The last game of Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign started on a disastrous note with the 1996 champions reeling at 55-4 after just over 11 overs against India in Headingley on Saturday.
It was then that Angelo Mathews decided to step up and produce his team’s best batting performance of the tournament. The all-rounder steadied the ship and helped the Lankans post a respectable total of 264-7 in their quota of 50 overs.
Here we take a closer look at his performance.
Balls faced: 128
Sri Lanka endured a rather disappointing World Cup, with their only memorable moment arriving in a thrilling win over hosts England. They would have preferred to have started strong against neighbours India but Jasprit Bumrah had other ideas and he removed the openers early on.
Matthews played the role of a sheet anchor and took his team to safety through a well-paced ton. He thus became only the second Sri Lankan player to score a ton in this World Cup after Avishka Fernando.
The 34-year-old went after Bhuvneshwar Kumar and ensured his team got to a competitive total, as he recorded the highest score by a Sri Lankan player in this World Cup.
Good shot selection is a key ingredient in any innings and Mathews had his spot on. His timing and placement were impeccable as well on a slowing surface.
His used the pull shot judiciously, negating the slow short balls by Indian quicks. The 34-year-old was accumulating runs all around the ground and ensured Sri Lanka avoided a batting collapse.
No major negatives. But he did get out to a softly dismissal. Matthew timed Bumrah’s full length ball well but failed to place it perfectly. The ball found Rohit Sharma at extra-cover and the opening batsman had to barely move an inch to send the Sri Lankan back to the pavilion.
The in-form batsman could have added another 15 runs on the board, had he placed his shot better.
The Lankans had a tournament to forget and hence need to regroup. However, Matthews will find solace in the fact that he played a classy innings.
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