Tillakaratne Dilshan has announced his retirement from one-dayers and T20s. The third ODI against Australia at Dambulla on Sunday will be his last one-day match, following which he will feature in the two T20s, and end his international career completely. Here’s a look at some of his best performances in the shorter formats during an impressive career.
160 vs India at Rajkot, December 15, 2009: The effort may have come in a losing cause, but it was a spectacular innings considering the circumstances. Batting first, India had amassed 414 for 7, and the result seemed a mere formality. But, Tillakaratne Dilshan came in and smashed the Indian bowlers to all parts of the ground. He blasted 160 from 124 balls, with 20 fours and three sixes. The Indian bowlers were pretty much at his mercy. At 339 for 4 in the 40th over when Dilshan was dismissed by Harbhajan Singh, Sri Lanka were still ahead. But, India’s bowlers fought back to get home by three runs. Dilshan’s brilliance almost overshadowed the equally whirlwind 146 by Virender Sehwag.
160 not out vs India at Hobart, February 28, 2012: The opposition was again the same, the venue had changed, but Dilshan again came up with exactly the same score he made a little over two years back. This time, Sri Lanka batted first, and Dilshan remained unbeaten hitting 160 from 165 balls, with 11 fours and three sixes. With Kumar Sangakkara also hitting a hundred, Sri Lanka ended up with 320 for 4. To remain alive in the tri-series, India needed to win in much lower than 50 overs. Virat Kohli made an astonishing 133 from 86 balls, being extremely severe on Lasith Malinga as India romped home in just 36.4 overs.
137 not out vs Pakistan at Lahore, January 24, 2009: First things first, this innings came in a winning cause. Batting first, Sri Lanka posted 300 plus. Dilshan led the way with an unbeaten 137 from 139 balls, which featured 10 fours in what was a rather restrained effort. Sangakkara again played the support hand with a fifty. In response, Nuwan Kulasekara and Thilan Thushara claimed three wickets each as Pakistan crumbled to 75 all out.
116 vs New Zealand at Hamilton, January 15, 2015: Dilshan scored hundreds away from home too. Chasing 249 against the Kiwis in this match, Dilshan took the team to victory with 116 from 127 balls, hitting 17 boundaries. Sri Lanka eased to win by six wickets. Dilshan’s brilliance undone Brendon McCullum’s effort, who made 117 from 99 earlier in the day.
96 not out vs West Indies at London, June 19, 2009: This was the semi-final of the 2009 World T20, and Dilshan’s innings knocked out West Indies. He made a blazing 96 from 57 balls with 12 fours and 2 sixes as Sri Lanka put up 158 for 5 on the board. Although Chris Gayle made 63 not out, Sri Lanka held Windies for 101, and made it to the final.
--By A Cricket Analyst