Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st Twenty20, Pallekele August 7, 2011

Dilshan revisits an old favourite

ESPNcricinfo staff

A conversation with his new coach Rumesh Ratnayake prompted Tillakaratne Dilshan to re-employ his trademark scoop shot for the first time in more than a year, the Sri Lankan captain has said.

Dilshan's startling 104 from 57 balls rushed the first Twenty20 international away from Australia in Kandy, the visitors unable to mount an effective chase of 199 after being bogged down by the spin of Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath.

The shot played over the head of the wicketkeeper has become known as the 'Dil-scoop', but its inventor had been reluctant to play it recently, even more so, now he is Sri Lanka's captain. Ratnayake suggested its return against the Australians, with handsome results.

"I haven't practiced the 'Dil-scoop' for the past one and a half years but yesterday we had a chat with Rumesh and he asked why I wasn't playing it," Dilshan said. "I told Rumesh 'you might see me play it tomorrow'.

"I had the confidence to play it. It worked and I think after I played the Dil-scoop they changed the field and I felt more easy to score more runs in other areas.

"I'm really happy with my innings today. I played a bit slow in the start but after that first six or seven overs, I tried to capitalise from there. Overall I'm really happy on our performance today."

Cameron White, Australia's T20 captain, admitted the sheer range of Dilshan's strokeplay had him hurriedly rearranging his field settings.

"When a guy can hit a ball ... almost directly behind the keeper it makes you put other fielders or a fielder back there and it creates other gaps somewhere else," White said. "Then he's got the ability to hit the ball down the ground or wherever he likes at times, like tonight.

"Clearly [we] didn't play as we would have hoped. Full credit to Sri Lanka, and Dilshan who played a wonderful innings. If anyone scores a hundred off 57 (55) balls it will be hard work to win the game from there. But look, there were some disappointing aspects of the game from our end as well."

White's approach in the field contrasted markedly with that of his opposite number. while Dilshan employed three spin bowlers on a surface taking turn, White preferred to use his pace bowlers in the concluding stages of the innings, with disastrous results - 83 runs accrued from the final six overs.

"There's no reason," White said when asked why neither Steve O'Keefe or Steven Smith bowled their full allotment of overs. "It's just my gut feel at the time.

"Shane Watson's first two overs only went for 12, John Hastings' first over only went for five. We were well in the game for the first 13 overs ... high 80s or 90s with two wickets down and get a wicket there and the game changes. As we've seen, Dilshan took the game away from us."

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  • Nishani Lochna Madhumali on August 8, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    @randika_ayya..I totally agree with you..It's time for a local guy to takeover coaching duty of the team. Chandika Hathurusinghe is a talented coach, but we lost him just because of the administrators( puppets of politicians). These people did nothing other than destroying cricket in the island. Hope SLC will concern a local coach after this series, it's advisable to handover this to an experienced coach lika Chandika Hathurusinghe.

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2011, 23:32 GMT

    Well done Dillie.Hope y have selected the right team.

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    One is tempted to think Dilshan would have scored lots more runs in the tests in England had he not shelved the Dilscoop. It could come in useful too in Australia2015. No reason why he could carry on till then if he maintains the fitness and the desire. Captaincy seems to have inspired him to perform still better unlike many others who have to give up captaincy to concentrate on their batting.

  • Dru on August 7, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    Amazing knock by Dilshan who needed some runs after the English disaster as far as his batting went. He played the perfect knock in many ways. Interesting move by SL not to play Randiv who surely is the first choice off spinner and also to bat Mendis ahead of Mathews. While Mendis did well I would have Mathews in at #5 everyday in all forms of cricket. I presume Mendis not bowling was to not show him to the Aussies. White missed a few tricks with his spinners but when a guys is going like Dilshan was not much would make a difference. I would have bowled Hussey and also there was some wild swinging by the top order which is not the way to play spin.

  • Randika on August 7, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    Perhaps we have a permanent head coach in rumesh?? Time for a local boy to take over completely maybe! Even though Hathurusinghe was a mediocre batsman (some may argue) he proved to be an exceptional coach, especially with the turning around of some key players like samare, Prasanna, etc! Its a shame that we lost him to NSW due to egos in the SLC administration!

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    Good team effort from Sri Lanka. Nice to see after the SL innings the Aussies congratulating Dilshan. Hope Dammika will correct his errors, despite of those loose balls, he bowled extremely perfect deliveries.

    Good luck SL LIONS for the rest of the tournament too.

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    dilscoop is not an eazy shot , it requires lot of guts . common dilshan show them real taste of spices

  • Ranil on August 7, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    It is the sublime innings of Dilshan that carried us to the win;Rumesh has given the right advice to play the dilscoop to ascertain Dishan's own confidence that he is in right nick.However seeing Aussies final score in spite of everything going against them,show not to take this team lightly;now that they know the pitch better the second game could be more interesting.Dhamika is not the right guy;can Rumesh with his input change around Dilhara?It is sad to feel that SL has not been able to get the best out of Dilhara ,probably like Zoysa due to poor handling. Ranil Herath -Kent

  • Terry on August 7, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    Blimey, Steve O'Keefe is even being disrespected by his captain now! HAD to bowl 4 overs SURELY. Well played SL & Dilshan , a comprehensive thrashing. Personally would like to see Australia using T20 & ODI's solely as a breeding ground for Test players and leaving the likes of Watson to concentrate on the 5 day game. Johnson ? I'd drop him completely from all teams. His fragile mentality and inability to reproduce his best consistently would be understandable at 20 but is unforgivable and pointless at his current age. Move on. Australia have to be thinking who is going to win us Test matches over the next 2 or 3 years. Pick Starc and give him the opportunities Johnson has had.

  • Dimuthu on August 7, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    as some commentors say, prasad was ineffective, but he is returning after a while and T20 is high pressure. i hope they give him another chance. we cant rely on Malinga forever! We need our bowlers kept warm and ready to step in. our fast bowling crop for ODIs seems good. we need to make them wicket taking bowlers so they can make us a strong test team again. dilshan's innings was mesmerising. i think the australians should just consider themselves luckily to have had front row seats to watch it :-D

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