Sri Lankan openers- Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga, sealed the match and flushed Andrew- led England out of World Cup contention.


The Lankan duo hit superb centuries to hand a humiliating defeat to the visitors by a whopping margin of 10 wickets in their quarter final clash on Saturday.

Chasing a modest target of 230, devastating Dilshan and Tharanga played with complete ease as they crossed the target in only 37.3 overs to set up a semifinal date with New Zealand, next Tuesday.

The target was never going to be stiff on a Premadasa track for a team with such depth in their batting but one fancied England bowlers to put up some resistance. Unlike some of their tough performances at the group league stages, the English bowlers were ordinary and both Dilshan and Tharanga never looked like getting into any kind of discomfort.

Without taking umpteen risks, both hit the boundaries with minimum ruckus. Their fondness for the off-side field was explicable as they repeatedly peppered the region with some thumping drives.

The trick of opening the bowling with Graeme Swann also didn't work out as both Tharanga and Dilshan used their feet to good effect whenever the offie tossed it up. If the ball turned, they waited that extra bit to play their shot.

Tharanga made his intentions clear when he stepped out in the very second over bowled by Swann to hit him over long for a six. When the spinner came for his second spell, Dilshan who was well and truly settled swept him over mid-wicket for another six.

Ditto for second spinner James Tredwell as Lanka reached their 50 in nine overs and subsequently the 100 in 19 overs.

Chris Tremlett looked incisive in his first couple of overs but Strauss certainly lacked someone who would produce telling blows to bring England back in the match. The bowlers were happy bowling length balls which were punished with utter disdain.

Having already set a World Cup record for an opening stand of 282 runs against Zimbabwe, Dilshan-Tharanga duo showed that they are slowly turning into one of the best opening pairs in the limited overs version as they brought up their second double century partnership.

Dilshan completed his second century in the World Cup and 10th in the ODIs when he rocked back to cut Swann past point for a boundary. The milestone was achieved in 107 balls.

Tharanga who battled cramps and had to take runner completed his ton when he hit a cover drive off Tremlett to finish the proceedings.

Credit should be given to Dilshan as he blocked a couple of hittable deliveries to let his partner reach his individual milestone.

Earlier, Jonathan Trott scored a fighting 86 as England recovered from a slow start to post a modest 229/6 in 50 overs.

Electing to bat, Trott held the English innings together after they suffered two early blows.

Trott has been the man-in-form for England for quite some time and yet again he proved his worth by sharing two crucial stands with Ravi Bopara (31) and Eoin Morgan (50) for the third and fourth wickets respectively.

The two partnerships -- 64 with Bopara and 91 with Morgan -- guided England to the respectable total after they lost both the openers -- captain Andrew Strauss (5) and Ian Bell (25) -- with the scoreboard reading 31/2.

Wicket-keeper Matt Prior (22 not out off 19) played a good hand in the dying stages of the innings to take England past the 220-mark.

Sri Lanka also helped England's cause by dropping Morgan thrice -- once off Ajantha Mendis and twice off Mutiah Muralitharan -- during his 55-ball stay.

Sri Lanka team
WU Tharanga, TM Dilshan, KC Sangakkara*†, DPMD Jayawardene, TT Samaraweera, LPC Silva, AD Mathews, SL Malinga, HMRKB Herath, BAW Mendis, M Muralitharan

England team
AJ Strauss*, IR Bell, IJL Trott, RS Bopara, EJG Morgan, MJ Prior†, LJ Wright, TT Bresnan, GP Swann, JC Tredwell, CT Tremlett