Sangakkara helps Sri Lanka beat England by 7 wickets

London, June 14 (IANS) Powered by a superb 134 not out by Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka chased down England’s total of 293/7 with seven wickets to spare keeping alive their hopes of qualifying for the ICC Champions Trophy semifinals.

Chasing 294 in a Group A clash at The Oval here Thursday, Sri Lanka achieved the target with considerable ease and 17 balls to spare as wicket-keeper batsman Sangakkara scored an unbeaten century comprising of 12 boundaries.

The left-hander was well supported by Tillakaratne Dilshan (44), Mahela Jayawardene (42) and Nuwan Kulasekara, who remained unbeaten on 58, smashing five boundaries and three sixes in his knock.

After losing Kusal Perara (6) early in the third over, Sri Lanka forged three long partnerships to bring them home. Sangakkara struck a 92-run partnership for the second wicket with Dilshan, 85 with Jayawardene and an unbeaten 110-run partnership off 71 balls for the fourth wicket with Kulasekara.

English pacer James Anderson took two wickets while offie Graeme Swann took the lone wicket of Dilshan.

Earlier, England scored 293/7 after being put into bat. Jonathan Trott top scored with 76 while Joe Root (68) and skipper Alastair Cook (59) also made significant contributions.

Ravi Bopara (33 not out) played a brilliant cameo by hitting 28 runs off the last over to propel the hosts to a par-290 score.

For Sri Lanka, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath and Shaminda Eranga clinched two wickets each.

New Zealand lead Group A with three points. England and Sri Lanka are second and third respectively with two points each while Australia are fourth and last with one.

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