We need 150-run lead to control the match: Dilshan

A first innings lead in the vicinity of 150 runs would put Sri Lanka in firm control of the first Test against India, reckons Tillakaratne Dilshan.

updated: November 17, 2009 14:23 IST
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A first innings lead in the vicinity of 150 runs would put Sri Lanka in firm control of the first Test against India, reckons explosive Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Dilshan's fluent 112 was the cornerstone of Sri Lanka's reply to India's first innings total of 426 and the visitors finished day two at a strong 275 for three.

At stumps, Mahela Jayawardene was batting on 36 in company of Thilan Samaraweera (45).

Dilshan said the immediate target now was to reach the 400-mark and then press for a lead of around 150 runs, which would put them in the driver's seat.

"Mahela and Thilan need to bat out the first session and the ball will start turning towards the end and a lead of around 150 will give us an edge," he said.

"The main target we have is to bat longer and get closer to 400 and see how it goes from there. We have to good spinners and if we get that lead we can control things," Dilshan said.

On his own game, the right-hander said moving up to the opener's slot had done a world of good to him.

"Changing my spot in the batting order has helped me. Now there's an opportunity for me to bat longer and I have got runs and I don't want to throw my wicket away," said the 33-year-old batsman after getting his fifth hundred in this year and 10th overall.

"It's great to score a hundred in India. It's not easy out here. I am very pleased with the way I batted," Dilshan said.

He, however, regretted his dismissal, when his mistimed pull off a Zaheer Khan delivery found Rahul Dravid and his captain Kumar Sangakkara also fell to a similar delivery in Zaheer's next over.

"I shouldn't have probably played that shot. Those two wickets turned out to be crucial," he said.

Dilshan said that playing in the Indian Premier League for the Delhi Daredevils has helped him adjusting to the wickets in this country.

"We used to play in lot of cricket on Indian wickets in the IPL and we have got to know how to play here," he said.

Dilshan was happy with the performance of his bowling colleagues who bowled out India for 426 after the hosts had resumed on a strong 385 for six.

Dilshan said the team had targets to dismiss the Indians for a sub-450 score and it was a job well done by the bowlers who exceeded expectations.

"That was the main target, to get the last four wickets before they got to 450. It's a good batting track and they could have gone on to score more than that.

"I thought we stuck to our plan and (Chanaka) Welagedara bowled a superb first spell and got Rahul early and that was the key," Dilshan said.