Sri Lankan legend Tillakaratne Dilshan quit international cricket following the second T20 against Australia at Colombo in which he scored only 1, but picked up a couple of wickets as Sri Lanka went down by four wickets to lose the series 2-0. Dilshan did not have a memorable tournament, but T20 is one format in which he excelled amazingly at his peak. As he walks into the sunset, we celebrate his T20 career with some of his finest knocks.
104 not out against Australia at Pallekele, August 6, 2011: Dilshan is among the rare cricketers to have scored a hundred in all formats of the game. His T20 ton came against the side of his final match -- Australia. At Pallekele on that day, Dilshan was in mesmerising form, smashing 104 from 57 balls with the aid of 12 fours and 5 sixes. His strike rate in the innings was a brilliant 182.45. The Aussie bowlers had no idea on how to stop him on that day.
96 against West Indies at The Oval, June 19, 2009: This knock came in the semi-final of the 2009 World T20, when Dilshan was at the peak of his powers. He was next to unstoppable in this innings, which ensured Sri Lanka a place in the final, a game in which Dilshan failed, and Sri Lanka went down to Pakistan. Coming back to the West Indies clash, Dilshan blasted an unbeaten 96, again from 57 balls. The knock featured 12 fours and 2 sixes at a strike rate of 168.42.
76 against New Zealand at Pallekele, September 12, 2002: Pallekele is one venue Dilshan loved, and he punished New Zealand bowlers with utter disdain during a clash almost exactly four years back. Dilshan took only 53 balls for his 76, and hit 5 fours and three sixes in his innings. Dilshan scored his runs at a strike rate of 143.39 before being run out.
75 not out against Pakistan at Dhaka, March 4, 2016: As late as March this year, Dilshan was among the runs in T20s. His unbeaten 75 in this match came off just 56 deliveries with 10 fours and 1 six at a strike rate of 133.92.
74 not out against South Africa at Hambantota on August 6, 2013: As the stats would indicate, Dilshan had a habit of remaining not out in T20s. In this particular innings against South Africa, he was unconquered on 74 having faced 51 balls, hitting 9 fours and 2 sixes. Dilshan scored his runs at a strike rate of 145.09.
--By A Cricket Analyst