Sri Lanka’s Dilshan named player of World Twenty20

LONDON, June 21, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan was on Sunday named as the player of the tournament at the World Twenty20 despite being dismissed for nought in the eight-wicket final defeat to Pakistan.

Opening the innings throughout the tournament, Dilshan scored a total of 317 runs at a strike-rate of 144.74 and an average above 52.

He scored three half-centuries in the tournament and his unbeaten 96 in the semi-final against the West Indies was the highest individual total of the tournament.

That innings almost single-handedly dragged Sri Lanka to a score that it was then able to defend and it caused his captain Kumar Sangakkara to hail Dilshan as “a pioneer stroke-maker in Twenty20”.

Dilshan also hit more boundaries than any other player, his 46 fours and three sixes well clear of the next biggest tally of hits both to and over the ropes, 28 fours and four sixes by South Africa’s Jacques Kallis.

And his batting was talked about not only for its excellence but also for its innovation, with his ability to flip fast and medium-paced bowlers past his nose and over the wicketkeeper’s head to the boundary one of the enduring memories of the action for all that saw it.