Kumar Sangakkara most probably has played his last ODI at his home ground © Getty Images
Kumar Sangakkara most probably has played his last ODI at his home ground © Getty Images

Dec 13, 2014

A clinical batsmanship by Kumar Sangakkara in the first half and a four-for by Suranga Lakmal in the second half, gave Sri Lanka a huge victory in the sixth One-Day International (ODI) against England at Pallekele by 90 runs, which meant they have also won the seven match series 4-2 with one match still to go.

England were in trouble during their chase of 293 as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Alastair Cook‘s horror run in ODIs once again continued as Sachithra Senanayake got him out in the first over of the England innings. In form James Taylor followed his captain soon. Moeen Ali, who was batting aggressively, became the first victim of Lakmal. Apart form Joe Root, who scored a gutsy half-century, no one played an innings of substance. Only Chris Woakes played a handy knock of 41 during the ending stages of the game. The visitors finally got out for just 202 in the 42nd over.

Amongst Sri Lankan bowlers, apart from Lakmal, Senanayake took three and Tillakaratne Dilshan got two wickets. The hosts opened the bowling with two spinners Senanayake and Dilshan, which proved to be a successful move.

Earlier in the first half of the game, Sangakkara‘s run-a-ball 112 and Dilshan’s timely 68 put the hosts in a comfortable position after Sri Lanka won an important toss and decided to bat first on a hot and sunny morning at Pallekele. They made three changes as Dinesh Chandimal, Seekkuge Prasanna, and Lakmal coming in for Ajantha Mendis, Kusal Perera and Dhammika Prasad.

Sri Lanka had poor start in the game though as Mahela Jayawardene, who came out to open the innings in this match, but flopped. He got a good ball from Woakes in the fourth over of the match. Sangakkara, who was probably playing his last game at his home ground along with Dilshan build the innings with a 153-run partnership for the second wicket. They took their time initially, later accelerated the scoring rate.

When James Tredwell broke the partnership the visitors were hoping for a comeback in the game. But Sangakkara was holding up one end and finally reached his 20th ODI century in the 43rd over. Though he was lucky enough to reach the milestone as he was dropped by Cook at mid-off off Ravi Bopara. Late in the innings, Chandimal’s 31-ball 35 helped Sri Lanka to put a competitive 292 on the board.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 292 for 7 in 50 overs (Kumar Sangakkara 112, Tillakaratne Dilshan 68 ; Steven Finn 2 for 51, Chris Woakes 2 for 68) beat England 202 in 41.3 overs (Joe Root 55, Chris Woakes 41; Suranga Lakmal 4 for 27, Sachithra Senanayake 3 for 33) by 90 runs.

Man of the match: Kumar Sangakkara

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