Sangakkara hits 20th ODI century

Published: Saturday 13th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Kumar Sangakkara took rich advantage of a helping hand from England captain Alastair Cook to mark his last one-day international on his home ground with his 20th century.

He was badly dropped by Cook at mid-off, on 41 off Ravi Bopara, then proceeded to a virtuoso hundred – in which he shared a second-wicket stand of 153 with Tillakaratne Dilshan (68) at the Pallekele International Stadium.

The consequence, once Sangakkara was done with a run-a-ball 112, was a total of 292 for seven.

Sri Lanka’s all-time great, who will retire from ODIs after this winter’s World Cup, was born in nearby Matale and is a hero for a generation in this country of cricket enthusiasts.

He did not disappoint them, first of all passing his fifth successive 50 and then pressing on to three figures.

Sangakkara hit 11 fours and a six en route – and the moment he posted his century, with a routine single into the off-side, his crowd went wild.

He departed in minor anti-climax soon afterwards, carving Chris Jordan to cover, but made his way off with arms aloft acknowledging the adoration.

From number three, he had done enough to ensure a tough target here for England – who had begun with promise after the hosts chose to bat on a sunny morning.

Mahela Jayawardene went early, mis-hitting Chris Woakes to mid-off on his return to the top of the order, and cautious Sri Lanka were only 27 for one after the 10-over powerplay.

Moeen Ali bowled the 11th, which cost 11 runs – including four byes, and a high full toss penalised by a no-ball call.

England nonetheless still exerted some control, only for Cook’s fumble to embolden the opposition.

Dilshan holed out at long-on, off James Tredwell, just before the batting powerplay. But the promoted Seekkuge Prasanna smashed a manic 20 in 12 balls, including an escape off Steven Finn when Jos Buttler and James Taylor got their wires crossed at short fine-leg.

Prasanna mistimed another slog to be caught at cover off Finn, who also had the dangerous Angelo Mathews edging behind down the leg-side.

But Sangakkara stayed until the 45th over – and with wickets still in hand, Sri Lanka took 92 off the last 10.

Published: Saturday 13th December 2014 by The News Editor

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