Emotional Angelo Mathews rues missed century
Angelo Mathews has admitted he was emotional after missing out on his maiden Test century by one run, but said the experience - he was run out - would help him improve his game and be more careful the next time around.
"A first Test hundred is a big achievement for any cricketer," he said. "It was very unfortunate I could not get it. But then that's how it goes."
Mathews was short of his crease going for a second run after he pulled a ball from Sreesanth and set off for two but failed to beat Sachin Tendulkar's throw from deep square leg to wicketkeeper MS Dhoni. The decision was referred to the third umpire and after what must have been an agonizing three minutes, Mathews was given the red light.
"I thought there were two runs but I creased the bat deep on my first run, which is why I was run out.
"Back in the dressing room I thought about for a bit longer. Then I recovered when we went out to the field. There were a few tears in my eyes as well but all the senior players rallied around me and said that it was part of the game. They told me I'd get more opportunities to score runs… It will make me more determined to score runs and to be careful the next time."
Mathews' wicket led to Sri Lanka's innings folding after 27 minutes in the day, after which India, led by Virender Sehwag, pulverised 443 off 79 overs by stumps. However, Mathews was optimistic that Sri Lanka could make a comeback in the Test.
"India haven't won this game, it's just a matter of two to three wickets tomorrow morning and then we can get right back into it. There are three more days left and anything can happen."
When Sri Lanka resumed their first innings at 366 for 8, the plan was to score as many runs as possible. "I knew that Murali and Chanaka (Welagedera) can hang around a bit and with their support I wanted to get as much runs as possible for the team," Mathews said.
He came into the Test on the back of several batting failures but said he was not under any pressure from outside. "I was under pressure when I came into the Test as I had failed in my last three innings. I had to score some runs and get into some form and perform for the team. [But] There was no pressure for me to perform from outside or from the team, it was just that I had to prove that, playing as a number six batsman, I should score runs.
"The team management doesn't put pressure on me. They tell me to go out there and enjoy the game. I personally felt that I needed to score some runs for the team."