Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan set up Sri Lanka's 148-run win
Hobart, March 11 (IANS) Kumar Sangakkara (95-ball 124) became the first batsman to record four consecutive hundreds in One-Day International (ODI) cricket as Sri Lanka thrashed Scotland by 148 runs in a World Cup Pool A game at the Bellerive Oval here on Wednesday.
Continuing his good form, Sangakkara, 37, once again showed his class and registered his 25th ODI ton. In the process, he also became the first batsman to score four centuries in a World Cup.
Seasoned opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (104) stroked to his 22nd ODI century and combined with Sangakkara to forge a 195-run partnership for the second wicket. It helped them post an imposing 363/9 in 50 overs.
In reply, Scotland were bowled out for 215 in 43.1 overs and slumped to their fifth consecutive loss. Skipper Preston Mommsen (60) and Freddie Coleman (70) shared a 118-run stand for the third wicket to put up some resistance, but it was not enough.
Seamers Nuwan Kulasekara (3/20), Dushmantha Chameera (3/51) and Lasith Malinga (2/29) were all over Scotland. Thisara Perera and Dilshan picked a wicket each.
With this win, Sri Lanka jumped to second spot in Pool A on the back of four wins in six matches. New Zealand are on top with 10 points from five matches while Australia have seven points from five matches.
But the Aussies will face Scotland next and are expected to finish second. If that happens, Sri Lanka will drop to third place and will hope that New Zealand beat Bangladesh which will result in the Bangladeshis finishing fourth and facing Pool B table toppers India in the quarter-finals.
Earlier, coming in at the fall of left-handed opener Lahiru Thirimanne (4) with the team only at 21/1 in the sixth over, Sangakkara and Dilshan batted with aplomb. They were hardly troubled by the Scotland bowlers and maintained a very good run rate. They reached 71 in 15 overs.
While Dilshan reached his fifty in 54 balls, Sangakkara scored his half-century in 56 balls. They upped the ante after getting past the halfway mark.
However, Sangakkara, unusually, was more aggressive of the duo. Both completed their tons in the 34th over of the innings. While Dilshan completed a 97-ball 100, Sangakkara took just 30 balls to smack the next 50 runs for his fourth century of the tournament.
Sangakkara, who will quit ODI cricket post this World Cup, complemented his scores of 105 not out against Bangladesh, 117 unbeaten against England and 104 against Australia from earlier in the tournament.
Dilshan got out after hitting 10 fours and a six. He mistimed a ball to Calum MacLeod at mid-off off medium pacer Josh Davey but not before putting his team in command at 216/2 in the 35th over.
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 Davey delivery.
Mahela Jayawardene (2) struggled to get it going in 13 deliveries but lost his wicket to Davey.
At the death, Angelo Mathews' 21-ball 51 that comprised of six sixes and a four ensured that Sri Lanka got past the 300-run mark with ease. The skipper notched up his 26th ODI fifty.
Scotland pulled things back in the last five overs as the Sri Lanka batsmen threw their wickets away in search of big runs. But eventually they managed to reach 363, which was the highest ever total against Scotland in ODI cricket.
For Scotland, Davey picked up three wickets, while Richie Berrington and Alasdair Evans picked up two wickets apiece. Rob Taylor and Matt Machan scalped a wicket each.
Brief scores: Kumar Sangakkara 124, Tillakaratne Dilshan 104, Angelo Mathews 51; Josh Davey 3/63, Richie Berrington 2/31) beat Scotland 215 all out in 43.1 overs (Freddie Coleman 70, Mommsen 60; Nuwan Kulasekara 3/20, Dushmantha Chameera 3/51, Lasith Malinga 2/29).