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Dilshan shellshocked by defeat

Investec Test Series

Watch post-match reaction in Cardiff with England's Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott, and Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan

Keep up to date with England's progress against Sri Lanka with our in-depth day-by-day reports - plus all the reaction, video highlights and live photos

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan was at a loss to explain how his side had slumped to defeat in the first Test against England at Cardiff as they were skittled for just 82 on the final afternoon to lose by an innings and 14 runs.

There had appeared to be little prospect of a result at Cardiff, particularly when rain washed out the morning session for the fourth time in five days.

When play got under way at 3pm, with almost a day-and-a-half of time lost in total, England batted for just two overs to allow Ian Bell to complete his 13th Test century before declaring on 496 for five, a lead of 96.

That left the tourists needing to bat for 51 overs to secure a draw, but they were not up to the task as Chris Tremlett, who was brilliant with the new ball in the absence of the injured James Anderson on his way to 4-40, and Graeme Swann, with 4-16, ripped through the Sri Lankan line-up in an astonishing 24.4 overs.

Tillakaratne Dilshan

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan is caught and bowled off seamer Chris Tremlett as England march towards an unlikely victory at Cardiff

And a shell-shocked Dilshan was utterly bemused by his side's performance, which included losing eight wickets for 49 runs after tea, particularly in the wake of the respectable 400 they had compiled batting first.

He said: "It's very difficult to explain, I can't believe we got out in just 25 overs with such a good batting line-up like we have. We lost the match because we batted really badly today.

"We knew we would be batting for at least 45 or 50 overs. We knew looking forward in the morning that they would declare, everyone knew that after Bell's hundred they would declare, but I cannot explain what happened.

"Our batting line-up has guys like Mahela (Jayawardene), Kumar (Sangakkara), Thilan (Samaraweera) and myself, we are experienced players and we need to regroup as soon as possible and come back for the next Test on Friday."

Their 82 was Sri Lanka's lowest Test score in England, and their joint-fourth lowest of all time, but Dilshan, who was dismissed for 10 after giving a return catch to the towering Tremlett via his glove and thigh pad, said his side could have no complaints about the wicket.

"It was a very good wicket with a little bit of turn and a bit of bounce," he said.

Ian Bell, Chris Tremlett & Mahela Jayawardene

Mahela Jayawardene, is dismissed cheaply as Sri Lanka slide towards defeat. "We need to regroup as soon as possible," admitted Dilshan

"It was a very good track. In the last two days it was good for batting, but we didn't bat well. That was the main issue, but it was really good for Test cricket."

It was a desperately disappointing way for Dilshan's first game as captain of his country to end, but he insisted he will remain calm with such a short turnaround until the second game of the three-match series at Lord's on Friday.

He said: "I am really calm, I can't be angry. We have to regroup and talk about it and try and get the maximum out of the young players and learn from the experience.

"We have another Test match on Friday. We can forget about what has happened in the last five days and look forward to Friday.

"It will be difficult to forget this Test match but we have to stick together as a team, do whatever we can outside of cricket to get together and forget about everything."

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