12 March 2015
Top of the Tables – Kumar Sangakkara and Josh Davey
Two players with very different stories but with World Cup records to their name
Josh Davey of Scotland celebrates with his team mates after taking the wicket of Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka yesterday in Hobart.
On one hand, there was Kumar Sangakkara. Undoubtedly one of the best players of all time, the Sri Lanka veteran continued his rich vein of form and set a World Record while he was at it, becoming the first player to score four one-day international centuries in a row.
He followed up by taking his 53rd and 54th World Cup dismissals, climbing ahead of Adam Gilchrist into first place, becoming the first man to pass 500 ODI dismissals in the process.
On the other hand, there was Josh Davey, the Scotland allrounder whose name would be unfamiliar to most but who has created a World Record all of his own this year.
At the end of the Hobart match, Davey was leading the wicket taker tally for the tournament, his 14 scalps placing him ahead of the likes of Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
Sangakkara is in the sort of form most players can only dream about. His runs seem to come effortlessly and he is the picture of calm and confidence at the crease.
It is hard to believe he intends to retire from one-day international cricket at the end of the tournament, given he yesterday became the first man to score four ODI centuries in a row.
His 124 off 95 balls against Scotland followed scores of 105* against Bangladesh, 117* against England and 104 against Australia.
Sri Lanka’s next game will be a quarter-final in Sydney and its hopes of advancing deeper into the finals would be significantly boosted if Sangakkara was able to add a fifth century.
After the match the 37-year-old played down his achievements, almost blushing when asked to write “four in a row” on his Twitter Mirror selfie.
Teammate Lahiru Thirimanne said the feeling around the dressing room was “fantastic” thanks to Sangakkara’s form.
“We are all privileged to share the same dressing room with him,” Thirimanne said.
“It's fantastic. He is playing wonderfully at the moment. Hopefully he continues his form in the qualifying rounds.”
Sangakkara has played 403 ODIs for Sri Lanka and is appearing in his fourth World Cup.
For Davey, the 2015 tournament is his first. He has played 23 ODIs since 2010 but in January, created history when he became the first Associate player to take six wickets and score a fifty in the same match.
He is one of only five players to achieve the feat alongside Lance Klusener, Shahid Afridi, Paul Collingwood and Scott Styris.
His 3-63 against Sri Lanka moved him to the top of the wicket tally, ahead of the likes of Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
The 24-year-old, who made a county debut for Middlesex as a teenager and now plays for Somerset, picked up the impressive scalps of Sangakkara himself, alongside Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene.
He will have the chance to take some major wickets to add to his tally on Saturday, when Scotland plays Australia at the same venue.
Speaking after Wednesday’s game, Scotland vice-captain Kyle Coetzer said the side was looking forward to taking on the current No.1 ranked ODI side.
"We've got to believe we can compete," Coetzer said.
"It's tough, you know, with the quality players we're coming up against, and it's a big learning curve for a number of our guys, and we definitely are taking strides forward.
“It's a huge day for us. We're rearing for it, and we want to put in a real performance and really show what we're made of.”
Bangladesh v New Zealand, Match 37, Hamilton
De Villiers stars in South Africa win