First T20I

Australia in Sri Lanka, 2011-12

Peter Lalor

At Pallekele, August 6, 2011 (floodlit). Sri Lanka won by 35 runs. Toss: Australia. Twenty20 international debuts: H. M. R. K. B. Herath, M. D. K. Perera, K. T. G. D. Prasad.

Dilshan's devastating century inspired Sri Lanka to their first win in a home Twenty20 international (they had previously hosted only four, all in 2009). He was brutal against Australia's seam-bowling quartet, collecting 68 from his final 23 deliveries. His century came up from 55 balls, and he went from 84 to 104 with six, six, four and four off successive balls from Johnson's last over of the innings. Dilshan had earlier taken 21 off a Watson over, including two sixes - one a premeditated slog-sweep - not long after he had to block a wayward throw from Watson which would otherwise have hit him in the face (some of the Australians appealed that Dilshan had obstructed a possible run-out, even though he had not left his crease). In all, he hit five sixes and a dozen fours. It was the fifth hundred in Twenty20 internationals, and the second by a Sri Lankan after Mahela Jayawardene's against Zimbabwe in the 2010 World Twenty20. Kulasekara quickly bowled Watson through the gate and, when the debutant off-spinner Dilruwan Perera struck three times in his first three overs, Australia needed Warner to produce something miraculous; with the spinners inducing claustrophobia, it was never likely.

Man of the Match: T. M. Dilshan.

© John Wisden & Co.