Sangakkara scores fourth successive century

sangakkaraSRI LANKA’s Kumar Sangakkara became the first player to score four successive one-day international centuries as his side beat Scotland at the World Cup. The 37-year-old hit 124 in a total of 363-9 in Hobart, to go with his previous tons in the tournament against Bangladesh, England and Australia.

Sangakkara passed 500 ODI dismissals as Scotland were bowled out for 215.

Captain Preston Mommsen and Freddie Coleman scored half centuries but Sri Lanka finished with four wins in Pool A.

They look set to face South Africa in the first of the quarter-finals in Sydney on Wednesday.

Although they posted their best ever total batting second against a Test-playing nation, a fifth defeat means Scotland remain without a win. They will play co-hosts Australia in their final match on Saturday in Hobart.

On a day of records at Bellerive Oval, left-hander Sangakkara recorded his fifth World Cup century and is now one behind the record of six held by India’s Sachin Tendulkar.

He has now scored 14,189 ODI runs and only Tendulkar (18,426), who retired in 2013, has more runs for their country in the 50-over format.

Sangakkara, who became the first ever player to score four centuries at a World Cup, has previously suggested he will retire from ODI cricket at the end of the tournament.

The wicketkeeper has enjoyed a prolific spell in the last 12-18 months, becoming the fastest player to reach 12,000 Test runs in January in the same match in which he scored his 11th double century, moving him one behind the record held by Australian great Don Bradman.

“I’ve been batting and keeping for a long time, it’s getting harder and the joints are creaking and aching, but I consider myself lucky to be part of a great team,” he said.

“No matter how hard you try, it’s hard to pinpoint why I’m playing so well.

“Maybe I’m making better decisions at the crease, I don’t know. Whatever it is, it’s working for me at the moment.”

His 124 against Scotland in Hobart followed earlier scores of 105 not out against Bangladesh, 117 not out against England and 104 against Australia.

Batting first, Sri Lanka’s total owed much to a 195-run partnership for the second-wicket between Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan (104).

They reached their respective centuries in consecutive balls before being dismissed in the space of two balls by Scotland seamer Josh Davey.

Davey’s figures of 3-63 moved him to the top of the World Cup wicket-takers with 14, one ahead of New Zealand pair Trent Boult and Tim Southee.

A 20-ball half century from Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews, which included four successive sixes off the bowling of Matt Machan had put them on course for a score of more than 400. But a flurry of late wickets and some impressive catching meant Scotland restricted their tail enders. — BBC Sport

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