Dilshan likes to be an opener

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By The Telegraph Online in Colombo
  • Published 25.06.09

Colombo: Tillekaratne Dilshan, whose innovative batting earned him the player of the tournament award in the recently concluded World Twenty20, says opening the innings has provided a late spark in his career.

“I feel happy and proud about becoming the player of the series in a World Cup,” Dilshan told reporters on returning home on Wednesday after finishing runners-up in the tournament.

“The past year of my cricketing career has seen a change. I got an opportunity to open the innings and I took maximum advantage of it and was able to make a difference to the team and to my career.”

The 32-year-old right-handed batsman has had a mediocre career while batting mostly at No.6 in one-day Internationals and Twenty20 games until he was promoted to opener last year.

His average in Twenty20 games went from 18.80 runs in six matches as a No.6 to an impressive 54 in eight matches as an opener. His strike rate is 142 runs per 100 balls.

In one-day Internationals he batted at No.6 in 87 matches with an average of 18 runs per innings. He doubled that average in the 11 matches in which he opened the innings.

Dilshan made 317 runs at an average of 52.83 in the tournament. His innovative shot right above the wicketkeeper has brought him much attention, with some commentators terming the shot as the “Dilscoop.” (AP)