Kumar Sangakkara seems to be signing off in style from ODI #Cricket (he retires after the World Cup), after scoring yet another century in the demolition of Scotland that his side Sri Lanka carried out earlier today. With the World Cup essentially being a team game, the main concern is with winning the matches, but there is still the individual side to the sport as the sub-plot within the games themselves. To achieve both personal milestones and see your side continue on their winning ways, is the icing on the cake for a cricketer.
Sangakkara hit another impressive 124 runs to help his side to post the mammoth total of 363-9 in Hobart, as he became the first cricketer to hit four ODI centuries in succession. The 37-year-old then joined the rest of his teammates, as they comprehensively outplayed the Scottish XI by dismissing them for just 215 in reply, taking the match by 148 runs. Sri Lanka were already confirmed in the quarter-finals and have looked solid throughout the tournament so far, with four wins and just two defeats to the co-hosts New Zealand and Australia.
As in several matches during their respective careers, the Sri Lankan innings was built around the partnership between Tillakaratne Dilshan (104) and Sangakkara, who added a mighty 195 runs for the second wicket. It was Dilshan's second century of the World Cup as well, but it is Sangakkara who seems to be taking most of the plaudits. Angelo Mathews added a sprightly half-century from just 20 deliveries batting at number five, as the rest of the batsmen chipped in with cameos to ensure the hefty target for the Scots.
With no victories in this or any other World Cup to boost their confidence, the task for Scotland seemed a daunting one and so it proved, especially as they lost their first wicket before they had a run on the board. Kyle Coetzer was unable to repeat his heroics from the Bangladesh game (where he scored a century in defeat), being dismissed by the wily old campaigner Lasith Malinga for a duck this time. The Saltires' captain Preston Mommsen (60) and Freddie Coleman (70) showed gritty resilience to avoid further humiliation, but in truth the Scots were out of the game as soon as the two Sri Lankan centurions had got to work on their bowling attack.
It will be interesting to see how much further the Sri Lankans progress in the tournament, especially if their batsmen keep firing, and also whether Sangakkara can somehow keep his amazing run of high scores going. #CelebritiesScotland have one match remaining on Saturday to look for that elusive victory, but it seems a long-shot in the extreme to see them beating the Australians on their home soil. They have also announced today that they have sent their spinner Majid Haq home early for infringing on the side's internal code of conduct, after being left out of today's match.