ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, Group A, World Cup 2011, Pallekele

Dilshan, Tharanga take Sri Lanka into quarterfinals

The Report by George Binoy

March 10, 2011

Comments: 65 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka 327 for 6 (Dilshan 144, Tharanga 133) beat Zimbabwe 188 (Taylor 80, Dilshan 4-4) by 139 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Tillakaratne Dilshan celebrates his 95-ball century, Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, Group A, World Cup, Pallekele, March 10, 2011
Tillakaratne Dilshan scored a century and then picked up four wickets as well © AFP

When Elton Chigumbura chose to bowl in Pallekele, to avoid his spinners having to struggle with a dew-soaked ball, little did he think his team would fail to take a wicket for 44.3 overs. But Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga batted forever, notching up the first double-century opening partnership in World Cup history, and their hundreds set up Sri Lanka's victory, officially securing their place in the quarter-finals.

The result was a foregone conclusion once Sri Lanka scored 327 but there was a flutter of hope in the Zimbabwe camp when Brendan Taylor was at the forefront of the pursuit. He combined orthodoxy and innovation during an aggressive half-century, taking advantage of a wayward Sri Lankan pace attack. The hosts gathered themselves, though, and struck twice at the other end after a century opening stand. Taylor eventually departed for 80 in the 25th over, and with him ended Zimbabwe's improbable chances.

The struggle of Zimbabwe's batsmen was in contrast to the ease with which Dilshan and Tharanga had entertained a packed house. They started at top speed, taking 84 of the first 11 overs by playing a shot a minute, and then shifted to a lower gear, bleeding Zimbabwe steadily and so easily through the middle overs. There were regular bursts of acceleration later in the innings and a concerted push during the final ten overs. At no stage were they bothered and rarely has a bowling performance looked so toothless - Chris Mpofu's shout after striking Tharanga's pad with the first ball of the game was the only appeal against the openers. Tired shots, rather than incisive bowling, brought about the dismissal of Tharanga and then Dilshan, and more middle-order wickets fell as batsmen came, swung and pushed the total beyond 300.

Smart Stats

  • The 282-run opening partnership between Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga is the highest opening stand in World Cups going past the 194-run stand between Saeed Anwar and Wajahatullah Wasti in the 1999 semi-final. Tharanga has been involved in five 200-plus stands in ODIs.
  • The record opening stand is also the second-highest stand for the opening wicket in ODIs only behind the 286 stand between Sanath Jayasuriya and Tharanga against England. It is also the fourth-highest partnership for any wicket in ODIs and the second highest in World Cups.
  • Sri Lanka's 327 is their third-highest total in a World Cup game and their tenth best in ODIs. It is also their highest total against Zimbabwe in ODIs.
  • The 116-run stand between Brendan Taylor and Regis Chakabva is the highest opening stand for Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka in ODIs and their fifth-highest for any wicket in World Cups.
  • Dilshan became only the second player after Feiko Kloppenburg of Netherlands to score a century and take four wickets in a World Cup game. Overall, in ODIs, Dilshan is the 11th player to achieve the feat. It is also Dilshan's first century in World Cups.
  • The 139-run margin is Sri Lanka's fifth-largest victory margin in World Cups and the largest against Zimbabwe in World Cup games.
  • The 398 runs aggregated by both opening pairs is the highest in an ODI surpassing the 368 runs aggregated in the match between Sri Lanka and England in 2006.
  • Dilshan's figures of 4 for 4 is the best bowling by a Sri Lankan spinner in World Cups and the tenth-best overall for a spinner in World Cup games.
  • This was the first time in World Cups and the 22nd time overall in ODIs that both openers scored centuries in an innings.

Tharanga threaded the fourth ball through point with a square drive and Sri Lanka were away. For the first time in the tournament Chigumbura did not use Ray Price with the brand new ball and gave the second over to Tinashe Panyangara. It was a costly decision as Dilshan ran amok, driving the full balls, and cutting and pulling the short ones to take 18 runs off the over.

There was no let-up in Sri Lanka's pace during the mandatory Powerplay, off which they scored 77. Dilshan and Tharanga slashed through point, pulled through square and then drove when the length was too full, punishing everyone who bowled at them. When Price was brought on in the fifth over, Dilshan skipped down and drove him inside out through cover.

Not until the 12th and 13th over was there spin from both ends and then Price bowled the innings' first maiden. The spin trio of Price, Prosper Utseya and Graeme Cremer began to exercise more control over the run-rate, which dipped below six for the first time in the 19th, but they failed to take a wicket. Tharanga and Dilshan seamlessly shifted to a lower gear and focused on accumulation.

Zimbabwe's spinners had conceded only 76 runs off 17 overs when Chigumbura gave pace another run by bringing himself on. Dilshan slapped a wide offering through cover to move to 99 and then reached his century off 95 balls, his first in World Cups. Panyangara returned and Tharanga immediately lofted over mid-off and pulled past fine leg. Sri Lanka took 30 off overs 31-33.

