Magnificent Mathews Carries SL
After getting thrashed in the first Test, Sri Lanka were facing the same fate early on in the second Test which started yesterday in Galle, as they were two down for just 7 runs in the 5th over. In walked Sri Lanka’s most experienced player, Angelo Mathews, who batted through the day to carry Sri Lanka once again on the back of his shoulder to bring up his 11th Test ton, as Sri Lanka posted a respectable 229 for 4 at close.
This was Mathews first Test ton in Galle and first at home since 2015.
“I got into rhythm in the first Test, and I said to myself if I got a start, I’m not going to give it away. They gave nothing away despite the wicket not offering anything much to bowlers. We had to work extremely hard in the middle,” said Mathews, who batted 219 deliveries for his 71 during the second innings of the first Test in a lone effort,but ran out of partners in the end.
Opener Kusal Perera went early for 6 as he edged on to first slip while attempting an expansive stroke against James Anderson. Oshada Fernando did not trouble the scorers as Anderson got his second through an inside edge on to the wicket.
Lahiru Thirimanne, who scored a century in his last inning, and Mathews then took the responsibility of rescuing Sri Lanka, as the pair added 69 for the third wicket and seeing through the first session. Thirimanne lasted only two deliveries post lunch, where skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Mathews combined in the middle to added 117 valuable runs for the fourth wicket. It looked as if Chandimal and Mathews would remain till the end, but Mark Wood’s persistence paid off when he trapped Chandimal lbw following his 20th Test half century. Mathews was then joined by Niroshan Dickwella and the pair successfully saw the day off adding 36 runs for the fifth wicket, while seeing off seven overs of the new ball.
Anderson was the most challenging bowler for Sri Lanka, as he bowled ten maiden overs in his 19 overs which yielded only 24 runs, while claiming three wickets. Majority of those runs came in the final half hour. (AK)
Sri Lanka 1st Innings
Lahiru Thirimanne c Buttler b Anderson 43
Kusal Perera c Root b Anderson 06
Oshada Fernando b Anderson 00
Angelo Mathews not out 107
Dinesh Chandimal lbw Wood 52
Niroshan Dickwella not out 19
Extras (lb 2) 02
Total (87 Ov, RR: 2.63) 229/4
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-7, 3-76, 4-193
Bowling: James Anderson 19-10-24-3, Sam Curran 11-2-36-0, Jack Leach 22-3-66-0, Mark Wood 17-2-47-1, Dom Bess 18-1-54-0