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Cricket World Cup: Tillakaratne Dilshan column

Shaun Tait celebrates Tillakaratne Dilshan's dismissal
Shaun Tait celebrates Tillakaratne Dilshan's dismissal

By Sri Lanka batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan
BBC exclusive

We lost a great opportunity to come back after Sri Lanka's loss to Pakistan last week, because of the downpour at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Saturday.

I think all Sri Lankan fans as well as the team are disappointed that we could not complete the match. If we played the full match, I think we had a great chance to beat Australia and get two points.

Anyway, we have one point, we can't control the rain and we are happy that we are still second in Group A. We are looking forward to the next couple of matches.

I don't think my row with Shaun Tait and Ricky Ponting in the first over resulted in my dismissal. Actually I have already forgotten that incident - we shook hands after the match and that is something in the past now.

The ball pitched on one of my strong areas, usually 99% of times I hit them over the boundary but unfortunately I could not connect my bat properly.

Shaun Tait (right) confronts Tillakaratne Dilshan
I don't think I lost the plot when Tait screamed at me

I don't think I lost the plot when Tait screamed at me.

We had the crucial advantage of winning the toss, but unfortunately rain did not help us. Upul Tharanga and Mahela Jayawardene's dismissals played to Australia's advantage but Kumar Sangakkara once again steadied the ship.

A total of around 230 or 240 would have been very good on that wicket for Sri Lanka as it started turning and bouncing, and I think we had a proper chance of winning the game after Sangakkara's innings.

As Ponting admitted, Australians would have found it difficult to chase had we got that sort of score.

In the end, the result might have been in Sri Lanka's favour. And Lasith Malinga, who is in superb form after his hat-trick against Kenya , did not have much-needed practice against a stronger team.

It is good that Malinga is in good form and in the team after injuries. He might have been dangerous for Australia had we completed the game.

Unlike the last time we played against Pakistan, the pitch at R Premadasa Stadium favoured spinners.

But Pakistan becoming the number one team in Group A might be a concern. They have gone through a turbulent period and were never considered favourites, and are now making a point to prove the critics wrong.

Anyway, after the first round we have to play the best teams in the quarter-finals so if we are to win the World Cup we need to beat strong teams.

We can't say we can't play India or South Africa, we have to play 100%. So I think it should not be a serious concern. But I think the team is fully prepared, even if we are to face one of these stronger teams.

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

Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara

Highlights - Rain scuppers Sri Lanka against Aussies (UK users only)

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see also
Rain forces Colombo abandonment
05 Mar 11 |  Cricket
World Cup day 15 photos
05 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Network apologises to Jayawardene
02 Mar 11 |  Sri Lanka
Malinga hat-trick hammers Kenya
01 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Efficient Pakistan beat Sri Lanka
26 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Ruthless Sri Lanka thrash Canada
20 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Sri Lanka hope to repeat triumph
14 Feb 11 |  Sri Lanka
Muralitharan sets retirement date
21 Jan 11 |  Sri Lanka
Vaas ponders Sri Lanka retirement
11 Jan 11 |  Sri Lanka
Cricket World Cup history in pictures
14 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
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