Kumar Sangakkara hit a fine 134 not out as Sri Lanka secured a seven-wicket victory over England in the ICC Champions Trophy on Thursday.
Nuwan Kulasekara added 58 off 38 deliveries, as Sri Lanka reached their 294 target with 17 balls remaining in their innings at The Oval.
Jonathan Trott, Joe Root and Alastair Cook all passed 50 for England, while Ravi Bopara scored a whirlwind 33 from 13 balls, to leave England in a promising position at 7-293.
But Sangakkara's brilliance means the tournament hosts have to beat New Zealand on Sunday to secure their passage to the semi-finals, while Sri Lanka need to beat Australia after suffering a one-wicket loss to the Kiwis in their opening fixture.
England batted first and made steady progress with Cook and Ian Bell comfortably seeing out the first 10 overs, going slowly but surely to reach 0-38, and eventually forcing Sri Lanka into a double bowling change.
As Angelo Mathews came on from the Pavilion End in the 11th over, he saw his first delivery smashed for four by Cook, but it was Shaminda Eranga, from the Vauxhall End, who troubled the batsmen.
Bell tried to play him through the leg side but did not anticipate Kusal Perera at mid-wicket who, after juggling the ball, secured the catch to take the Warwickshire man for 20.
Cook continued to tick along, but after being dropped by Tillakaratne Dilshan and then smashing him for four to reach his 17th ODI fifty, his lives were soon up.
Spinner Rangana Herath trapped the England captain lbw (59) and Cook's review was wasted when it proved to be a perfect delivery.
The next 10 overs saw the introduction of Root, who entertained fans with his impressive stroke-making, with a stubborn Trott passing his half-century at the other end before the Yorkshireman, helped by a dropped catch at backward point by Dilshan did likewise.
Just two balls later, however, Trott was the next to fall, in a big breakthrough for Sri Lanka, as Herath rapped him on the pads to dismiss him for 76.
Root was dropped again a couple of overs later by Sangakkara but his wicket was eventually taken in the 45th over as he skied a Lasith Malinga slower ball into the hands of Mahela Jayawardene at deep midwicket.
The next few overs saw the dressing room door revolve as Eoin Morgan (13) departed lbw to Malinga, before Jos Buttler (zero) was caught by Sangakkara off Kulasekera and Tim Bresnan (four) was clean bowled by Eranga.
The final over was a real treat though as Bopara humiliated Eranga somewhat, smashing three sixes, two fours, and a two to add 28 to the final total of 7-293 and skew the bowler's figures.
And they made a great start in their attempts to dismiss Sri Lanka, as Perera (six) was dismissed in the third over after a James Anderson delivery hit the toe of his bat and looped to the waiting hands of Bopara at mid-on, to leave Sri Lanka on 10-1.
But that brought Sangakkara to the crease, and he settled immediately, before hitting consecutive boundaries on the leg side from the bowling of Stuart Broad.
He and Dilshan (44) put on a partnership of 92, before the latter thick-edged Graeme Swann's delivery to Joe Root at long on.
But England failed to build on that wicket, and the runs continued to flow for Sangakkara and Sri Lanka as Jayawardene added 42 from 43 deliveries.
He eventually fell in the 36th over, when sub fielder, Jonny Bairstow, took a high catch at deep square leg, as Anderson claimed his second wicket.
But it again failed to ignite the England bowling attack, as Kulasekara joined the fray and put on a stand of 110 with Sangakkara, as Sri Lanka secured the victory and kept their tournament hopes alive.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 14 June, 2013 9:24AM AEDT