Dilshan was one blow away from hitting the tournament's first ton
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara hailed his side's mental strength after they sealed their place in Sunday's ICC World Twenty20 final.
They face Pakistan in the final, four months after being caught in the middle of the terrorist atrocity in Lahore.
They booked their spot at Lord's courtesy of a 57-run semi-final victory over the West Indies on Friday.
"It's fitting reward for our courage and the way we have played in this tournament," said Sangakkara.
Once again, Sri Lanka dominated their opponents with an impressive technical display with bat and ball, posting a total of 158-5 before bowling the West Indies out for 101.
Sangakkara feels such performances, and the side's appreciation of their achievements, are spurred on by the side's experience of the incident in Lahore when their bus came under attack and several players received injuries.
"I think what Lahore really brought home to us was that we are the same as everyone else. It (terrorism) can happen to anyone and it happened to us," he said.
"Sometimes it is nice to be reminded of your mortality when things like the press can build you up to be a bit more than that in this sporting culture.
"I think it's great the way the guys have prepared mentally and the way they've gone out, showed no fear and just focused on cricket."
Sangakkara singled out batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan as a "pioneering strokemaker" after the openers decisive innings of 96 not out.
"You run out of superlatives to describe him," said Sangakkara.
"He has understood his role in the past year and a half, he's become very mature and is beginning to understand just how good a batsman he is."
Dilshan, who has played in 17 Twenty20 internationals and 160 one-day matches for his country, was already the tournament's top scorer before the semi-final at The Oval.
I was very disappointed with the batting, which I thought was our strength, but Sri Lanka's bowling was excellent
He then produced the best individual score, in an innings that again featured a couple of distinctive shots scooped over his own head.
However, the 32-year-old fell just four runs short of becoming only the second player after Chris Gayle to record a Twenty20 international century.
He said: "I always felt 140 was a good total because we have so many champion bowlers.
"In the last six months I have had very good form in the Indian Premier League and international cricket, and I was just trying to continue that into this tournament.
Sangakkara said conditions had helped his team more than West Indies.
"The ball was not really coming on, it was not a typical Oval wicket. We expected the ball to come on more but it was a really good wicket for us."
Highlights - Sri Lanka power past Windies
And he also praised the contribution of Angelo Mathews, who took three West Indies wickets in an incredible first over.
"He's young, it was his first major tour with the side - what a fantastic over, you can't ask for more.
"We have a lot of belief and confidence for the final from this game, but the greatest thing is to concentrate on your role and the basics."
Dejected West Indies captain Gayle played a lone hand, making 63 not out as they were bowled out for 101.
He said: "Dilshan took the game away from us, he batted magnificently well. One man can actually change a game of Twenty20.
"I was very disappointed with the batting, which I thought was our strength, but Sri Lanka's bowling was excellent.
"In the first over we lost three wickets. We have been struggling to get good starts but we will just use the tournament as a learning experience. I'm sure next time around we'll be stronger."