Kumar Sangakkara created history by notching up a record fourth consecutive ODI century that powered Sri Lanka to a crushing 148-run win over Scotland in their final group league match of the ongoing cricket World Cup here today.
In becoming the first man in history of One-Day Internationals to score centuries in four successive innings, the 37-year-old Sri Lankan veteran together with opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (104) helped the team put up a mammoth 363 for nine after electing to bat at the Bellerive Oval.
Set a daunting target in the group A match, Scotland’s innings ended at 215 in 43.1 overs, and the minnows have another match to play in the mega-event where they have failed to win a single game so far.
Sri Lanka are now second in the points table, behind New Zealand, with four wins in six games. However, the final positions in the group will be known only after the New Zealand-Bangladesh and Australia-Scotland games.
The 195-run partnership for the second wicket was Sangakkara and Dilshan’s 20th century stand in ODIs, leaving them second only to Indian legends Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.
Playing in the last one-day tournament of his illustrious 15-year career, Sangakkara, in red-hot form in the mega-event, blazed his way to an enterprising 124 off 95 balls, while Dilshan struck a 99-ball 104.
Skipper Angelo Mathews (51) smashed the second-fastest half-century of this World Cup, off 20 balls. The Islanders though lost a series of wickets towards the end, denying them a 400-plus total.
The Scots were off to a disastrous start, losing three wickets with just 44 runs on the board in the 12th over. The game was as good at that point but Freddie Coleman (70) and skipper Preston Mommsen (60) shared 118 runs for the fourth wicket to steady the ship.
However, both batsmen got out after making fluent half-centuries, each hitting seven boundaries while defying the Lankan bowlers for a while.
Richie Berrington made 29 off 22 balls to delay the inevitable.
Among the Lankan bowlers, Nuwan Kulasekara returned figures of 3/20 and pace spearhead Lasith Malinga picked up 2/29. Making his debut, 23-year-old rookie fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera, too, finished with three wickets.