Mathews pleased with AMAZING turnaround

SA’ADI THAWFEEQ reporting from Galle

GALLE: Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews gave a sigh of relief after his team had beaten Australia by 229 runs in the second Test at Galle to take a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series yesterday.

“It feels great. The way we played in the last two games it was brilliant. We were pretty clinical in the second Test especially,” said Mathews at the post-match press conference.

“Especially after England we were down and out. We were struggling with our confidence. We had to work really hard in all three aspects of our game. It’s very pleasing to see a massive turnaround. “When things go well it all happens for the best. I thought we fielded extremely well in the last two games. We had to be scrappy when it comes to batting. When you play in extreme conditions you have to try and find a way to get runs. It wasn’t easy. Mitchell Starc – you should give credit to him the way he bowled on this pitch. The flat track didn’t offer any sort of help for the seamers but he bowled his heart out.” Mathews said that he was under some pressure when he went out for the toss.“The first hurdle was to win the toss and then get a good score on the board because the wicket was always going to get worse.

“Once again it was a special performance by Kusal Mendis – getting us to 281. Special mention to Dilruwan (Perera) after having a quiet first Test he backed his potential and came back really hard. He was one bowler whothe Australians found it really hard to score off, especially on this track,” said Mathews.

With a winning spin trio of Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera and Lakshan Sandakan, the Lankan captain spoke of going for a clean sweep in theseries. “It’s never easy when you’re facing good quality spin on a turning track.We’ve got good quality spinners in Herath, Dilruwan and Sandakan. They are experienced campaigners and they know exactly how to bowl on these types of wickets,” said Mathews. “Sometimes when we go overseas we struggle as well. We still want to win 3-0. We want to go for it in Colombo.

The Australians look a bit lost when it comes to facing our spinners. They have bowled extremely well. They found it a bit hard to score off our spinners.”When questioned whether he was disappointed with the opposition put up by a team like Australia, Mathews replied, “To be the no. 1 team you’ve got to play consistent cricket whether at home or away. They’ve played on spinning tracks – they’ve just been to the West Indies.

They’ve played a couple of Test matches there and also a one-day series. They are used to spinning conditions, but it’s just that we played better cricket than them.”

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