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Dilshan hails Sri Lanka display

Investec Test Series

Watch the first day match reaction - featuring Tillakaratne Dilshan and James Anderson

 

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Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan was delighted with his side's position after day one of the first Test against England at Cardiff - despite his frustration at his own dismissal.

The tourists opted to bat first when play eventually got under way at 3.30pm following a series of showers, and were handily placed on 133 for two at stumps after Dilshan and Tharanga Paranavitana both made half-centuries.

The opening pair survived some nervy moments as England's bowling attack opened impressively on the hosts’ return to the game's longest form for the first time since their Ashes triumph in Australia.

After a watchful start, Dilshan was more offensive in his approach after the tea interval and brought up his fifty off 92 balls, only to fall two deliveries later as he dragged Graeme Swann on trying to cut, bringing an end to a 93-run opening stand.

Paranavitana, in good form after registering hundreds in the tour games against Middlesex and England Lions, finished unbeaten on 58 with Mahela Jayawardene on four.

Dilshan said: "I'm very happy with 133 for two, although personally I am very disappointed that after getting in I played a bad shot and got out. Otherwise I am happy with the performance.

"I thought the three England quicks bowled well - they bowled a good line - but Paranavitana batted really well and overall I am very happy.

Tillakaratne Dilshan

Sri Lanka skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan drives through the covers en route to a fluent 50 on the opening day of the first npower Test

"Batting was difficult early on but the longer you batted the easier it got and after getting 50 I played a really bad shot, so I was very disappointed to get out."

Dilshan, leading his country for the first time, said it had been a straightforward decision to bat first, despite the rain that had fallen through much of the morning, and is hopeful that his late decision to play Ajantha Mendis as a second spinner will pay dividends as the match goes on.

"The wicket is a bit flat but it is two-paced. I think it is the right decision to bat first, and I think the wicket is going to start turning," he said.

"We decided this morning (to pick Mendis). When we came here they had cut the grass a bit more yesterday and today and so I changed the decision as I thought maybe it would be right to play two spinners.

"If we can put some runs on the board - more than 350 or 400 would be a good score on that wicket - we can try and put pressure on the England side."

Dilshan also revealed that Kumar Sangakkara had no issue with the decision to give him out using the Decision Referral System.

The former Sri Lanka skipper was adjudged not out by umpire Aleem Dar after England appealed for an edge behind off James Anderson, but Andrew Strauss chose to review the decision.

‘Hot Spot’ showed a mark on the bat and there was an audible noise as the ball went past the blade, but Sangakkara initially appeared less than impressed when he was sent on his way with just 11 to his name.

However, Dilshan said: "There is a lot of technology there and it helped for the Sangakkara decision.

"He was happy (with the decision) after he came back to the dressing room he could see the edge on Hot Spot."

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