Dilshan puts pressure on England


Published: Tuesday 16th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Tillakaratne Dilshan’s 18th one-day international hundred in his 300th match for Sri Lanka left England needing a ground-record run chase at the Premadasa Stadium.

It was Dilshan (101), of Sri Lanka’s three veteran batsmen, who played the starring role in a total of 302 for six, relegating Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara to bit-parts in their final ODI appearances on home soil.

Dilshan’s 122-ball century laid the foundations, and increasingly rapid 50s from Dinesh Chandimal (55no) and then Thisara Perera (54) meant the tourists must achieve the first 300-plus chase by anyone in Sri Lanka in order to win the final game of a series they currently trail 4-2.

Jayawardene and Sangakkara both fell short of half-centuries but nonetheless helped Dilshan get the hosts off to a flying start after choosing to bat first on a very good pitch.

The score was 66 after the 10-over powerplay for the loss of Jaywardene, mishooking Harry Gurney to long-leg, and a second-wicket stand of 65 ended when Sangakkara clipped a Moeen Ali full toss into the leg-side ring.

Dilshan was past his 50 by then, having targeted James Tredwell’s first over with blows over the top for two fours and a six from the final three deliveries.

Tredwell returned as he and the economical Moeen tried to restrict the middle overs, a process which included the wicket of Angelo Mathews.

Sri Lanka’s captain attempted a paddle-sweep and was bowled round his legs, but back-to-form Chandimal rode his luck – escaping two half-chances in the outfield on 15 and 38 – before Dilshan completed his hundred.

The 38-year-old opener reached three figures with two into the off-side off Chris Jordan, and then ran towards the crowd and lapped up their appreciation.

In the same over, he holed out in the leg-side deep off a full toss.

However, Chandimal and Perera took over, the latter smashing 45 of a half-century stand off 25 balls for the fifth wicket and bagging his personal milestone off just 23, including a six and seven fours, as 56 runs were plundered in the last five overs.

Published: Tuesday 16th December 2014 by The News Editor

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