Kumar Sangakkara created history to become the first batsman to hit four consecutive centuries in one-day cricket as Sri Lanka thrashed Scotland by 148 runs at the Bellerive Oval. Sangakkara, who hit 124 off 95 balls, and Tillakaratne Dilshan with 104 off 99, put on a whopping 195 runs in 28.5 overs for the second wicket to help Sri Lanka post 363 for 9 in 50 overs.
Scotland could muster only 215 runs and were bowled out in 43.1 overs. Nuwan Kulasekara and Dushmantha Chameera took three wickets each to destroy the Scottish batting.
For Scotland, Freddie Coleman top scored with 70 backed by skipper Preston Mommsen’s 60. It was a brave effort by the two batsmen against a tough bowling attack. Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat. Opener Dilshan began in typical style by cracking Alasdair Evans through the covers for his first boundary. In the sixth over, Evans forced Lahiru Thirimanne to edge to Mommsen at second slip for 4.
In walked Sangakkara, the star of the World Cup who everyone was waiting to see. He got off the mark with an elegant push towards long off for three. His first boundary came in the eighth over when he hit Evans fluently through the covers. There after boundaries and he ended up with 13 fours and four sixes.
Dilshan also hit boundaries with ease, Josh Davey the victim of two fours in the tenth over. Dilshan and Sangakkara accelerated the run rate by picking the gaps elegantly. By the 15th over the reached their 50 partnership. Off the first ball of the 16th over, Sangakkara went past the 400 run mark in this tournament.
By the 20th over, Sri Lanka were strongly positioned at 97 for 1. Sangakkara displayed his elegant sweep and his lofted shots over long off to fetch boundaries. In the 25th over, Dilshan hit Davey for two boundaries and a six over backward square leg.
Sangakkara, who was only 54 when Dilshan was on 74, began to stroke freely. He hit a sixes off both Richie Berrington and Michael Leask. Another six off Machan saw Sangakkara catch up with Dilshan in the nineties. The pair became the first pair to have three consecutive hundred partnerships in a World Cup following their 210 stand against Bangladesh and 130 against Australia.
Dilshan, who finished with ten fours and a six, was the first to reach his century in the 34th over, with Sangakkara going to three figures off the very next ball.
He earned the honour of becoming the only man in the history of one-day cricket to hit four consecutive centuries. In the 35th over, their marathon partnership ended when Davey had Dilshan caught at mid-off by Calum MacLeod for 104.
Sangakkara was at his destructive best in the 36th over, with a six and three consecutive fours to take 24 off it. Mahela Jayawardene lasted only six balls before lofting Davey to MacLeod at mid off for 2.
Sangakkara fell to the next ball, edging to wicketkeeper Matthew Cross while attempting a slice. Skipper Angelo Mathews began aggressively by hitting two sixes and a four. Kusal Perera also played an aggressive knock of 24 off just 13 balls.
Sri Lanka went past the 300 run mark in the 43rd over. In the next over Mathews hit four consecutive sixes to go to the second fastest World Cup fifty in 20 balls, before falling to the last ball of the over. Scotland, chasing a run rate of 7.26 runs per over, got off to a horrendous start by losing their first wicket to Lasith Malinga’s second ball.
Kyle Coetzer, who hit 156 against Bangladesh in his last match, offered an easy return catch. Coleman and Mommsen delayed the Sri Lankan victory through their half centuries, but the result was inevitable.