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Cricket World Cup: Tillakaratne Dilshan column

Tillakaratne Dilshan
Dilshan took 4-4 in three overs to add to his 144 in Sri Lanka's victory

By Sri Lanka batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan
BBC exclusive

On Wednesday, there were reports that I had failed a dope test.

It is not the first time these kind of allegations have surfaced - they have done so after every recent tournament I have played in.

I feel like there is an attempt to distract my game but I am not worried. I try to ignore the reports and concentrate on my game instead.

What actually happened is the International Cricket Council randomly selected Ajantha Mendis and Chamara Silva to give blood samples after our game against Australia.

They did not even take my blood sample so I simply don't know where these reports have come from.

But I was not trying to reply my critics, or to those reports, in Thursday's performance against Zimbabwe. I was not under any pressure, nor was I angry, but it is not pleasant when attempts are being made to distract you, especially when you are playing in a World Cup.

Upul Tharanga
Tharanga contributed 133 to the record first-wicket partnership

But what a great day Thursday was. It was my best performance in my one-day international career. It makes it more special that it came during the World Cup.

And full credit to Upul Tharanga; it was his support and determination that kept me going as we put on a record 282 for the first wicket.

I am really happy that together we got two World Cup records - the first time both openers recorded centuries and beating the 194 set by Pakistan's Saeed Anwar and Wajahatullah Wasti in 1999 - but our focus was winning the game not the record.

The pitch in Muttiah Muralitharan stadium in Pallekele, Kandy, suited the batsmen. It was a superb wicket for one-day internationals. Both captains were worried about the dew if they were to bat second.

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura's decision to bowl after winning the toss was the correct decision, Sri Lanka would have done the same.

Our middle order batsmen went out while trying to score quick runs after myself and Tharanga steadied the innings. I don't think we should worry about the middle order. It was not a batting collapse. They had 20-25 balls left and they tried to get the maximum runs within a short period of time.

Then, as we were playing one specialist spinner in Muttiah Muralitharan, I had a role to play as a part-time spinner and I performed well but it would have been better had I managed to get five wickets in addition to the 144 runs I scored.

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

Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan

A dropped catch denies Dilshan a hat-trick (UK users only)

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see also
Record stand helps Sri Lanka win
10 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Rain forces Colombo abandonment
05 Mar 11 |  Cricket
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
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket

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