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Page last updated at 22:25 GMT, Saturday, 26 February 2011

Cricket World Cup: Tillakaratne Dilshan column

Tillakaratne Dilshan
Dilshan made 41 in his side's 11-run loss to Pakistan in Colombo on Saturday

By Sri Lanka batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan
BBC exclusive

Pakistan once again proved what a dangerous and unpredictable side they are and obviously the day belonged to them.

It is, of course, sad that we lost after such a competitive game.

It was Sri Lanka's first defeat at home in a Cricket World Cup match.

I failed to give the team a proper start and I don't think it was my day even as a bowler, though I took two crucial catches.

I am not sure whether we were complacent but we thought we would easily chase the target of 277 at the R Premadasa Stadium.

It was a good pitch for the batsmen and I think I should have formed a longer partnership with Kumar Sangakkara.

We relied heavily on vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene, who struck the fastest World Cup century by a Sri Lankan against Canada last Sunday.

Of course, my early dismissal and that of Mahela's by Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi's superb delivery were turning points.

We have to admit that we did make some mistakes in our batting, but the fact that we lost by only 11 runs means the boys made a great effort to win.

Misbah-ul-Haq's 83 runs in 91 balls and his strong partnership with Younus Khan were the other turning points.

Our bowlers did their best but it was Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar that changed the game for Pakistan's advantage.

Both Mahela and our captain Sangakkara have correctly warned of how dangerous the Pakistan team could be.

Would Lasith Malinga have changed the game had he been playing? Most probably. He is the better bowler in the fast bowling unit. If he was in the team it might have been a different scenario.

Although not a co-host, this is still Pakistan's home region and they know this terrain and these conditions very well.

On a positive note, we can still celebrate Muttiah Muralitharan becoming the second most successful bowler in World Cup history when he collected his 56th scalp by dismissing Umar Akmal.

My ultimate dream is to see Sri Lanka repeat the 1996 glory by lifting the World Cup once again for my country

I wish Murali the best of luck in becoming the most successful bowler in World Cups during this tournament.

Yes, we were outplayed by a team that played better cricket on the day but I am sure we will come back stronger for the next round of matches.

We cannot be complacent even against minnows like Kenya. Every match is crucial to us and we are now focusing on the next game.

It was a great lesson for us, but we are not down. All my team-mates are cool-headed and we know we can bounce back.

If I was a Pakistan cricket fan, of course I will be glad that my team is once again performing well after turbulent years on and off the field.

But my ultimate dream is to see Sri Lanka repeat the 1996 glory by lifting the World Cup for my country.

Tillakaratne Dilshan was speaking to Saroj Pathirana of the BBC Sinhala Service

Misbah-ul-Haq

Highlights - Pakistan upset hosts Sri Lanka (UK users only)



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see also
Efficient Pakistan beat Sri Lanka
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Cricket World Cup photos
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Pakistan v Sri Lanka as it happened
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Ruthless Sri Lanka thrash Canada
20 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Sri Lanka hope to repeat triumph
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Muralitharan sets retirement date
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11 Jan 11 |  Sri Lanka
Cricket World Cup history in pictures
14 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket


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