Sri Lanka opener Tillakaratne Dilshan, who blasted an unbeaten 83 off 56 balls in a World Twenty20 encounter against Afghanistan at the Eden Gardens, said he wanted to anchor the innings with others batting around him.

His knock on Thursday helped the defending champions cruise past the Afghanistan total of 153/7 with six wickets to spare.

“When I saw that I had got a start, I wanted to bat through. I wanted the others, the youngsters to bat around me. Very pleased with the way things went,” Dilshan said at the post-match media conference.

The 39-year-old said scoring runs on the Eden wicket was not an easy task at all with rival spinners making life difficult.

“Batting was not easy on the wicket. Especially with their spinners bowling. That is one of the reasons why I made it a point to stick around and see my side through,” said the veteran, who was adjudged man-of-the-match for his efforts.

The right-hander added that it was a knock he needed under his belt before going to the big matches.

“I did not score many runs of late. And I needed this knock going into the big matches. I am happy that I could stay till the end,” he said.

When asked about retirement, Dilshan said: ”Not going to retire if I keep on playing like this. But you never know one fine day I may just wake up and feel like not playing anymore. But for the time being, I have no plans to quit.”

Dilshan’s illustrious teammates, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara retired last year.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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