.

"I'm very proud of everyone," Sangakkara said Saturday. "Especially Mahela, who rose to the occasion and put up a great hundred."

(Agencies)