Ton-up Mathews shows the way for smarter Sri Lanka in 2nd Test vs England
Sri Lanka’s improved batting on day one of the second and final test against England in Galle on Friday was led by a century from Angelo Mathews and is a sign the hosts have taken on board the heavy criticism of their display in the first test.
Sri Lanka reached 229 for four at the close after electing to bat first, their total boosted by an unbeaten 107 from Mathews and 52 from captain Dinesh Chandimal.
It is a far cry from their woeful first innings score of 135 on the opening day of the first test when poor shot selection and an ill-advised attempt at quick runs likely cost them the match as England claimed a seven-wicket win.
Sri Lanka were much more cautious this time on a dry wicket that will crumble quickly under the hot sun and make chasing anything substantial in the fourth innings perilous for the tourists.
"We had to see through a few overs and get the ball slightly older to score some runs," Mathews told reporters at the close. "Credit must go to the England bowlers. It was hot and humid and they gave nothing away.
"They set a field that we could not score off easily. The fast bowlers had good line and length. We don’t know what a good score is, just as many as we can get."
Mathews scored 71 in Sri Lanka’s second innings in the first test and says playing back-to-back games at the same venue has its advantages.
"I got into a rhythm in the second innings of the first test, so I thought if I can get a start I’m not going to give it away," he said.
"I had to work extremely hard. They (England) gave us nothing, but we are 229 for four and we cannot give it away now."This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
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- Former England captains Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook have criticised the pitch in the third Test.
- A case in point is his last innings in Test cricket when he scored a gritty 96 in the second innings on a vicious turner in Bengaluru. His efforts went in vain as India lost the match and the series to Pakistan.
- Ind vs Eng: England got knocked out of contention for WTC final in June with their 10-wicket triumph in the day-night third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
- India vs England, 3rd Test: He was awarded the man of the match award for his spectacular performance against England in his home ground.
- “I think we need to stand up and take notice of what Ashwin has done. In Tests, he is a modern-day legend. As a captain, I am so pleased he is in my team,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
- This is a man who has been the fastest in the world to reach 200, 250 and 350 Test wickets, and yet derided for being someone who thrives only on home conditions.
- Ind vs Eng: The visitors were bundled out for 112 and 81 in consecutive days as India completed a 10-wicket win to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series. A total of 17 wickets fell on the second day.
- Ind vs Eng: England had registered their previous lowest-total against India back in 1971 at the Oval. BS Chandrashekhar scalped 6 wickets to restrict Ray Illingworth-led England for 101 in the second innings.