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Dilshan heroics help put Sri Lanka in World Cup quarterfinals

Sri Lanka's players celebrate reaching the 2011 Cricket World Cup quarterfinals with victory over Zimbabwe.
Sri Lanka's players celebrate reaching the 2011 Cricket World Cup quarterfinals with victory over Zimbabwe.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sri Lanka first team to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Cricket World Cup
  • Co-hosts defeated minnows Zimbabwe by 139 runs in front of home crowd in Kandy
  • Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga both make centuries and share a record stand of 282
  • Dilshan also takes four wickets for just four runs as Zimbabwe all out for 188

(CNN) -- Co-hosts Sri Lanka became the first team to book a quarterfinal place at the Cricket World Cup after demolishing Zimbabwe by 139 runs on Thursday thanks to a superb all-round performance from Tillakaratne Dilshan.

The man-of-the-match became just the 11th player to score a hundred and take four wickets in a 50-over international.

Opening batsmen Dilshan and Upul Tharanga shared a competition-record first-wicket stand of 282 as Sri Lanka made 327-6 in front of a home crowd at the Pallekele stadium in Kandy.

The duo smashed the previous record of 194 set by Pakistan's Saeed Anwar and Wajahatullah Wasti in 1999, and also secured the fourth-highest partnership ever in a one-day international game.

Dilshan has that magic touch with bat, ball and on the field
--Sri Lanka captain, Kumar Sangakkara
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And both openers scored a century to set a new first in a World Cup match, with Dilshan making 144 from 131 deliveries faced and Tharanga 133 off 141 after Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura won the toss and opted to field first.

Tharanga was the first to fall near the end of the 45th over, becoming the first of four victims for fast bowler Chris Mpofu, and Zimbabwe did well to restrict the 1996 champions to just another 45 runs from the final five overs.

The African side made a solid 116-run start in reply before world record-holder Muttiah Muralitharan broke the partnership, dismissing Regis Chakabva for 35 as the first of three wickets in his final match in his home city before retiring after the tournament.

The Zimbabweans then lost their last nine wickets for just 63 runs to be all out for 188 in 39 overs as Angelo Mathews got rid of Tatenda Taibu (4) and opener Brendan Taylor (80) before Dilshan had Prosper Utseya (4) stumped by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara.

Dilshan found himself on a hat-trick after trapping Craig Ervine leg before wicket for 17 and then having Greg Lamb superbly caught at slip by Mahela Jayawardene -- but the captain then spilled a similar chance off Graeme Cremer from the next delivery.

Dilshan also dismissed Tinashe Panyangara lbw for a duck to end with the remarkable figures of 4-4 off three overs, while Muralitharan bowled last man Mpofu to end with 3-34.

"Dilshan has that magic touch with bat, ball and on the field," Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara told reporters.

"Murali is a champion. That's why he is rated the best in the world. When the tough times come, he stands up."

The result put Sri Lanka top of Group A, a point ahead of second-placed New Zealand, who Sangakkara's team face in their final match on March 18.

Zimbabwe trail Pakistan and Australia in fifth place, and face a difficult battle to progress after three defeats from four of their six matches.

They must win their remaining two matches against Pakistan on March 14 and Kenya on March 20 to have any chance of making the top-four.

Friday's action moves to Group B, where Ireland seek to follow up last week's upset win over England by beating the West Indies in Chandigarh, having lost to India on Sunday.

England, who bounced back from that setback to defeat South Africa on Sunday, take on co-hosts Bangladesh in Chittagong.