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03 December 2023

'Proud' Sangakkara marks 400th ODI with century

Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara acknowledges the crowd after scoring a century during his Cricket World Cup match against Bangladesh at the MCG in Melbourne, February 26, 2015. (Reuters)


Kumar Sangakkara said he was proud to have "kept pace with the game" as he marked his 400th one-day international with a century against Bangladesh in their World Cup clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday.

The 37-year-old left-hander, who plans to retire from the white-ball game after the World Cup, struck his 22nd ODI century off just off 73 balls including 12 fours and a six before finishing on 105 not out.

But for much of his innings he played second-fiddle to Tillakaratne Dilshan, who made 161 not out in the pair's unbroken second-wicket stand of 210 that saw Sri Lanka to a commanding total of 332 for one in their 50 overs.

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"It's nice to get a hundred," said Sangakkara at the mid-innings break. "Dilshan batted brilliantly and the innings was set-up by that opening partnership (of 122 between Dilshan and Lahiru Thirimanne, who made 52).

"The boys were wishing me luck for my 400th game so it was nice to get the hundred," said Sangakkara.

"You have to evolve with the game. I've tried to keep pace with the guys and innovate."

Sangakkara joined two Sri Lankans - Sanath Jayasuriya (445) and current team-mate Mahela Jayawardene (444) - in a '400-club' of most appearances headed by India great Sachin Tendulkar of India, who played 463 ODI matches.

Sangakkara, the prolific left-handed batsman and wicketkeeper who made his debut in 2000, is due to retire from one-day cricket, along with Jayawardene, after the World Cup.