Tillekaratne Dilshan missed out on making a big score in his last ODI match © AFP
Tillakaratne Dilshan missed out on making a big score in his last ODI match © AFP

Tillakaratne Dilshan departed for 42 runs in his last One-Day International (ODI) match during the third match of the five-ODI series against Australia. Winning the toss, Angelo Mathews elected to bat but his openers failed again to provide a rollicking  start to their side. Sri Lanka were tottering at 23 for 2 when Dilshan was joined by Dinesh Chandimal. Together the pair added 73 runs for the third wicket but a pull from Dilshan in the 19th over off Adam Zampa was caught by George Bailey as the veteran batsman walked out of the park for the last time in his sparkling ODI career. The series is currently tied at 1-1 with two games to go after this match.  FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs Sri Lanka 3rd ODI at Dambulla

Dilshan did not have any significant contributions in the opening two games of the limited-overs but was looking confident and set for a big score along with in-form batsman, Chandimal at the other end. He mistimed a pull as he could not keep it down and was caught at short mid-wicket by Bailey. Before the match, Mathews shared his thoughts on the established opener and said, “Dilshan has been an absolute brilliant servant for Sri Lankan cricket over the past 17 years. I think he has equally done the service that Mahela and Sanga did, and we’re going to miss him a lot. Unfortunately, he had called it a day. We respect that decision and the whole team wishes him the very best.” LIVE CRICKET UPDATES: Australia vs Sri Lanka 3rd ODI at Dambulla

The third ODI being the final of his career, many players have voiced their opinion saying that Dilshan should be given a grand farewell for what he has done for the game of cricket. Jayawardene and Sangakkara took to Twitter to voice their opinion about the same. Sangakkara also said that Sanath Jayasuriya and Dilshan have been the “greatest match-winners” for Sri Lanka over a long period of time.

Arjuna Ranatunga, who captained Sri Lanka during his time and who too has been of the finest cricketers for Sri Lanka too stated that having a player of Dilshan’s caliber in the team was every captain’s dream.

“Dilshan started his career as a middle-order batsman, then he moved on to become an opener,” told Ranatunga. He added, “Opening the batting is the toughest thing in cricket. There’s a lot at stake for an opener and not many players excel in that discipline. Dilshan had an outstanding career as an opener in all three formats. He was also a brilliant fielder and an intelligent bowler. All captains wish they have players like Dilshan in their ranks.”

On the other hand, Australia will see a massive change from the third ODI till the end of the series as their regular captain Steven Smith has been rested while deputy David Warner took over the responsibilities for the time. Though the decision by Cricket Australia has been highly criticised worldwide, Warner said Smith deserved this time off. It will be interesting to see how he leads them in the rest of the tour.