Sangakkara Century Downs South Africa
Sri Lanka 320-5 (Sangakkara 169no) beat
South Africa 140 by 180 runs
First One-Day International, Colombo
Kumar Sangakkara smashed a career-best 169 not out to set up a convincing 180-run win for Sri Lanka over South Africa in the first One-Day International in Colombo.
The left-hander struck 18 fours and six sixes in his 137-ball innings and after the home team had amassed 320 for five, South Africa were bowled out for 140 in reply.
Sangakkara's effort, second only to Sachin Tendulkar's 200 on the list of highest scores in an ODI against South Africa, was the third highest by a Sri Lankan in an ODI, behind Sanatha Jayasuriya's 189 and Upul Tharanga's 174 not out against the West Indies last month.
Tharanga made 43 in 64 balls but lost opening partner Tillakaratne Dilshan for 10 before putting on 70 with Sangakkara, whose 50 came in 67 balls.
He then reached his 16th ODI century in 103 balls, accelerating to the degree that Lahiru Thirimanne's share in a 123-run stand for the fifth wicket was just 17.
Sangakkara needed just another 24 balls to pass 150 and with late runs also coming from Thisara Perera (16 not out in seven balls), Sri Lanka were in a comfortable position at the halfway stage.
Given the high score and the ease with which Sangakkara scored his runs, Morne Morkel's return of two for 34 was an impressive feat.
Lasith Malinga removed Colin Ingram with the first ball of the run chase and Sangakkara was in the game again to take catches behind the stumps to remove JP Duminy (15) and Alviro Petersen (29) before Rangana Herath bowled AB de Villiers for 23 in 19 balls.
Perera (3-31) had dismissed Petersen and then struck again to have Faf du Plessis caught by stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal for four and then Robin Peterson caught by Tharanga for 29.
Dilshan also got among the wickets by bowling David Miller for 14 and having Ryan McLaren caught by Perera for four as South Africa's innings rapidly subsided.
Herath (3-25) applied the finishing touches by removing Morkel and Aaron Phangiso without scoring to complete Sri Lanka's biggest ever ODI win over South Africa.
© Cricket World 2013