Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne stroked sublime centuries as Sri Lanka made England’s 309 look pedestrian, chasing it down with 16 balls to spare to win their World Cup clash by nine wickets in Wellington.
Sri Lanka finally showed the class that took them to the previous two World Cup finals, thumping Bangladesh by 92 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), on the back of centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara.
Almost by right, a World Cup ought to have a team deemed clear favourites to lift the trophy. In 2011, co-hosts India and Sri Lanka were the anointed ones, and they did meet in the final, with the former clinching their second title. In both 2003 and 2007, Australia were the obvious choice and they didn’t disappoint.
Sri Lanka. Perpetual underdogs. Perpetual over-achievers. They have never entered a World Cup as title favorites. They have never entered a World Cup with the best batting or the best bowling line-ups. Their run-ups to most World Cups isn't smooth either.
Kumar Sangakkara notched up a fluent hundred as Tillakaratne Dilshan scored a vital fifty to bestow Sri Lanka a 34-run consolatory win in the final ODI of the seven match series conquered 4-2 by New Zealand.