Sangakkara puts Scots to the sword

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Published: Wednesday 11th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Kumar Sangakkara became the first man to score four consecutive World Cup centuries as Sri Lanka swept aside Scotland’s challenge in Hobart.

The Sri Lanka number three followed up hundreds against Bangladesh, Australia and England with his highest score of the tournament so far, an innings of 124 from 95 balls, as Sri Lanka posted 363 for nine.

In reply, Scotland were a long way short, all out for 215 as they lost by 148 runs.

Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan put on 195 runs for Sri Lanka’s second wicket in the match-defining partnership.

Opener Dilshan, who was the first to reach three figures after both had briefly been 99 not out, fell for 104 as the pair were finally separated.

Sangakkara accelerated as Scotland struggled to contain him. He cleared the ropes four times in his innings and added 13 fours, reaching his ton with a prod through third man. He eventually fell edging Josh Davey to wicketkeeper Matthew Cross. Davey had also removed Dilshan.

Sri Lanka were safely through to the quarter-finals before the contest began, and Sangakkara said: ” It was a pretty good game, it was important we finished the group strong. The boys were up for a fight, and although the Scots fought hard we were better on the day.”

Reflecting on his innings and centuries record, the 37-year-old left-handed batsman added on Sky Sports World Cup: “S ometimes things just fall into place, everything clicks. I t’s difficult to pinpoint it.

“Maybe it’s because I’m making a lot of better decisions, the right decisions at the right time, taking risks at the right time, being more calculated, being a bit more positive.

“I don’t know what that one thing is, but whatever it is it’s working for me at the moment and I’d like to hold on to that for as long as I can.”

Angelo Mathews plundered 51 from 21 balls down the innings, including sixes from each of the four deliveries he faced immediately before being dismissed when going for another maximum – caught just inside the ropes by Freddie Coleman off the final ball of Matt Machan’s costly fourth and final over.

With the required run rate above seven per over, Scotland’s prospects were poor before they began their reply, and when opener Kyle Coetzer fell to the second ball of the innings the size of their task looked overwhelming. He chipped back a return catch that Lasith Malinga gratefully accepted.

When Calum MacLeod and Machan soon followed, Scotland’s mission was destined for failure.

Damage limitation appeared their realistic objective, although a fourth-wicket stand of 118 between Preston Mommsen and Coleman showed impressive resilience, and while it lasted the partnership even offered faint hope.

Yet captain Mommsen’s 60 and a fine 70 from Coleman proved the only significant resistance.

Their stand ended when Mommsen fell to Thisara Perera, caught at short cover by Lahiru Thirimanne. Coleman’s innings ended as he went for a big swipe at Nuwan Kulasekara but could not get hold of the shot as he hoped, and Perera held on safely as the ball dropped from the sky.

Richie Berrington clubbed a pair of sixes but was jostled out for 29, Kulasekara almost putting the ball down but just about grasping a routine chance off Dushmantha Chameera.

The lower-order Scottish batsmen found the occasion beyond them, barely contributing.

Published: Wednesday 11th March 2015 by The News Editor

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