Sri Lanka vs England 6th ODI: Sangakkara’s century gives Sri Lanka unassailable 4-2 lead

Sangakkara celebrates after scoring his 20th century

Sangakkara celebrates after scoring his 20th century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara smashed a spectacular century to not only help his side thrash England by 90 runs in the fifth ODI in Pallekele, but also give them an unassailable 4-2 lead in the series.

Sangakkara was well supported by opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan, who scored 68, and pace bowler Suranga Lakmal, who took four wickets.

However, England batsman Joe Root deserves some credit for his valiant knock of 55.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews would have been regretting his decision to bat first early on after opening batsman Mahela Jayawardene was caught by James Taylor at mid-off off the bowling of Chris Woakes for five runs.

Dilshan and Sangakkara made up for the early loss of Jayawardene with a 153-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Dilshan was caught by Ravi Bopara at long-on off the bowling of James Tredwell.

Dilshan’s fantastic knock of 68 came off 105 balls and included eight boundaries.

Dilshan hit eight boundaries during his knock of 68

Dilshan hit eight boundaries during his knock of 68

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Seekkuge Prasanna scored 20 runs before he was caught by Eoin Morgan at point off the bowling of Steven Finn.

Mathews failed to have an impact with the bat as he was caught behind off the bowling of Finn for one run.

Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal stabilised the innings with a 52-run partnership, during which Sangakkara registered his 20th ODI century, before he was caught by Moeen Ali at cover off the bowling of Chris Jordan.

Sangakkara’s superb innings of 112 came off 112 deliveries and included 12 boundaries and two sixes.

Thisara Perera scored 16 runs before he was caught by England skipper Alastair Cook at mid-off off the bowling of Woakes.

Chandimal ended up scoring 35 before he was clean bowled by Jordan on the last ball of the innings.

Thanks to Sangakkara, Sri Lanka finished on 292/7 off their 50 overs.

Finn, Woakes and Jordan picked up two wickets apiece, while Tredwell chipped in with one.

Chasing 293 to win, England got off to an awful start as it only took Sachithra Senanayake three deliveries to trap Cook lbw for one run.

Taylor only made 10 runs before he was clean bowled by Senanayake.

Ali managed to make 34 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Dilshan.

Bopara mustered 17 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Lakmal.

Lakmal struck again the very next ball when Morgan was caught behind for a golden duck.

Jos Buttler accumulated 22 runs before he was run out by Lahiru Thirimanne.

Root was England’s top-scorer as he made 55, which came off 76 balls and included four runs, before he was cleaned up by Lakmal.

Root made a gutsy 55

Root made a gutsy 55

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Jordan scored four runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Lakmal.

Woakes was the only other batsman to put up a fight as he amassed 41 runs before he was caught and bowled by Dilshan.

England were bowled out for 202 when Tredwell was caught by Dilshan at mid-on off the bowling of Senanayake.

Lakmal was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Senanayake snapped up three and Dilshan claimed two.

Lakmal finished with a career-best 4-30 off eight overs

Lakmal finished with a career-best 4-30 off eight overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Cook was gutted to have lost the match, and said: “A real tough day. For the first 20 odd overs we bowled really well. it didn’t help me dropping Sanga, it was a real big catch to drop because we’d built up some good pressure. It was probably about a 260 wicket. Credit to Kumar, he made us pay today. My form is hard, you want to score runs. I want to lead from the top of the order and it’s tough at the moment. We’ll look out our side when we get to Colombo.”

Mathews was ecstatic to have taken a 4-2 lead in the series, and said: “Brilliant game. It was a challenging wicket to bat on. Sangakkara was amazing and set the tone for the batsmen to play at the end. The option is still open at the top of the order but Mahela’s been batting well at No. 4. The last game we bowled pretty badly but today from ball one we were landing the ball in the right [areas]. We might try a few things now in Colombo but we’ll have a chat to the selectors.”

Sangakkara was named Man of the Match.

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