Dilshan enjoys Pallekele homecoming

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All-rounder Tillakaratne Dilshan cherished the Man of the Match accolade, after steering Sri Lanka to a sound 87-run triumph over South Africa in Wednesday's second ODI at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

All-rounder Tillakaratne Dilshan cherished the Man of the Match accolade, after steering Sri Lanka to a sound 87-run triumph over South Africa in Wednesday's second ODI at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

Dilshan struck a cool, calm and collected half-century in a final total of 267 all out, later resigning the opposition to an insufficient 180 all out with telling figures of three for 40.

The hard-hitting right-hander struck nine boundaries in an entertaining 87 that spanned 90 deliveries and 136 minutes, complementing this with the dismissals of skipper AB de Villiers, the left-handed David Miller and all-rounder Vernon Philander.

"I'm really enjoying playing here in Pallekele. I got the message that 260 to 270 was a good total. It turned later in the evening. Not easy to bowl with the new rules. But I'm enjoying it. I have returned from Tests and I am focusing on the next World Cup now," enthused Dilshan.

"When I come here, everyone trusts that I will do well. Even before I went out to bat, my captain to told me, 'You'll get runs today as well'. I enjoy playing cricket everywhere, but here I get a good feeling that I'll be getting runs. The more we play here, the better I'll be able to do. I've already asked my captain to request more matches here."

Captain Angelo Mathews, rued a dramatic collapse. Sri Lanka's final total would have read considerably larger – had the final five wickets not perished for a mere 11 runs. The lower order were the subject of similar capitulation in Sunday's series opener in Colombo.

"I was a bit concerned after we collapsed, thought we were 30 or 40 runs short. Dilshan played a great knock. All spinners contributed. We knew the South Africans were coming hard at us. I am looking forward to the third game," added Mathews.

The third and final ODI will get underway at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota. Two Tests – in Galle and Colombo – will follow.

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