At Wellington (Westpac Stadium), March 1, 2015. Sri Lanka won by nine wickets. Toss: England.
Sangakkara and Thirimanne - a constant thorn and a less familiar one - flayed England's worst bowling of the tournament. Morgan later drew criticism for suggesting "275 to 280" was par for the venue, especially since one-day cricket had moved on quickly in recent months. Their total of 309 for six did seem competitive, but Sri Lanka enjoyed the easiest of rides as they overtook it with 16 balls to spare, for the loss of only Dilshan. As against Australia, England rued an early miss: the left-handed Thirimanne, on three, edged Broad to first slip, where Root moved late, expecting wicketkeeper Buttler to claim the catch instead. Thirimanne went on to a career-best unbeaten 139. The imperious Sangakkara, who had scored 454 runs in seven one-day games at home against England before Christmas, struck a second hundred in four days; from 70 balls, it was the fastest of his career. By the time Ali gave Thirimanne another life, on 98, England had lost any semblance of control. Their own innings had been rescued by a mature performance from Root, who capitalised on a reprieve from Jayawardene on two to succeed David Gower - and mirror Thirimanne - as his country's youngest World Cup centurion. Frustration at Morgan's dismissal approaching the powerplay was assuaged as Taylor gave Root enterprising support in a fifth-wicket stand of 98 in 11 overs. An unbeaten 39 from 19 balls by Buttler embellished the total: he so unsettled Lakmal that the bowler was forced off after a second beamer, leaving Dilshan to send down the final two balls of the innings. The last two overs were thus delivered by four different bowlers: Perera had completed the 49th, after Herath's left index finger was split by Buttler's rasping drive. But nothing could stop Sri Lanka's top order. RICHARD HOBSON Man of the Match: K. C. Sangakkara.