Sangakkara`s `chanceless` century seals Lankan victory over CT hosts England
Johannesburg: Sri Lanka has managed to gain a seven-wicket win over an overly cautious England on Thursday with a chanceless unbeaten 134 from Kumar Sangakkara, leaving the ICC Champions Trophy Group A wide open ahead of the final two matches.
A victory in the day/night clash would have taken England through to the semi-finals as one of the top two and defeat would have dumped Sri Lanka out but all is now to play for with New Zealand leading the group on three points.
England, who next face New Zealand in Cardiff on Sunday, and Sri Lanka are on two points with Australia on one ahead of their meeting with Angelo Mathews` side at the Oval on Monday.
Placed at the number three position, Sangakkara, who paced himself perfectly to notch his 15th one-day international ton under constantly overcast skies, guided Sri Lanka home with 17 balls to spare with the help of bludgeoning all-rounder Nuwan Kulasekara, who was brought back into the side and promoted up the order.
However, the report added, controlled bowling from medium pacer Ravi Bopara and returning spinner Graeme Swann helped England to keep a lid on Sri Lanka`s attacking tendencies.
England`s batsmen earlier took their time in trademark style before some last-over fireworks by Ravi Bopara helped them make 293 for seven amid woeful Sri Lankan fielding.
Although the tournament hosts have been criticised by commentators for their recent ponderous batting in the 50-over format, they still beat Australia by 48 runs in their opening game.
However, they managed only 38 runs in the first 10-over powerplay against Sri Lanka, as compared to sides such as India, who have already reached the last four from Group B, having notched in excess of 60.