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October 1, 2009
Sri Lankan batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan has won the Twenty20 International Performance of the Year award in recognition of his breezy 96 off 57 balls against West Indies in the semi-final of the 2009 World Twenty20 in England. Dilshan's performance at The Oval included two sixes and 12 fours and helped steer his side into the finals of the tournament.
This is the second year the award has been given to recognise the most impressive performance by a player in Twenty20 internationals during the 12-month voting period, continuing to mark the advent of the shortest format of the game.
The award rounds off a good year of Twenty20 cricket for Dilshan who took the World Twenty20 by storm after showcasing his astonishing 'Dilscoop' - a flick-shot over his head - and also being named as Player of the Tournament, having scored 317 runs at 52.83.
According to the ICC Awards 25-member voting academy Dilshan's effort was the most impressive in the voting period between August 13, 2008 to August 24, 2009.
His performance beat competition from West Indies' Chris Gayle for his 88 off 50 balls against Australia, also during the 2009 World Twenty20 at The Oval; Umar Gul's 5 for 6 for Pakistan against New Zealand in the same tournament, as well as twin efforts from Shahid Afridi - a blitzkreig 51 off 34 balls and 2 for 16 against South Africa in the semi-final.
Collecting his award from last year's winner, Yuvraj Singh, Dilshan said: "This is a great feeling for me. I can't forget about that innings - it was so important and I was really happy about my overall performance in that tournament. It was a thrill for me to do well in England and do well for my team.
"I'm really proud of myself for having a new shot named after me (the Dilscoop). That shot has given me confidence. If I am under pressure I can play that shot and put the pressure back on the bowlers."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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