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Dilshan boosts Sri Lanka

2011-06-05 19:49

London - Sri Lanka's captain Tillakaratne Dilshan posted his Test-best score of 193 but suffered in the process against England at Lord's here on Sunday.

At the close of a rain-marred third day of the second Test, Sri Lanka were 372 for three in reply to England's first innings 486, a deficit of 114 runs.

Dilshan, 187 not out at lunch, got the four runs he needed for the highest Test score by a Sri Lankan at Lord's, topping the 190 made by Sidath Wettimuny during the islanders' Test debut at 'the home of cricket' in 1984.

But on 192 he was, for the second time in his innings, struck a painful blow on the right hand by fast bowler Chris Tremlett.

A visibly hurt Dilshan carried on but there was no maiden Test double century for the dashing opener.

Instead, he added just one more run before being bowled by a full-length delivery from Steven Finn - one of England's trio of tall seamers -  that nipped back sharply and clipped his leg before hitting the stumps.

In all, his innings spanned more than seven hours and featured two sixes and 20 fours.

Dilshan's dismissal was a reward for a much-improved England bowling display after lunch but by then the damage had been done.

His exit left Sri Lanka on 370 for three after an entertaining third-wicket stand of 82 with Mahela Jayawardene.

Former captain Jayawaradene - whose two previous Tests at Lord's had both yielded hundreds - was 40 not out when rain, which forced an early tea, returned five minutes into the final session.

The floodlights were on, piercing the grey skies above Lord's. But, sadly for the crowd, the issue was the still-falling rain rather than bad light and that meant, with 51 overs remaining Sunday, no more play was possible.

Thilan Samaraweera was one not out.

Sri Lanka resumed Sunday on 231 for one - a marked contrast to their previous innings of 82 all out during an innings and 14-run first Test defeat in Cardiff, a victory that left England 1-0 up in this three-match series.

Dilshan was 127 not out and former captain Kumar Sangakkara 13 not out as they set about closing in on an England first innings total where Matt Prior made 126.

Before England took the new ball, Dilshan cut and drove Graeme Swann's off-spin for two fours in as many deliveries.

A single off Swann then saw Dilshan to 150 in 192 balls with two sixes and 15 fours.

England took the new ball as soon as it was available, after 80 overs, with Sri Lanka 285 for one and four balls later Tremlett struck when Sangakkara edged a delivery angled across him to wicketkeeper Prior.

The left-hander managed just 26 in nearly two hours but the run rate climbed quickly after his exit, with Dilshan pulling Stuart Broad for four to surpass his previous Test-best of 168 against Bangladesh in Colombo in 2005.

SAPA