Dilshan reflects on Man of the Match performance against Bangladesh

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Q. Dilshan, what does it mean for you to break Aravinda’s record? He had the record for the highest knock in World Cup innings, 145 against Kenya in the ’96 World Cup. What does it mean for you to break his record?
TILLAKARATNE DILSHAN: I don’t know. Just I know is I broke the record of Aravinda. I’m not thinking for record, I just try to bat maximum for the country. It’s great having records in books, as well. Really enjoying batting in the middle. That I think has passed every record ‑‑ I try to do a lot to come this series.

Q. This is the fourth century in the last nine innings against Bangladesh. Seems you just love Bangladesh’s bowling. Is it the bowling you just love most to bat against?
TILLAKARATNE DILSHAN: (Laughing) Not Bangladesh.  I think the last two months I scored four hundreds against two in New Zealand, just missed one last match by four or something. I’m really enjoying every team, not Bangladesh, every bowling attack I’m really enjoying, and so far the last six, seven months in great form. I try to carry this form throughout the series. That’s the secret, I’m not thinking this is Bangladesh, this is Zimbabwe. When I go to the bat I just try to do my things and just go forward and bat as long as possible.

Q. You started the tournament, big loss to New Zealand, narrowly beat Afghanistan. You come here today, a very convincing win in a match where people thought you might struggle. How important was today for Sri Lanka?
TILLAKARATNE DILSHAN: Yeah, definitely this was a really important game for us. I think we didn’t play our 100 percent the last two games. I think every department we did really well today batting, bowling, fielding. This confidence we can carry the rest of the series. I think this performance, everyone’s confidence is high, especially the bowlers come back really well, especially Malinga has come back. He’s getting form a little bit more every single game. I think it’s a very important win for us going forward.

Q. Just teaming up with Kumar Sangakkara today, that must have been a lot of fun for you personally, and there with the wicket at the end, can you take us through that?
TILLAKARATNE DILSHAN: Yeah, I think all the time we are having fun in the middle there with Kumar. He’s a great player. I’m in the batting, also, we are sharing a lot of experience. He’s playing his 400th game today, Malinga. I think he has a lot of experience, a great player. All the time he shared the experience. Before that with stump, I told to Kumar, definitely is coming down the track to hit, I’m bowling a little bit quicker and short bowled, take the stump before the bowl. That’s why we’re laughing and enjoying. I think we are really enjoying so far as the seniors with the youngsters. Yeah, looking forward to keep doing these things throughout the series.

Q. Going back to my previous question, do you see this as a bit of a turning point for Sri Lanka, the way you played today?
TILLAKARATNE DILSHAN: Not really. The thing is every single game we have to take serious. We can’t say this game, we won 100 runs, we can go and play another two days’ time easily. Every single game we have to play hard because we have to come back very strongly next game, two days’ time against England. We have to try to beat every single game and try to come at least second or third in the group and going forward to quarterfinals. Every single game is important for us. Can’t say this is a turning point for us. Every single game we have to play differently, different conditions, a different wicket. We just have to go out there and play according to the teams.

Q. Just on Kumar Sangakkara, it’s his 400th One‑Day International. He scores his 22nd one‑day century. Just a word on his performance and obviously he just keeps starring for Sri Lanka.
TILLAKARATNE DILSHAN: Yeah, definitely he’s a great player, no doubt about that, for Sri Lanka. He’s doing a lot of things in the game and outside help for the youngsters. He’s a great player. He’s still enjoying his batting. I’m really enjoying batting with Kumar in the middle. I think we two put more than 14 or 15 hundred‑plus partnerships. I am enjoying with Kumar, we are sharing, as I said earlier, Kumar’s experience. We are discussing the middle, we are ‑‑ what’s the plan for the next five overs, things like that. I just talk to Kumar and we are sharing experience. He’s a great player. We’re really looking to a couple more hundred from Kumar.

Q. Today you played the anchor role while Sangakkara attacked around you. Are you more comfortable now playing that reserved role where you just bat through the innings while other players maybe play more aggressively?
TILLAKARATNE DILSHAN: I think I just after taking a start, I want to bat as long as possible. The thing is I know the last 10 overs I can catch up easily. The thing is with these four fielders, only four fielders in the outside, I know I can catch up easily. I start very slowly, then the middle I catch up with Kumar, then the last five overs, the last 10 overs, we took more than 120 runs. We know if we keep every wicket in hand, we can score more than 100 the last 10 overs. That’s the plan in the middle we discussed Kumar and myself, we discussed batting in the middle overs. We want to bat as long as possible, and the last 10 overs we both can attack. I think that’s why we got 300‑plus today. Today was really a success.

Q. On your plans going ahead, obviously, Sri Lanka is losing some huge batting talent eventually with Kumar signing off from ODIs and Mahela pulling the pin. You’re batting brilliantly. Are you going to keep on going as long as you can or have you set any plans in motion as far as your international career is concerned?
TILLAKARATNE DILSHAN: Yeah, no doubt two great players retiring after this World Cup. We have a big loss for Sri Lanka, but I know they can help for the youngsters to come to ‑‑ they’ve got the experience they can share with the youngsters. I have not decided about my career. I want to play another couple of years, but I’m not planning that far. I want to finish this World Cup and discuss with the management and the captain and coach what they are looking for from me for Sri Lanka from the future, then I’ll take call after World Cup.

Q. Michael, a couple of days back you were in New Zealand. Today you are playing in Australia, and you’ll be flying back to New Zealand tomorrow. There are some of the other teams in the competition that have a very comfortable schedule. What sort of inconveniences have you experienced due to this constant traveling?
MICHAEL DE ZOYSA: Well, we started off in New Zealand on the 18th of December with the Test series and seven ODIs before this World Cup. Since the World Cup began, we had warm‑up games in New Zealand and then the first game against New Zealand itself in Christchurch, then we went to Dunedin. It would have been nice to have finished New Zealand before coming to Australia. It certainly is inconvenient. It’s tiring for the boys too ‑‑ we’ve got to get up 7:00 in the morning tomorrow and be at the airport by 8:00, so it’s a long day for them tomorrow, and then we just have the day between, and probably we won’t practice, we’ll just take it easy. As someone said at the last press conference, England is a bye.