Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne struck fluent centuries to help Sri Lanka outplay a hapless England by 9 wickets in a pool A ODI match of the cricket World Cup, here on Sunday.
Chasing 309 for a win at the Westpac Stadium, Sri Lanka looked comfortable from the very start after a 100-run opening partnership and then Thirimanne (139 not out) and Sangakkara (117 not out) managed an unbeaten 212-run stand to help the islanders canter to their target in 47.2 overs.
The duo combined well to make the James Anderson-led bowling attack not only look ordinary but also put up a commanding batting display in their record second-wicket partnership against England in ODIs.
Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (44) was the only casualty in an otherwise supreme batting show — off-spinner Moeen Ali being the beneficiary of the lone wicket to fall. The 25-year-old Thirimanne, who was dropped on 3 off Stuart Broad in the 4th over of the innings, capitalised on the spill to become the youngest Sri Lankan to score a century in a World Cup. His 143-ball knock was studded with 13 fours and 2 sixes – hit the winning six.
Sangakkara showed his class once again to register a chanceless 23rd ODI hundred, his 86-ball knock laced with 11 fours and 2 sixes. Sri Lanka though were guilty of dropping more than a couple of catches in the England innings but their effort with the bat put a curtain on all the shortcomings.
Earlier electing to bat, England rode on Joe Root’s 121 to post 309 for six in 50 overs and a quickfire 19-ball unbeaten 39 from Jos Buttler in the end raised English hopes of a good showing.