England v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, Lord's July 3, 2011

Dilshan disapproves of century go-slow


Sri Lanka's captain Tillakaratne Dilshan admitted he was 'disappointed' with how his team crossed the winning line at Lord's, as Angelo Mathews blocked out overs and declined singles to allow Dinesh Chandimal to reach his second one-day international hundred. However, he added, the value of that innings to a young batsman would bring huge benefits for the team.

England's captain Alastair Cook, on the other hand, was less fulsome in his praise of the slightly farcical scenes. At one point the 12th man tried to come on with a pair of gloves but was waved away by the umpire only for Mathews to signal he needed a new bat. Kevin Pietersen then became involved in an exchange of views - in what is becoming a slightly bad-tempered series for England - before the situation was ended two balls later when Chandimal swung Tim Bresnan for six over long-on to reach his hundred.

As Chandimal celebrated, the England players stood stony-faced in their positions. "It was different, I've never seen that before," Cook said. "They were perfectly entitled to do it if they want but it was a bit strange and the cricketing gods may look at that in a bit of disgust."

The instructions hadn't come from the Sri Lanka dressing room and Dilshan could be seen becoming increasingly restless, especially when Mathews turned down a single with Chandimal almost sharing his crease at the striker's end. "I was disappointed when Mathews didn't take a single, but they haven't played too much cricket," he said.

"I'm really happy he got a hundred. We are working as a team, it shows we are playing like a family and everyone saw we are a unit. Getting a hundred at Lord's is special. Overall I'm really happy at the end result."

There was never any real danger of the result being impacted - even if Cook thought "it got a bit close" - and it was the venue that was the motivating factor behind Sri Lanka's tactics. "I'm very happy because it's an historical ground," Chandimal said.

Dilshan was able to appreciate the meaning of three-figures at Lord's having made 193 during the Test match, but Chandimal won't have his name up in the dressing room as the honours boards only cover Tests. "Any cricketer wants to have a hundred at Lord's. I came here and did it in the Test match," Dilshan said. "We still talk about the older Sri Lanka cricketers who got hundreds at Lord's and we want to leave something for the youngsters who come in 10-15 years' time."

While the finish was slightly messy and undignified, it shouldn't disguise another impressive performance from Sri Lanka. That Chandimal, at 21 a player for the future, played such a key role only bodes well for the development of the team. He has spent a lot of time on the tour carrying drinks, and managed to run himself out at Headingley having replaced the retired Sanath Jayasuriya, so this innings showed resolve.

"Chandimal played like an experienced guy and batted throughout the innings and he finished the game which is a good sign for Sri Lanka cricket," Dilshan said. "With guys like myself, Mahela and Sanga we have a good unit and we have played well in the last two matches."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • samik on July 6, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    Somone might want to tell Cook continually subbing your players on and off the field is also somthing ''cricketing gods may look at that in a bit of disgust."

  • Nilantha on July 5, 2011, 16:30 GMT

    ultimately it doesnt matter as we got the result and the young man got his well deserved ton..

  • A on July 5, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    If the Gods were truly angerd or disgusted they should have allowed Bresnan to smite his oponent down. Instead the Gods gifted Chandimal a 6 to get his century at :ords. Perhaps the Cricket Gods are just not English any more.

  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    Well not bad tactics. Many times we see batsmen stranded in 90s and we think "aww, maybe he should have kept strike this over". And allowing the other batsman to get a century is much better than 'bowling a no-ball to deny the opposition a century'. Thankfully, the bowlers' didn't get so frustrated that they went on to bowl a no-ball

  • Mahilal on July 5, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Cook says 'it was a bit strange and the cricketing gods may look at that in a bit of disgust' Interesting! What would he have said to Alec Stewert's tactics in the 1998 test that England were about to loose by 10 wickets - he got his bowlers to bowl balls that the batsman could not reach (big bouncers, just wide deliveries etc) to use up overs to prevent a deserving victory. Of course he did not bargain for the greta innovator, Sanath Jay and England lost. Disgusting I would say. And God may have an even stronger word!

  • Tania on July 5, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    Country before self - that is my brother's school motto. How I wish our younger generation learn that and learn that fast. I expected Angelo to be more mature and guide the youngster - but that didn't happen. Now I understand why Dilshan was appointed the captain instead of Angelo.

  • Anjana on July 5, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    @Vineeth Murali: 100% agree with you, Sri Lankans must have learnt all those things from Sreesanth and Bhaaji I reckon!!!!

  • The on July 5, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    I think Dilshan's "disappointment" is justifiable as a captain . After the incident in 1st test final day he surely can fear the worst. Give him time. He'll learn. congrats Chandimal. Now is the time to go on. Bravo Angello. If this confidence of yours stays Sri Lanka will be very fortunate .

  • Kyle on July 5, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    @ Vineeth Murali

    I don't understand how this was agaisnt the spirit of the game... Mathews was not toying with the english, nor was he being cocky or arrogant in anyway. He simply wanted his young teammate to score a memorable hundred and knew there was not much risk in his actions.

    Comon this was a great display of team spirit and shows that the boys are looking after one and other.

    The commentators, obviously frustrated by england's abismal performance tried to build suspsense and started up this whole incident, but the situation was always under control.

    Forget dilshan, did you see mahela and sanga during that period, the real leaders were calm and not phased.

  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    What Matthews did was perfectly ok.. There was no risk of loosing the match and it was the Team Spirit at its best... We don't have to play Aussie or English brand of cricket, we have our own brand.. Dilshan has done the same to Upul Tharanga and if I can remember correctly Great Arjuna R did the same for Little Kalu.. We are no Aussie nor England, lets not try to judge our team from their cultural yard sticks... With our brand of cricket we were/are so successful so lets not change it just because English or Australian commentators/players don't like it....

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