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England handed 9-wkt drubbing by SL

By The Assam Tribune

WELLINGTON, March 1 (PTI): 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 today.

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 Tilakaratne 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.

But that was not to be as Sri Lanka looked unfazed after what looked an ordinary bowling effort, to make the chase look simple and register their third win of the tournament.

After losing their opener against New Zealand, the Angelo Mathews-led side has certainly done well to post three wins on a trot, against Afghanistan, Bangladesh and now England.

The Eoin Morgan-led side on its part is struggling with just a single win from four matches and that too has come against minnows Scotland.

Batting first, England were in a bit of trouble at 161 for four before a 98-run partnership between Root, whose 108-ball stay was laced with 14 fours and 2 sixes, and James Taylor (25) put the innings back on course to a big total. The defiant stand, which is a record 5th wicket partnership for England in World Cup matches, came in just 11 overs as the Sri Lankan bowlers had little answer to the brisk run-scoring.

In the end though it was Buttler�s cameo that really pushed the England total beyond the 300 plus mark.

England started off well with Ali (15) and Ian Bell (49) sticking it out in the first 9 overs.


England: Moeen Ali c Lakmal b Mathews 15, Ian Bell b Lakmal 49, Gary Ballance c & b Dilshan 6, Joe Root lbw b Herath 121, Eoin Morgan c Dilshan b Perera 27, James Taylor c Dilshan b Malinga 25, Jos Buttler not out 39, Chris Woakes not out 9. Extras: (b 4, lb 3, w 9, nb 2) 18. Total: (6 wickets; 50 overs) 309. Fall of wickets: 1-62, 2-71, 3-101, 4-161, 5-259, 6-265. Bowling: Lasith Malinga 10-0-63-1, Suranga Lakmal 7.4-0-71-1, Angelo Mathews 10-1-43-1, Tilakaratne Dilshan 8.2-0-35-1, Rangana Herath 5.5-0-35-1, Thisra Perera 8.1-0-55-1.

Sri Lanka: Lahiru Thirimanne not out 139, Tillakaratne Dilshan c Morgan b Ali 44, Kumar Sangakkara not out 117. Extras: (B-8, LB-1, W-3) 12. Total: (1 wkt, 47.2 overs) 312. Fall of wicket: 1-100. Bowling: Anderson 8-0-48-0; Broad 10-1-67-0; Woakes 9.2-0-72-0; Finn 8-0-54-0; Ali 10-0-50-1; Root 2-0-12-0.

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