Tharanga and Dilshan broke Saeed Anwar and Wajahatullah Wasti's World Cup record of 194 for the first wicket and then became the first openers to score hundreds in the same World Cup innings. They reached 200 in 33.4 overs. During the batting Powerplay, taken in the 41st over, Tharanga's inside-out play through cover was exquisite. With the highest opening partnership in ODIs - 286 between Sanath Jayasuriya and Tharanga at Headingley 2006 - within striking distance, Tharanga holed out to deep cover, bringing Zimbabwe some relief. Dilshan followed in the next over, leaving the finishing touches to his well-rested team-mates.

As impressive as Sri Lanka's display was, Taylor played some of the best shots of the game. Using Malinga's pace, Taylor flicked a low full toss to the backward square-leg boundary, pushed a wide one through covers and chipped a short one over Kumar Sangakkara's head. There was only touch and timing in those shots, no power. Taylor got to his fifty off 39 balls and carried on batting aggressively.

Muttiah Muralitharan came on only in the 16th over, after the bowling Powerplay was completed, and in the 20th he spun a doosra on to Regis Chakabva's off stump, ending the opening stand on 116. Tatenda Taibu was bent on reverse-sweeping Murali whenever he could, and got away with it. He didn't get away with edging Angelo Mathew though, and Sangakkara dived to his right to take the catch inches off the ground.

Those two wickets set back Zimbabwe's chase considerably, and Taylor's dismissal was the definitive blow. On 80, he chipped a slower ball from Angelo Mathews straight to midwicket and the contest was over. Dilshan returned to torment Zimbabwe, picking up four batsmen - his finishing touches on a terrific game. And Murali, playing his final ODI in front of his home crowd, took the final wicket.

Match Timeline

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 65 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (March 12, 2011, 8:24 GMT)

Dilshan is Powerful Man in Srilankan Team

Posted by Anjana on (March 12, 2011, 6:09 GMT)

@ Faizalsehwag: I think you have got confused Sri Lankans with Indians. Sri Lanka's history suggests something exactly opposite to what you say (1996won the Finals - Pakistan, 2003 up to Semi finals- South Africa, up to finals - West Indies). Some of the Indian guys starting to feel some abdominal discomfort as India may meet Sri Lanka in QF (If they are sooooooo unlucky) or in Semi Finals (if they are so unlucky)!. Oh man its a matter of breaking more than one hundred million hearts!!!!!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 12, 2011, 5:24 GMT)

Don't forget Dilshan hasn't exhibited his 'PALLU SCOOP' as yet in WC.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 11, 2011, 17:38 GMT)

@faizalsehwag: Just look for the future brother...

by the way I'll just look to the past just becoz u ask.

its outside SL we won world cup in1996 Its outside SL we came to semis in2003 Its outside SL we came to the final 2007. And its outside SL we are gonna win worldcup in 2011

Either u r just new to cricket or u just don't waste your time watching cricket..

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 11, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

firstly,congradulations to sri lanka.a perfomance well done indeed.now turning to zim.there isnt much to say really.i was reading an article from one of the zim online newspapers and came across an intersting comment made by neil compton.he said the problem with zim cricketers is not on their lack of techinique,its lack of mental strength.it got me thinking about ireland.most of their guys play county cricket.it is no wonder that they peform better than zimbabwe.dnt u go listening to he allisters good pple about the structure of the domestic game.its all lies,its equivalent to boozers cricket.what zim cricket cld do w e thousands they spend on dead rubber like brian lara,is o send our cricketers to world class academies during the off season to develop their game.no offence to local coaches,but u all are just not good enough.could u pliz,4 e 20th time,tell allister that chigumbura is done.but im sure he knows it.maybe there r powers keeping chigumbura there.one never knows w zim cric..

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 11, 2011, 11:59 GMT)

Hello Mr faizalsehwag, I don`t what fact did you take to make your comment ! Sri Lanka lost in the Semis in 2003 and final in 2007 against Australia in South Africa and West Indies respectively ! In 1996 we beat india twice in India and beat Australia to in Lahore to win the Wold Cup ! Get your facts correct mate !

Posted by FAISAL on (March 11, 2011, 10:40 GMT)

srilanka lions at their home grounds...not outside..they r cats........ am i right?look for the past....

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 11, 2011, 10:17 GMT)

Although dilshan scored a century I don't think he is in his best form..he seems to be struggling to time the ball..I just have the feeling of uncertainity while watching his batting..I hope he'll get better and better. Go LIONS>>>>>

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 11, 2011, 8:23 GMT)

A comprehensive win for the Lankans. It shows the team is in tune with WC.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 11, 2011, 8:05 GMT)

As i had said yest we r gonna see fire work from Dilshan ..glad he did not disappoint !!! hope he carries on until they meet India :P

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket
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