An opportunity availed by Dilshan
Tillakaratne Dilshan, who scored a stylish 84 on his return to the Sri Lankan team, said he was under no pressure while crafting a 149-run partnership for the fifth wicket alongside Mahela Jayawardene.
"I have been in good form these past three months both domestically and for the A-team and I was under no pressure when I was recalled to the team," Dilshan said at the end of the second day's play. "I played my natural game and was successful. I had been waiting for the past few weeks for an opportunity to get back into the side and when I did, I took full advantage of it."
Dilshan was run out while trying to help Jayawardene get his hundred before the tea break. "It would have been nice if I got a hundred. But that's cricket."
Brimming with confidence when it came to his batting, he said: "I undertake any challenge that is thrown to me. Two and a half years ago when I received a similar recall to the team, also against England, I scored 60 and 100. If you score runs only you can remain in the team."
He also felt England's negative attitude has given Sri Lanka a chance to win the third and final Test at Galle. "After one-and-a-half hour [of Sri Lanka] batting, England got into a negative mood and the fielders were down. Mahela and I took the advantage and while looking for singles, we hit the loose balls for four.
"We were looking at something like 300-plus when play began today. To finish at 384 for 6 by the end of the day is a big bonus," he said. "If we score around 450, we can close the door on an England victory. We hold the advantage and with Murali [Muralitharan] I think we can swing the game our way and win."
Dilshan admitted he received good advice from his captain while in the middle which helped him get to his score. "Mahela told me that I was scoring a bit too fast, had to control myself and to bat straight. I used the crease and stepped down a bit to cut down the swing and that made it easy for me to bat.
"It's not an easy wicket to bat. It's a 50-50 wicket. The bowlers had the opportunity when they bowl in good areas as the ball is still moving a little bit and there is uneven bounce. With all that, all our batsmen put up a very good effort to get us to 384."
On the catches England dropped during the day, Dilshan said it could happen to any team. Dilshan was let off on seven and 54 and was given a reprieve on 64 when umpire Darryl Harper turned down an appeal for a catch with replays showing that Dilshan had gloved the ball to Matt Prior off Matthew Hoggard.