Sangakkara creates three ODI cricket landmarks
Hobart: Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara on Wednesday registered three One-Day International (ODI) cricket world records — two with the bat and one with the gloves as Sri Lanka hammered Scotland by 148 runs in a World Cup Pool A match at the Bellerive Oval here.
Continuing his good form, Sangakkara, 37, once again showed his master class with a 95-ball 124. With this he became the first batsman to record four consecutive hundreds and registered his 25th ODI ton. In the process, he also became the first batsman to score four centuries in a World Cup and in an ODI tournament.
Sangakkara, who will quit ODI cricket post this World Cup, passed his three figure mark in 86 balls to complement his scores of 105 not out against Bangladesh, 117 unbeaten against England and 104 against Australia from earlier ties in the tournament.
On Sunday, the left-hander became just the seventh man in history and the first in a World Cup to score three consecutive ODI centuries, and on Wedneday he claimed the record for his own.
Sangakkara hit 13 fours and four sixes off the 95 balls he faced in his innings. He edged it to wicketkeeper Matthew Cross off a Josh Davey delivery.
It is his 62 international century in an incredible career that is now in its 15th year. The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman announced before the World Cup began that he would retire from ODI cricket at the end of the tournament.
Not content with run-scoring records, he also became the first man to effect 500 ODI dismissals. Coming into the match, he had 400 catches. He took two catches of Cross and Michael Leask. He now has 402 catches and 99 stumpings to his credit.
He also passed Adam Gilchrist’s record of 52 World Cup dismissals by taking the catch off a faint edge from Leask. By the end of the match, he had taken 41 catches and made 13 stumpings in World Cups.
Gilchrist made 45 catches and seven stumpings in 31 World Cup matches (Sangakkara was playing his 36th).
Earlier in this tournament, Sangakkara became fourth cricketer in history to play 400 ODIs, behind Indian Sachin Tendulkar (463) and compatriots Sanath Jayasurya (445) and Mahela Jayawardene (444).
Sangakkara scored 104 against Australia on Sunday and also became the second batsman after India’s Sachin Tendulkar (18,426) to cross 14,000 runs in the 50-over format. He left greats like Ricky Ponting (13,704), Jayasuriya (13,430) behind in the illustrious list.
The World Cup will be the last ODI assignment for Sangakkara and he already has ensured he will sign off on a high, at least on the personal front.
“Sometimes things just fall in place. Everything clicks. No matter how hard you try to find that one thing, it becomes difficult,” Sangakkara said after being adjudged man-of-the-match.
“I am not sure what that one thing is, but it is definitely working for me at the moment, so hopefully I can keep onto it.”