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Saturday, 19 March 2011

Sangakkara century gives Sri Lanka comfortable win

Sangakkara century gives Sri Lanka comfortable win

Kumar Sangakkara hit his first ICC Cricket World Cup century as his side enjoyed a comfortable 113-run win over New Zealand on Friday in Mumbai.

On a memorable day for the Sri Lanka captain, Sangakkara hit an excellent 111 from 128 balls, putting on 144 runs with Mahela Jayawardena for the third wicket. During his innings he also passed 9,000 ODI runs.

Muttiah Muralidaran also had a day to remember as he claimed four wickets as New Zealand stumbled to 153 all out.

New Zealand had enjoyed an excellent start to the match, dismissing both openers inside the opening five overs, before Sangakkara and Jayawardena steadied the innings with some disciplined batting.

The game changing moment though was whether Nathan McCullum had cleanly caught Jayawardena off his own bowling in the 24th over, which the third umpire chose to give not out, allowing the pair to build a platform for the innings, with Sangakkara perfectly pacing his knock.

Although Sangakkara's dismissal sparked a mid-order collapse, as it went from 210-3 to 239-8, its total of 265-9 off 50 overs was always likely to be an imposing total.

In reply, New Zealand never really got going, losing both Brendan McCullum and Martin Guptill within the space of an over of each other to leave it on 33-2.

Stand-in captain Ross Taylor was really the only player who looked like he had the potential to threaten Sri Lanka's potent and variable attack, which was inspired by a brilliant Muttiah Muralidaran who took 4-25, but when he fell to make New Zealand 93-5 its chances of victory had gone.

Sri Lanka's victory means that it is guaranteed to finish in second place in Group A.

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