Melbourne, Feb 26:
Powered by centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka reached a mammoth total of 332 for the loss of only one wicket in a World Cup Pool A clash against Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here Thursday.
Incredibly, the 1996 editions champions scored the monumental total with just one six in their innings, coming from the bat of Sangakkara (105 not out), who scored his 22nd hundred and also his fastest in his 400th One-Day International (ODI). The left-hander became the fourth batsman in history to reach 400 ODIs, behind Sachin Tendulkar (463), Sanath Jayasurya (445) and Mahela Jayawardene (444).
However, Dilshan, who scored his 21st century and highest ODI score, played the anchor’s knock with an unbeaten innings of 161, which is now also the highest individual score by a Sri Lankan in World Cup, going past the legendary Aravinda de Silva’s 145, which he scored against Kenya in 1996. This is also the highest individual score without a sixer in ODIs.
The Sri Lanka batsmen pulverised the Bangladeshi bowlers right from the start, who appeared totally clueless in how to tackle the experienced Lankan line-up.
To add salt to the wounds, Bangladesh’s slip-shod fielding also did not help. Bangladesh’s ground fielding, backing-up and catching was horrendous and did not look as if they are a Test playing nation.
It was a perfect toss to win for Sri Lanka as openers Lahiru Thirimanne (52) and Dilshan started strongly to strike a 122-run first-wicket partnership.
Thirimanne’s wicket was the only success for Bangladesh in the first session as it was a pure Sri Lanka show thereon as Dilshan and Sangakkara scored an unbeaten 210-run partnership which also turned out to be Sri Lanka’s highest second-wicket partnership, breaking their own record of 200 against India in 2012.
Dilshan hammered 22 boundaries in his 146-ball knock while Sangakkara smashed 13 fours and the lone six in his 76-ball innings.
The Bangladeshi bowlers did not have much to boast about as they also gave away 14 extras to skipper Mashrafe Mortaza’s dismay.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 332/1 in 50 overs (Tillakaratne Dilshan 161 not out, Kumar Sangakkara 105 not out) vs Bangladesh. (IANS)