Cricket: Ton-Up Sangakkara Rallies Sri Lanka!

Kumar Sangakkara’s first century at Lord’s saw Sri Lanka bounce back in the fourth one-day international against England on Saturday.

Just days after they’d been shot out for 67 at Old Trafford, Sri Lanka made 300 for nine after being sent into bat.
Sangakkara’s 112 — his first hundred at Lord’s in any format — was the centrepiece and together with Tillakaratne Dilshan (71), he put on 172 for the second wicket.

The duo had managed just 15 runs between them during the course of a 10-wicket defeat in Manchester on Wednesday that left England 2-1 up in the five-match series.

This innings also represented a reversal of fortune for England paceman Chris Jordan, who took a career best five for 29 at Old Trafford.

But his 10 overs, including eight wides, on a typically good Lord’s pitch cost 67 runs as he struggled to bowl the correct length. And Jordan’s two wickets Saturday only came during his final over as Sri Lanka hit out.

Sangakkara’s 19th ODI century had an unpromising start as the 36-year-old took 13 balls to get off the mark.

But such was the composure and experience of the left-hander, playing his 373rd match at this level, the number three batsman never looked flustered.

Kusal Perera, in for the dropped Dinesh Chandimal, signalled Sri Lanka’s intention to put their Old Trafford nightmare behind them with two boundaries in the first over, from James Anderson.

Perera also pulled Harry Gurney for six.

But left-arm seamer Gurney, who took career-best figures of four for 55 in his fifth ODI, had his revenge when Perera (19) was late on a pull and Jordan held a diving slip catch.

Sangakkara found his touch in the 18th over with three boundaries in successive balls from Joe Root.

He drove the occasional off-spinner straight down the ground and next ball lofted him over mid-on before cover-driving him for a superb four.

Dilshan fell when he was bowled leg stump by Anderson attempting a trademark ‘Dilscoop’ shot.

Sangakkara’s two off Jordan then saw him to a perfectly-paced 95-ball hundred with 13 fours.

England finally saw the back of Sangakkara when off-spinner James Tredwell had him stumped by opposing wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews then chipped in with a run-a-ball 30 before he holed out off Jordan.

Gurney struck twice in the final over off the innings but, off the very last ball, Ajantha Mendis late cut him for four to take Sri Lanka to exactly 300.