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Dilli-ka-ratne

india Updated: May 22, 2009 02:24 IST
G. Krishnan
G. Krishnan
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Three hundreds in his last five Test innings and the near miss (97) in the last ODI are proof that Tillakaratne Dilshan is in sublime touch. The Sri Lankan has carried forth his form in the IPL and, in the company of AB de Villiers, has been exceptional for the Delhi Daredevils.

Dilshan has aggregated 353 runs from 13 matches and enhancing his utility is his part-time off-spin and athletic fielding.

“I am in very good form at the moment and have been scoring consistently for Sri Lanka in the last six or seven months,” Dilshan told the Hindustan Times.

The Lankan felt he wasn’t under pressure to perform after the repeated failures of openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag.

“I like to bat in the first six overs when I can play some strokes and make full use of the Power Play.

“I have been talking a lot to Viru (Sehwag) and coach (Greg Shipperd) and they encourage me to play my normal game. After the Power Play, I try to bat till the end. That has worked well for me.”

The Daredevils’ solid middle-order has been able to compensate for the lack of runs at the top.

“We have a strong middle-order with AB, me and Dinesh Karthik at numbers three, four and five respectively. Karthik has been doing well and AB is in very good form. I hope everything will fall in place in the semifinal and (hopefully) the final,” said the 32-year-old.

What does he think is the reason behind his successful association with De Villiers? “We try not to take risks, push the ball through the gaps and dispatch the loose deliveries to the boundary. That is the key and I hope it stays that way in the knockout.”

Dilshan said the team was not complacent going into the semifinal, having lost two of their previous three games before the final league clash. “We have been giving everyone a chance after qualifying for the semifinal.

“I was rested for one game (against the Royal Challengers on Tuesday). It is not easy to win nine out of 13 matches, we have been consistent.”

Dilshan has fond memories of last year’s edition when he got married at the team hotel in Delhi.

The fondness has lingered and he wants to make it even more memorable by lifting the title.

“I had a very good season last year. We qualified for the semifinals. I hope to return with better memories by winning the title here,” he said.