Tillakaratne Mudiyanselage Dilshan (Sinhala: තිලකරත්න මුදියන්සේලාගේ දිල්ෂාන්); born October 14, 1976 in Kalutara, Sri Lanka is a Sri Lankan cricketer and former captain of the Sri Lanka national cricket team.1 He has been a member of the team since November 1999, and was also known as Tuwan Mohammad Dilshan before his conversion to Buddhism.2 He is an aggressive right-hand batsman who invented the scoop, which has come to be known as a dilscoop, that hits the ball behind the keeper. He is also capable in bowling; his off breaks are mostly used in the one-day arena. Dilshan won the award of Twenty20 International Performance of the Year at the 2009 ICC Awards for his 96 off 57 balls against West Indies in the semi-final of the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 in England. He also won man of the series trophy for his individual batting performances in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 tournament.
Dilshan makes his first appearance for Sri Lanka in a Test against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. Makes just 9 in his only innings, but effects a run-out and takes two catches in the match.
Just ten days later on day three of the Harare Test, Dilshan scores an unbeaten 163. He shows admirable restraint as Zimbabwe curtail his favorite pull and cover drive and, although he plays and misses frequently, Dilshan bats for a minute under eight hours, facing 343 balls and hitting 18 fours.
After his successful debut Test series, Dilshan plays his first ODI also in Bulawayo. Batting at No. 6, he makes 35 from 49 balls in a washed-out encounter.
With just over two days remaining in Kandy, Sri Lanka have a window of opportunity, and in Dilshan, they have just the man to jump through it. It was four years on from his previous Test century, but you would not have known it from the way he bombards the off-side boundary with furious cuts and free-flowing drives. After the tentative tempo of the first three days, Dilshan's 100 from 129 balls represent a sudden breakout. In the end, however, England holds on for a gripping draw.
Four months after two teams went past 400 in an ODI Sri Lanka breaks that record against Netherlands in the unfamiliar surroundings of Amstelveen. Sanath Jayasuriya leads the way with a turbo-charged 157 off 104 balls while Dilshan flays the bowling with an equally crazy 117 off 79 balls, his maiden ODI century. After Jayasuriya goes, Dilshan takes up the charge and crashes boundaries to every corner of the ground.
Dilshan's all-round success seals a series win for Sri Lanka over Bangladesh in Chittagong. He sets up Sri Lanka with 162 and 143 and completes the job by wiping out the Bangladesh lower-order and finishing with figures of 4 for 10 to wrap up the series 2-0 and script the fifth-biggest margin of victory in Tests in terms of runs.
Dilshan's second ODI century, a mature unbeaten 137 off 139 balls as opener, helps Sri Lanka maul Pakistan in Lahore and seal another series win. Sri Lanka continues their experiment of opening with him and Dilshan battles through overcast conditions to compile his career-best score.
He paddles and nudged, occasionally plays the fierce cut, and only after his hundred does Dilshan opens up, slamming length deliveries and making room to carve the fuller ones over the off side.
Dilshan powers Sri Lanka to the final of the World Twenty20, smashing 96 off 57 balls, the tournament's highest score, against West Indies at The Oval. Despite his opening partner Jayasuriya struggling to 24 off 37, Dilshan leads his team to 73 in 10.3 overs. None of the others make more than 12 and Dilshan is responsible for nearly 61% of Sri Lanka's 158.
The match that proved path-breaking. Dilshan promoted to open the innings for the first time in Tests, races to 92 off 72 balls in the first innings and follows it up with a century in the second which helps his Sri Lanka set New Zealand an improbable target.
The manner in which he dominates also mirrored the ineffectiveness of New Zealand's bowlers and Daniel Vettori later admits the uneven contest shut his team out of the Test.
When India piles up a team-record 414 for 7 in Rajkot, it seems as though this too will be a depressing no-contest. But with a full-throttle approach their only option, Sri Lanka come out with genuine intent and no little menace.
Dilshan gets to his half-century from just 38 balls as 81 come from the first 10 overs, and to his ton from 73 balls. A master-class threatens to overhaul a massive target, but Dilshan's dismissal brings India back into the game and they win by a whisker.
Dilshan was the top run scorer in the 2011 Cricket World Cup. He scored 500 runs from nine One Day international innings with a best score of 144 runs against Zimbabwe. He scored two centuries, two half centuries, 61 boundaries and four sixes during the tournament which ended at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India in April 2011.
However, shortly after his appointment as captain, cricket fans and pundits in Sri Lanka questioned if he was the right man to lead Sri Lanka.
In December 2011, Sri Lanka registered their first ever Test wins in South Africa. This also became their first Test win under Dilshan's captaincy. However, after losing the Test series 2–1 and the subsequent ODI series 3–2, Dilshan resigned and was replaced by Mahela Jayawardene.
He scored 160 not out off 165 balls. During this innings, he also shared a 200 run second run partnership with Kumar Sangakkara. This was the highest second wicket partnership for Sri Lanka in ODIs. Despite his performance Sri Lanka lost the match to India. He was 2012's second-heaviest scorer, with 1119 runs.
Dilshan announced his retirement from Test cricket on 9 October 2013.4 However he mentioned that he will continue to play in the shorter format of the game.
The following table gives a summary of the Test centuries scored by Tillakaratne Dilshan.
In the column Runs, * indicates being not out
The column title Match refers to the Match number of the player's career