Lankan lions tear apart England

Sangakkara, Thirimanne smash hundreds as Islanders score 9-wicket win

Lankan lions tear apart England

 England's horror World Cup run continued when Sri Lanka smashed the third-highest run chase in the tournament's history to clinch a nine-wicket defeat in Wellington on Sunday.

Centuries by Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne ensured Sri Lanka overhauled the 310-run target set after England won the toss and elected to bat.

The pair were unbeaten as Sri Lanka ended the innings on 312-1 with 16 balls to spare, Thirmanne carrying his bat on 139 and Sangakkara scoring 117 for his second successive century.

The run chase has only been exceeded twice at cricket's showcase event, when Ireland reached 329 against England in 2011 and Sri Lanka's 313 against Zimbabwe in 1992.

The loss leaves England with a solitary World Cup win against minnows Scotland after they were well-beaten by co-hosts Australia (111 runs) and New Zealand (eight wickets) in their opening matches.

A tally of two points with two pool games left to play means their quarterfinal hopes are hanging by a thread, while Sri Lanka are on the verge of the last eight.

Even so, it was a much-improved effort with the bat from Eoin Morgan's men, including 121 to Joe Root, who at 24 became England's youngest World Cup centurion.

But they proved toothless in bowling, failing to make any impression with the ball on a drop-in wicket at Wellington's Westpac stadium that offered no movement to their pace attack.

Stuart Broad leaked 67 off his ten overs without a wicket and Steve Finn conceded 54 off eight. “We certainly lost it with the ball,” Morgan said. “We had a par score on the board.

“(But) today we bowled a bad ball every over, which you get punished for.” Fielding errors also proved costly with Thirimanne dropped three times during his innings.

England may still limp into the quarterfinals with wins in their final pool matches against Bangladesh and Aghanistan, but they will have lost to every major nation they have played.

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