Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara plays a shot through the offside against England in their ICC Champions Trophy 2013 game, 13 JuneReuters

Kumar Sangakkara was not going to let Sri Lanka exit the tournament in a whimper. The classy left-hander played an outstanding unbeaten 134 from just 135 balls to help his side to a massive seven-wicket victory over England in their ICC Champions Trophy 2013 game at The Oval.

The win for Sri Lanka keeps Group A very much in the balance, with all four teams - England, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka - capable of making the semifinals.

England would have become the second team, after India, to seal a spot in the semis had they won against Lanka on Thursday, and after the first innings, where the hosts posted a formidable 293 for seven in their 50 overs, the result looked extremely probable.

Jonathan Trott (76), Alastair Cook (59) and Joe Root (68) had all played nice little half-centuries, as England continued with their strategy of keeping wickets in hand, building a solid base, and then looking to take advantage in the final overs.

They had Ravi Bopara to thank for taking the score near 300, with the dynamic right-hander scoring a brilliant 13-ball 33 (2x4, 3x6) - surely Bopara's place in the one-day unit must be safe now, having played two delightful little innings in the last two matches.

So, England looked on course with their admirable bowling attack all set to take down the fragile Sri Lankan batting.

But then, one-day cricket is a leveller in many ways and while Sri Lanka struggled with the bat miserably in their first match against New Zealand, they always had the class - with the likes of Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan in their lineup -- to chase down any kind of target.

It was just a matter of one of the big three firing, and the rest of the batsmen playing around him, which is precisely what happened.

The chase did not begin well with Kusal Perera holing out to Bopara at mid-on off James Anderson. However, that wicket brought Sangakkara to the crease, who, along with fellow former captain Dilshan, laid the foundation.

The duo allied for 92 runs, before Dilshan (44 in 56 balls) was sent packing by the returning Graeme Swann.

However Sangakkara built another solid partnership with his best mate Jayawardene (42 in 43), before the excellent Nuwan Kulasekara played a blinder of an innings to take the team home.

After Jayawardene lost his wicket in the 36th over - caught at deep-square leg off Anderson (two for 51) - Sri Lanka still needed 107 runs from a little over 14 overs.

However, Kulasekara, sent in earlier than usual, stepped up in some style, scoring 58 in a mere 38 balls as Sangakkara continued his ridiculously easy and carefree batting to take Sri Lanka to the target with 17 balls and seven wickets to spare.

Sri Lanka now take on Australia in their final match, while England, a day earlier on Sunday, face New Zealand, with the two semifinal spots very much up for grabs.

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