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Page last updated at 22:46 GMT, Tuesday, 29 March 2011 23:46 UK

Tillakaratne Dilshan World Cup column

Tillakaratne Dilshan
Dilshan's 73 makes him the competition's highest run-scorer

This is only my second World Cup and I am glad that my team, Sri Lanka, qualified for the final in both occasions.

We are very happy about our overall performance, in batting, bowling and fielding on a very slow wicket against New Zealand in the semi-final.

Personally, I am happy about my overall performance but I'm not happy that I only managed to get 73. I would love to have helped the team make a bigger score but it was a very slow wicket that didn't help batsmen.

I could not play my natural game - big, aggressive shots - because of that wicket.

It was a much more tense game than our previous match against New Zealand in India.

We lost three quick wickets but, as I said in my last column, we were confident from the beginning that we would get through to the finals.

Much credit to New Zealand, though. They were determined not to give us an easy ride. They made us work hard for our victory.

Over the years, I have enjoyed playing against New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori. He has been a great captain for the Black Caps and a great spin bowler.

Unlike in many previous matches, Sri Lanka's middle order got an opportunity to prove they were up to the task on this occasion and Chamara Silva, Thilan Samaraweera and Angelo Mathews proved they could handle the pressure when needed.

Muttiah Muralitharan

Murali takes wicket with last home ball

Mathews even played with an injury. He is currently getting treatment, has had some injections and I hope he will be fit to play in the final in India on Saturday.

The team is glad that we now have only one step to win the world title.

We all are glad that Muttiah Muralitharan got his second wicket on his last ball in Sri Lanka.

It was nice to see Murali get his 800th Test wicket in his last Test ball and taking a wicket with his last ball in a home one-day international was equally special.

The team is determined to give Murali - a great team player, a great friend and a really special man in every sense - a great farewell by winning the World Cup once again for him.

We cannot decide whether it is India or Pakistan we will face in the final. We are not concerned about Pakistan's unbeaten record against us in the World Cups.

As we have done throughout this tournament, we have to play our best cricket in the final, irrespective of whether it is India or Pakistan.

We simply need to continue the very good cricket we are playing at the moment.

The confidence is very high in the dressing room and we are determined to bring the World Cup to Sri Lanka, for the first time since 1996.

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



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see also
Sri Lanka edge NZ to reach final
29 Mar 11 |  Cricket
New Zealand v Sri Lanka photos
29 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Tillakaratne Dilshan World Cup column
26 Mar 11 |  Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka knock out jaded England
26 Mar 11 |  England
Strauss bemoans schedule on exit
26 Mar 11 |  England
S Lanka row over cricket tickets
25 Mar 11 |  South Asia
Tillakaratne Dilshan World Cup column
25 Mar 11 |  Sri Lanka
Tillakaratne Dilshan World Cup column
10 Mar 11 |  Sri Lanka
Tillakaratne Dilshan World Cup column
06 Mar 11 |  Sri Lanka
Tillakaratne Dilshan World Cup column
26 Feb 11 |  Sri Lanka
Record stand helps Sri Lanka win
10 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Efficient Pakistan beat Sri Lanka
26 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket


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