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
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.