HOBART: Kumar Sangakkara struck a record fourth consecutive World Cup century and Tilakaratne Dilshan also smashed a ton to help Sri Lanka amass 363 for nine against a hapless Scotland in the pool A cricket match, here on Wednesday.
Electing to bat at the Bellerive Oval, Sri Lanka lost opener Lahiru Thirimanne (4) early but Dilshan (104), who registered his second century of this edition, and Sangakkara (124) stitched together a 195-run second wicket partnership to take the islanders to a commanding total even after the Scottish bowlers pulled things back a little in the end.
Leading the run-scorers chart, Sangakkara, who recorded his 25th ODI ton, has smacked 496 runs in 6 innings so far with Dilshan a distant second with 395 runs in the same number of matches. India’s Shikhar Dahwan is third in the batsmen’s list.
The 37-year-old Sangakkara has been on a rampage after tons against Bangladesh (105), England (117), Australia (104) and now Scotland, is averaging a resounding 124 in six matches.
The Scottish bowlers were in for a long leatherhunt as Dilshan, whose 99-ball innings was lace with 10 fours and a six, combined superbly with Sangakkara, who hit 13 fours and 4 sixes in his 95-ball knock.
Dilshan departed soon after registering his 22nd ODI ton but Sangakkara carried on in the same vein to teach the bowlers a hard lesson.
The left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman got stuck into tall medium-pacer Alasdair Evans (2-72) in the 36th over to smack a six and four boundaries and bag 24 runs from six deliveries.
But medium-pacer Josh Davey (3-63) made it count in the powerplays – 36 to 40 overs – to send Mahela Jayawardene (2) and then Sangakkara on consecutive deliveries of the 37th over and check the Lankan surge.
Skipper Angelo Mathews then wielded the whip to smash a 21-ball 51 and the necessary boost to his team in the slog overs.
Striking four sixes against off-spinner Matt Machan in the 44th over, Mathews recorded the second fastest World Cup fifty after New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum’s 18-ball half-century against England.
Mathews’ wicket spurred on the minnows to get a few more scalps as Sri Lanka let the advantage of a 400 plus target, which was on the cards when Dilshan and Sangakkara were batting, slip away.
The last-wicket pair of Nuwan Kulasekara (18 not out) and Dushmantha Chameera (12 not out) also did their bit.
Sri Lanka: 363/9 in 50 overs (Tilakaratne Dilshan – 104; Kumar Sangakkara – 124, Angelo Mathews – 51; Josh Davey 3-63, Richie Berrington 2-31).