Sangakkara smashes ton as Lanka beat Eng by 7 wkts
London: Kumar Sangakkara smashed a brilliant unbeaten 134 as Sri Lanka registered a thumping seven-wicket win over England to keep themselves in the hunt for a semifinal berth in the Champions Trophy here.
Sangakkara played a composed 135-ball unconquered innings for his 15th ODI hundred in his 342nd match, which was studded with 12 fours, as Sri Lanka chased down the target of 294 with 17 balls to spare in their must-win Group A match at the oval.
He shared three crucial partnerships — 92 with opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (44) for second wicket, 85 with Mahela Jayawardene (42) for the third wicket and 110 for the unbroken fourth wicket with Nuwan Kulasekara (58 not out) — after Kushal Perera (6) was out cheaply in the third over itself.
Kulasekara, who was promoted up the order, made the run chase an easy one later on as he hit a 38-ball unbeaten 58 with the help of five fours and three sixes, which took the game away from England.
Sangakkara fittingly hit the winning runs, a four, as Sri Lanka reached 297 for three in 47.1 overs
After Sri Lanka's win, Group A was thrown wide open with New Zealand on top with three points from two matches. All the four teams have played two matches each. Sri Lanka opened their account — two points from two matches. England remained on two points while Australia were on one.
Sri Lanka lost opener Perera early with James Anderson taking the wicket but Dilshan and Sangakkara put their side on track with a solid 92-run stand for the second wicket from 18.3 overs.
The duo kept the scoreboard ticking by playing sensible cricket, scoring ones and twos while also finding the occasional boundaries. They picked part-timer Joe Root for punishment and took 17 runs in the 15th over with two fours and a six.
England got the breakthrough in the 21st over with off-spinner Graeme Swann dismissing Dilshan who unnecessarily danced down the track to hoist the bowler only to find the thick inside edge of his bat for Root to take the catch.
Dilshan hit three fours and a six in his 56-ball innings and Sri Lanka were 102 for two at that stage.