But following a chat with Tillakaratne Dilshan, Suraj Randiv bowled a no-ball to deny the opener a century. Randiv was duly suspended and Dilshan fined.
Dilshan was not even captain at the time, but many expected his abrasive nature to rub off when he eventually took over the leadership of the team.
Seven months since being handed the reins, however, Dilshan and his team are lacking the stomach for a fight. That has been at the core of their failures in England, at home to Australia and against Pakistan in the UAE. During the course of these defeats, he averaged 17.43 in one-day internationals and 24.81 over the previous two Test series.
Sri Lanka have been blighted by problems on and off the cricket field; their board is mired in politics, Muttiah Muralitharan has retired, Lasith Malinga struggles with a long-term injury and the youngsters, except Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews, have failed to take responsibility. A captain, they say, is only as good as his team.
But Dilshan has just not been the Dilshan we know, the spiky character who takes the attack to the opposition, with bat and ball, and with the "Dilscoop" – a brave shot that embodies his grit and invention. And it is that spirit the fans need to see him play with again.
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