Sri Lanka overpowers England by nine wickets


WELLINGTON: Opener Lahiru Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara both registered unbeaten tons to help Sri Lanka record a convincing nine-wicket triumph against England on Sunday here at Westpac Stadium.

Chasing a big total of 310 runs, Sri Lanka started off well with first wicket falling after 100 runs on board. Tillakaratne Dilshan (44) lost his wicket in 19th over when captain Eoin Morgan took his catch off Moeen Ali’s delivery.

After the first wicket fell, Thirimanne (139) and wicketkeeper batsman Sangakkara (117) took the team to victory with 16 balls to spare. Sangakkara took only 86 balls to score 117.

AFP adds: Earlier, England batsman Joe Root became the youngest England batsman to score a World Cup hundred, with 121.

The 24-year-old’s innings saw Root beat the England record of David Gower, who was 26 when he posted a hundred against Sri Lanka at Taunton during the 1983 World Cup.

Root struck a six and a four off successive deliveries from Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews to bring up his century at exactly a run-a-ball after England won the toss in the Pool A clash.

However, Root had made just two when he was dropped by in the slips by Mahela Jayawardene off Mathews.

He was eventually out lbw trying to reverse-sweep left-arm spinner Rangana Herath after facing 108 balls, including 14 fours and two sixes.

Root’s century was England’s second hundred of the World Cup after opener Moeen Ali made 128 against Scotland.

England’s total of 309 for six was their highest of the tournament so far and in marked contrast to their previous appearance in Wellington, where they were skittled out for just 123 by New Zealand last week.