Cricket

Sri Lanka vs England: Angelo Mathews leads hosts' fightback with an unbeaten century on Day 1 of second Test

  • Agence France-Presse
  • January 22nd, 2021
  • 19:16:02 IST

Galle: Angelo Mathews' stubborn century took Sri Lanka to 229-4 on the first day of the second Test against England on Friday after early strikes by James Anderson made the home side look vulnerable.

Mathews was at the crease on 107 with Niroshan Dickwella on 19 at the close in Galle as Sri Lanka, who lost the first Test by seven wickets, tried to make best use of a good batting pitch after winning the toss.

Anderson bowled with masterful control throughout and claimed the first three wickets, including opener Lahiru Thirimanne for 43 soon after lunch, that took his Test tally to 603 in 157 matches.

The 38-year-old Lancashire bowler finished the day with remarkable figures of 3-24 from 19 overs.

Mathews built crucial partnerships, including a 117-run stand for the fourth wicket with skipper Dinesh Chandimal who made 52.

Mathews, the former captain, acknowledged that England had put his side under pressure early in the day.

"I got into rhythm in the second innings of the first Test, so I thought if I get a good start, I can make it big," said the 33-year-old all-rounder.

"Even though we are 229 for four, we can't give it away tomorrow. If it is this hot tomorrow, it will start turning.

"We don't know what a good score is – we will try to get as many as we can."

England fast bowler Mark Wood trapped Chandimal lbw and the batsman went off after an unsuccessful review of the umpire's decision.

Mathews 'thorn'

Mathews reached his 11th Test hundred, and third against England, with a single off Jack Leach.

He put on 36 with Dickwella, holding out after England took the new ball in the 81st over.

"Mathews has been a thorn in our side a little bit. I am sure he has been using a wider bat than anyone else," joked Wood.

"We have just got to keep hammering away and try to get an opening.

"It was hard work," he said of the frustrating conditions and heat.

Anderson, who replaced fellow quick Stuart Broad was the only change for England, struck twice in one over in the morning session with the wickets of Kusal Perera and Oshada Fernando (0).

Perera was caught at first slip by England skipper Joe Root for six. Fernando only lasted four balls before playing a rising delivery onto his stumps for a duck as Sri Lanka slipped to 7-2.

Thirimanne and Mathews rebuilt the innings with a 69-run stand up to lunch, but Anderson broke through after the break when Thirimanne edged to Jos Buttler behing the stumps.

The series, which is being played behind closed doors, resumed last week after being cancelled in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated Date: January 22, 2021 19:16:02 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

India vs England: Joe Root reveals visitors had been hit by illness, but have recovered ahead of fourth Test
First Cricket News

India vs England: Joe Root reveals visitors had been hit by illness, but have recovered ahead of fourth Test

The English captain however, did not specify the nature of the illness but said he has a full squad to choose from.

India vs England: Jack Leach ready to give his best in 'slightly different role' during pink ball Test
First Cricket News

India vs England: Jack Leach ready to give his best in 'slightly different role' during pink ball Test

Leach is aware that with the pink ball, which tends to move around a lot more than the traditional red cherry, his role could change over the next few days.

India vs England: Rohit Sharma says batsmen have to be 'extra cautious and focussed' during twilight phase
First Cricket News

India vs England: Rohit Sharma says batsmen have to be 'extra cautious and focussed' during twilight phase

Rohit is also concerned about adjusting to the lights and surroundings while fielding in the newly-built Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium in Motera.