Eng v SL, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 4th day June 23, 2014

Captaincy no burden for Mathews

Angelo Mathews' flourishing batting during his stint as Sri Lanka Test captain features in the stats highlights from the fourth day at Headingley

  • During his innings of 160, Angelo Mathews became the second Sri Lanka batsman to have scored 300-plus runs during a tour to England. The only other man to have achieved this feat was Kumar Sangakkara, also during this Test. The 306 runs that Mathews has scored in this series is the third highest number of runs scored by an overseas batsman in a two-match series (or has played only two matches in a longer series) in England. Sangakkara and Saurav Ganguly are higher than him on the list.

  • Mathews' 160 was his fourth Test century and his third as captain. He has now scored 946 runs as Sri Lankan captain at an average of 78.83. Mathews' batting average as a non-captain for Sri Lanka was 39.71. Among players who have captained their country in at least five Tests, Mathews' average is the second highest.

  • Mathews' score was the fourth highest by a batsman batting at No. 6 or below at Headingley, and also the fourth highest by a batsman at any position in the second innings. It was also the fourth-highest score in the second innings by a batsman batting at No. 6 or below in England. Gary Sobers is the only captain to have scored more runs in the second innings of a Test in England, while batting a No. 6 or below.

  • The efforts of Mathews, with support from Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and later Rangana Herath, allowed Sri Lanka to post 457, which is the third-highest score in the third innings for a Test at Headingley. This meant that England were set a target of 350 to win the match. There have only been ten previous instances when teams have been set a bigger target to win a Test in Leeds. Targets in excess of 300 have only been successfully chased down twice at Leeds - 315 by England in 2001 and 404 by Australia in 1948, which is also the fourth-highest chase of all time.

  • Sri Lanka were able to set England this mammoth target largely due to the 149-run partnership for the eighth wicket between Mathews and Herath. This was Sri Lanka's highest eighth-wicket partnership in an overseas Test, with next best being 100 against Bangladesh at Chittagong. Including Tests at home, this is the second-highest eighth-wicket partnership ever for Sri Lanka, after the 170 runs that Jayawardene and Chaminda Vaas posted against South Africa at Galle in 2004.

  • There have been 94 previous instances on which England have been set a Target of 350 or more to win a Test. They have lost 68 of these and drawn the remaining 26, winning none. The biggest target that England have successfully achieved to win a Test is 332 against Australia in 1928. England have successfully chased down 300-plus totals only three times in their history. Against Sri Lanka, 171 is the largest target that they have successfully achieved.

  • Excluding games in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka have won a mere six Tests outside the subcontinent, with only one of those coming in a series victory. Their only series victory outside the subcontinent, excluding Zimbabwe again, was against New Zealand in 1995 (1-0 in a two-Test series). They also won a one-off Test on English soil in 1998. There have been three drawn series and another 21 that they have lost. If they secure victory on the final day at Headingley, Sri Lanka will win their first series in England.

Bishen Jeswant is a stats sub editor at ESPNcricinfo. @bishen_jeswant

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nainil on June 24, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    Absolutely fantastic cricket played by both Sri Lanka and England. This series is a great ambassador for Test matches. Test match is real cricket. Congratulations to both the teams. While Moeen was incredible and rock solid and saw the game almost through, the real champ to emerge out of this series is Angelo Matthews. It's very difficult to perform as a captain in English conditions against fiery English bowling attack. All credit to Angelo for playing well and winning it for his team. Thumbs up for Test cricket. Let's see what India can do next.

  • Dummy4 on June 24, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    Matthews surely has strong claims to be the captain to watch over the next decade.

  • Ban on June 24, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    I had doubts about Mathew's captaincy as well as the burden of captaincy on his playing. I am not alone on this looking at the captaincy changes made to Sri Lanka teams after Mathew taking reins. Today I would like to say Mathew has come of age and showed everybody that he is ready to steer the side for better achievements. Mathew should not allow anybody to doubt his claim and stand straight and be ready to lead Sri Lanka for a long time.

  • Dummy4 on June 24, 2014, 7:36 GMT

    @Upul: And if you run the above query for the mighty Australia they have also won same 22 test matches in sub-continent excluding Bangladesh.

  • Dummy4 on June 24, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    I appreciate Mathew's affort in this series . his both hudreds came in the circumstanmces where the runs are importantly needed for the team. Mathew is 27 now . he has long ways to go in his cricketing career. undoubtadly he will add lot of feathers in his cap in future.

  • Sudath on June 24, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    Dear Jeswant Very useful stats. Being a fan of Sri Lankan team, let me say that the wins outside the subcontinent is solely due to the number of series they get. With this performance if England can give them at least three match series per two years there will be many wins. After all cricketing giant Australia gives them three match series. It is not because the SL cannot , but others seem to be 'afraid ' of fight with them. So please mention the background as well, when commenting and citing stats. Thank you

  • Rizwan on June 24, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    Proud to be a SRI LANKAN - Mathews was a fantastic knock but credit should go to Silva ( in the first test ) Sanga and Mahela - Its a lot easier to bat at # 6 than at the top of the order .

    The brains trust should consider promoting Thirimanne to # 3 and Sanga at # 4 , Mahela at #5 . Even the great Kallis and Ponting dropped down from #3 to # 4 as their reflexes and eye sight were weakened as they got older.

    Its time to groom BAHNUKA RAJAPAKSHA and recall Tharanga if Thirimanne can't handle the pressure.Tharanga can bat # 3

  • Dummy4 on June 24, 2014, 4:18 GMT

    If you run the above query for India, they have only won 22 test matches outside the sub-continent excluding Zimbabwe.

  • Dummy4 on June 24, 2014, 3:14 GMT

    One of the best knocks ever in test cricket you will see, and one of the best comebacks on foreign soil ever by Sri Lanka !

  • Philip on June 23, 2014, 21:10 GMT

    Should they complete this victory, it will be victory for the people of Sri Lanka. Their cricketers have always played for the nation with little egos to go around. It is very hard not like the Sri Lankans. The tour started with their manager leaving and what a way to show their character and stick it back up the noses of the ECB. Well done to them. Philip Gnana, Surrey

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