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‘Happy to get the ton’

For Dilshan, it was an important century and this showed in the manner in which he celebrated, reports Anand Vasu.Full coverage: Mission Sri Lanka

cricket Updated: Jul 25, 2008 23:29 IST
Anand Vasu

Tillakaratne Dilshan was left somewhat out of the limelight by Muttiah Muralitharan, who picked up four Indian wickets to place Sri Lanka in a fine position to strike. But then Murali has put bigger performances than an unbeaten 125 in the shade. For Dilshan, though, it was an important century, and this showed in the manner in which he celebrated on reaching the milestone, exuberantly punching his bat in the air in the direction of the dressing room.

The elaborate celebration was as much a whoop of delight as it was a vote of thanks to Mahela Jayawardene, his captain, and the seniors in the team, for keeping their faith with him even when other contenders were knocking on the door.

"I'm very happy to get the hundred because I missed a couple last year," said Dilshan soon after the match, explaining there was no elaborate strategy behind Sri Lanka's approach to the day. "We just wanted to bat the first session till lunch without taking too many chances, and then see."

Looking forward, Dilshan made it clear his team's first task was to seal the Indian first innings. "We want to take the remaining four wickets. After lunch, the ball was turning and bouncing, and I think Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan are bowling really well. We have a good chance to win this Test."

Dilshan conceded Sachin Tendulkar began well, but struck a cautionary note for India's batsmen. "Tendulkar started really well, Murali bowled a doosra and he didn't pick that one. He was looking very good at the start," he said. "It's not easy to play a stroke, with turn and bounce. Tomorrow is the fourth day and the ball will start turning."

If you were curious about the shot Dinesh Karthik played, you're not alone. "I can't comment on those shots. I can only say I was surprised that Karthik played a shot like that 10 overs from stumps."