160 vs India at Rajkot
It was the first match of a five match series between India and Sri Lanka at Madhavrao sciindia ground, Rajkot. Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl first. Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar terrorized Sri Lankan bowling. All the batsmen contributed with the bat and specially some quick cameos from Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja took India to one of the highest ever total in One day cricket. 414 was the target for Sri Lanka and they needed an extraordinary start to chase it down. Who else could have done it better than Dilshan as he smashed the Indian bowlers all around the park. He scored 160 of just 124 balls as he smashed 20 fours and 3 sixes in between. He got out in 39th over but as long as he was there, the match was well out of India's reach. Although India won the match but Dilshan stole the show. 2009 was a stellar of a year for Dilshan as he amassed 1000 runs at 55.55.
193 vs England at Lords
Every cricketer dreams of scoring a century at lords. Legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Rickey Ponting, and Brian Lara failed to have their names on honour board of lords but Dilshan is not one of them. In the second match of England vs. Sri Lanka series, Sri Lanka won the toss and invited hosts to bat. With the help of some brilliant lower order contributions, England posted a huge score of 486. England was always a nightmare for Asian batsmen and this match was no different as apart from Tillakratne Dilshan and Tharanga Paranavitana, no other batsman were able to go past 50. Dilshan was a lone warrior for his team as he piled on 193 runs including 20 fours and 2 sixes. During his inning he played some lovely drives through the covers and he pulled Stuart Broad with ease throughout. With his effort, he led Sri Lanka to 479, just 7 short of England's score. The match ended in a draw courtesy of great Dilshan effort.
92 & 123 vs New Zealand at Galle
In his first inning as an opener in test cricket, Dilshan smashed the kiwi bowlers all around the park. The kiwis were on island nation for a two match test series and they started their campaign at Galle where Dilshan welcomed them in a brutal manner. New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl first. Dilshan, opening the inning for the first time against red ball scored 92 runs of just 72 balls. During his whirlwind inning, he smashed 12 fours and a six. Sri Lanka posted 452 runs and rolled out kiwis for just 299 runs. Dilshan came back in second innings to haunt the kiwis again as he scored his first hundred as an opener in test cricket. The number of fours and sixes that he smashed in this inning were same as first inning but he took a step ahead and went into triple figures. He went back for 123 not out of 131 balls and helped Sri Lanka to achieve an undefeatable lead of 410 runs. Kiwis were again rolled out for 210 runs in the second inning and they lost the match by a huge margin of 200 runs.
96 not out vs West Indies at the oval
2009 was a great year for Tillakratne Dilshan not just in test and one day cricket but also T-20 cricket. It was the semi final of World T-20 2009. West Indies won the toss and elected to bowl first. Dilshan along with Sanath Jayasuriya added 73 runs in 10.3 overs before Jayasuriya departed. Rest of the Sri Lankan batsmen failed to occupy the crease for much time. Wickets kept falling around Dilshan but he didn't gave up. He kept slaughtering the bowlers with his trademark Dilscoop and some crunchy drives. He finished 96 not out from 57 balls as he helped Sri Lanka to reach a total which was good enough to fight. Later West Indies were bundled out for 101 and Sri Lanka advanced to final where they lost to Pakistan but Dilshan ended the tournament as leading run scorer.
108 not out & 1 for 25 at Colombo
Tillakratne Dilshan the all-rounder was on show in 2011 world cup quarterfinal match between Sri Lanka and England. England won the toss and elected to bat first. Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell started the inning steadily before Dilshan was introduced to bowl in 8th over. Dilshan fired a flat and quick delivery which Strauss tried to pull but he missed it completely and the ball cannoned onto the stumps. English inning never gained momentum and they could only score 229 runs in 50 overs. In reply, Dilshan and Upul Tharanga carried their bats through and easily chased down the target in 39.3 overs. Tillakratne Dilshan scored 108 runs of 115 balls including 12 fours and a six. He specially tormented Graeme Swann who went for 61 from his 9 overs on a track that supported spinners. Again Dilshan finished the tournament as leading run scorer.
Apart from these 5, Tillakratne Dilshan played so many innings that helped Sri Lanka to become one of the best cricket playing nations in last 15 years. He was a complete team man who was ready to do anything for his team. From diving around in point area to those Dilscoops, Cricket will miss everything.
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