Sri Lanka’s Sangakkara hails ‘pioneer’ Dilshan

LONDON, June 19, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara hailed Tillekaratne Dilshan as a “pioneer” on Friday after the opener hit an unbeaten 96 to lead his side past West Indies and into the World Twenty20 final.

“To get three top order batsmen out is a great start. We have a great bowling attack, they are all thinking cricketers.

“Now we will take this confidence into the final against Pakistan. We’ll concentrate on getting our basics right, we’ll be responsible and execute our game plan.”

Dilshan said he was learning all the time in the international arena.

“I got the start I wanted. I’ve been in good form in the last six months in the IPL and in international cricket,” said the opener, who was named man of the match.

Gayle said the defeat was a bitter pill to swallow after his bowlers had limited the flamboyant Sri Lankans to 158-5.

“I’m very disappointed. I thought batting was our strength,” said Gayle.

“Dilshan took the game away from us. But we have struggled to get a start and get runs on the board.

“We’ll come back as a better unit and learn things from this.”

Sri Lanka cruised to a comfortable 57-run win at the Oval and will now take on Pakistan in the final