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You are here: Cricket One Day Internationals Sangakkara ton drives Sri Lanka to crucial victory against England

Sangakkara ton drives Sri Lanka to crucial victory against England

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Sri Lanka pulled off a brilliant 7-wicket victory over England at the Kennington Oval in London on Thursday to get the two points they so desperately needed to stay alive in the competition. Led by Kumar Sangakkara's 134* and a swashbuckling 38-ball 58 from Nuwan Kulasekara, Sri Lanka made easy matter of an other wise stiff target of 293. The win for Sri Lanka places them on the same points as England and opens up Group A nicely as far as qualification for the semi-finals are concerned.

Sri Lanka went into the game against England in a do-or-die situation with only a win for them ensuring they still remain in the competition. Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bowl first. Both England and Sri Lanka made one change to their side. Nuwan Kulasekara came in for all-rounder Thisara Perera for Sri Lanka while off-spinner Graeme Swann came in for England in place of James Tredwell.

 

England capitalized on a strong start, led first by skipper Alastair Cook and then by Jonathan Trott and Joe Root to build on a good platform, before Ravi Bopara who walked in at number  7 for England struck 28 runs off the 50th over to take England to 293-7 after their 50 overs. Jonathan Trott top-scored for England with 76, while Joe Root scored 68 and Cook struck 59.

England's openers Alastair Cook and Ian Bell walked out to the centre and mixed caution with aggression to good degree as England reached 48-0 in the 12th over before seamer Shaminda Eranga dismissed Ian Bell for 20 as Bell chipped one to mid-wicket. The in-form Jonathan Trott walked out at number three for England and soon found his stride as he slowly started building up a good partnership with Cook for the second wicket. Cook reached his seventeenth ODI fifty in the 24th over and was lucky to survive two dropped chances during his innings before Rangana Herath had him trapped lbw for 59 in the 29th over, with England on 131-2 at this stage.

Wicket-keeper Joe Root walked out at number 4 to join Trott and looked in good touch from the beginning of his innings. Trott reached his fifty in the 35th over off 66 balls but it was his partner Joe Root who did the bulk of the scoring as he reached his 50 in the 42nd over off 43 deliveries. Trott fell soon after to Herath again for a well-made 76 with England on 218-3 after 42 overs to end the 87 run third wicket stand between Trott and Root.  Root carried on with his aggressive form and hit Lasith Malinga for three consecutive boundaries before Malinga had both Root and Eoin Morgan out off consecutive deliveries in the 46th over. England soon lost Jos Butler and Tim Bresnan cheaply but it was the 50th over off the innings which propelled England to a strong 293-7 as Ravi Bopara struck 28 runs off Shaminda Eranaga's over to end up 33 not out off 13 balls.

Sri Lanka came out to bat for the second innings but didn't get off to the best of starts as opener Kusal Perera fell for 6 in the third over to James Anderson. Kumar Sangakkara walked out to join Tillakaratne Dilshan, with both experienced players under pressure to deliver in an important game for their side. Dilshan and Sangakkara got through a few quiet overs early on and started playing some brilliant strokes all over the park before Graeme Swann struck in the 21th over to remove Dilshan after tying him down for a few overs. Sri Lanka neede 192 runs from 29 overs at this stage as Mahela Jayawardene walked out at number 4.

Along with his long - time teammate, Jayawardene settled in and started playing some well-timed shots off both the pacers and spinners as Sri Lanka stepped up on their run-rate. The two put on  well-paced 85 runs off 15 overs for the fourth wicket before James Anderson had Jayawardene caught at deep - square leg to cause some panic in the Lankan camp. Sri Lanka then made an unconventional move by sending out Nuwan Kulasekara at number 5 and it turned out to be a fantastic gamble. Kulasekara started off slightly slow, as he saw Sangakkara reach his 15th ODI century in the 39th over.

Sri Lanka needed 76 runs to win off the last ten overs, and that's when Kulasekara decided to cut loose. He struck 16 runs in two consecutive overs off Broad and Swann, including two sweetly timed sixes consecutive sixes off the latter. England seemed to have no answer to Kulasekara's shots as he seemed in fine flow, eventually reaching his half century off 30 balls. Kumar Sangakkara hit the winning runs and ended on 134* as Sri Lanka chased down England's total inside 48 overs, to keep their chances of qualifying very much alive.

Sri Lanka's victory takes them to 2 points after two games, though they are still below England at number 3 in Group A due to a lower net run-rate ( +0.289 Vs -0.517). New Zealand lead the Group with 3 points from their two games while Australia have just one point after their two games. Sri play their next game on Monday against Australia at the Oval while England play their next game  against New Zealand at Cardiff on Sunday.

Teams

Sri Lanka : Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews (c), Lahiru Thirimane, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Shaminda Eranga, Lasith Malinga

England : Alastair Cook (c), Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Butler, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson.

Mini Scorecard

England 293-7 (50 overs, 5.86 runs/over)

J Trott 76 (87) R Herath 2-46 (10)

J Root 68 (55) L Malinga 2-58 (10)

Sri Lanka 297-3 (47.1 overs, 6.29 runs/over)

K Sangakkara 134* (135) J Anderson 2-51 (10)

N Kulasekara 58*(38) G Swann 1-50 (10)

Result : Sri Lanka beat England by 7 wickets