HOBART: Kumar Sangakkara became the first batsman to score four consecutive one-day centuries as Sri Lanka thrashed Scotland by 148 runs in the World Cup in Hobart on Wednesday.
The left-hander hit 124 off 95 balls and Tillakaratne Dilshan made 104 as the Islanders piled up 363 for nine and then bowled Scotland out for 215 in 43.1 overs in the Pool A match at the Bellerive Oval.
Skipper Preston Mommsen (60) and Freddie Coleman (70) put on 118 for the fourth wicket but they provided the only Scottish challenge as seamers Nuwan Kulasekara and Dushmantha Chameera grabbed three wickets each.
Sangakkara also took two catches to overtake Adam Gilchrist as the most successful World Cup wicket-keeper with 54 dismissals. The Australian had 52 victims to his name.
Sri Lanka ended the league with four wins from six matches and now await an undecided opponent in the first quarter-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground on March 18.
Scotland’s fifth successive defeat means they will take an early flight home after their final league match against Australia at the same venue on Saturday.
Sangakkara, 37, who will retire from one-day cricket after the World Cup, had made 105 not out against Bangladesh, an unbeaten 117 against England and 104 against Australia.
He is the the leading scorer in the ongoing tournament with 496 runs from six games, followed in second place by 38-year-old Dilshan with 395 runs.
The pair put on 195 for the second wicket after Lahiru Thirimanne had been snapped up in the slips off Alasdair Evans in the sixth over after Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat.
Scotland had to wait till the 35th over for their next success as Sangakkara and Dilshan toyed with the bowling in good batting conditions.
Both batsmen reached their centuries off successive balls from Kyle Coetzer in the 34th over, Dilshan taking a single to record his second hundred in the tournament before Sangakkara followed next ball with two runs.
Sangakkara leapfrogged six players who had scored three ODI centuries in a row — Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar of Pakistan, the South African trio of Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock, and Ross Taylor of New Zealand.
Dilshan followed his unbeaten 161 against Bangladesh with his fourth World Cup century before he holed out in the deep off seamer Josh Davey.
Davey struck two quick blows soon after, getting rid of Mahela Jayawardene and Sangakkara off successive balls as Sri Lanka slipped from 216 for one to 244 for four.
Jayawardene, 37, who will also retire after the World Cup having already quit Test cricket, made two when he was caught at mid-off by Calum MacLeod.
Sangakkara edged the next delivery to the wicket-keeper, sparking wild celebrations among the Scottish supporters in the stands.
Skipper Angelo Mathews smashed 51 off 21 balls at the end, slamming four sixes in a row off spinner Matt Machan before being caught next ball on the mid-wicket fence.
Sri Lanka, who were 216 for one at one stage, lost eight wickets for 147 runs as the later batsmen attacked the inexperienced Scotland attack.
Sri Lanka go into the knock-out rounds beset with injuries, with seamer Dhammika Prasad ruled out of the tournament before it started and Jeevan Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal sidelined during it.
Veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath is yet to recover from a finger injury. AFP