England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 4th day June 23, 2014

Mathews record invites comparisons with The Don

One of the great Test innings by Angelo Mathews, typical of his outstanding record as captain, has put Sri Lanka on the brink of a famous win
  shares 51

If I asked you which international captain had the best batting record during his period at the helm, you would doubtless answer Donald Bradman. And you would be right. But if I asked who was next, I'll bet you wouldn't pick Angelo Mathews. Bradman, 24 matches, average 101.51; Mathews, nine matches, average 78.83. For what it is worth: Viv Richards, 50 matches, average 45.11. Early days, of course, so early that the Mathews average will surely slide but it tells you he is enjoying the job.

Those of us blessed with a life watching, talking and writing about the game of cricket get to see many special things. In the most recent period of the game, Mitchell Johnson's fast bowling last winter, AB de Villiers remarkable breadth of skill, Sachin Tendulkar's retirement speech, Kevin Pietersen's hundred in Mumbai, Dale Steyn's bursts of frightening intensity, Michael Clarke's golden 2012 and MS Dhoni's match-winning performance in the World Cup final are some that spring to mind.

Now Mathews must be added to the list. Rarely can one man, with one innings, have so utterly changed the course of a match and, in so doing, completely humiliated the opposition. Mathews toyed with the best of England. He reduced James Anderson and Stuart Broad - 600 Test-match wickets between them - to a pair of bowling machines. It was as if he had fixed their line and length to his own preference and then set about destruction.

Remember, this all began with Mahela Jayawardene on Sunday at 5.39pm. It was calamity time then for Sri Lanka. Indeed, experts were making markets on the time England would complete victory. By the time he finished, almost 23 hours later, the calamity was all England's and the victory chant was coming from the Sri Lankans.

The first occasion that most of us were made aware of this rare and confident talent was at the MCG, when he won a one-day match against Australia with a series of magnificent strikes into the bleachers. They were hit with a sense of belonging. The match was won from nowhere and yet there was no great fuss, just the idea that the man winning it was born to the task of representing his country at cricket and that he would do the honour justice.

The figures illustrate he relishes the captaincy but the performances are even greater proof. On this tour, his batting in the deciding one-day match at Edgbaston saw Sri Lanka home. A week later, he made a free-spirited hundred in the first innings of the Test at Lord's before battling through the second innings for 18 runs in 90 balls over two and a quarter hours to help save the match.

He is a fine reader of the game and brings a calm response to the situation. He plays with little ego, preferring to relate his effort to the needs of the team. In this match, there were numerous opportunities to smash Moeen Ali down the ground but he knew that the longer he occupied the crease, the more he sucked the oxygen out of England.

Come to think of it, there was something sadistic about the calculation and execution. Certainly the arrogance we saw in the best of Richards was mirrored by the Sri Lanka captain. When England set the field back to allow him a single and bowl at the other bloke, he blocked four balls, smashed one to the boundary and stole a single of the last. It was magnificent in its simplicity. He cut, he drove, he glanced, he pulled, he paddle-pulled and he slogged. Never, ever did he appear in trouble. In fact he barely missed a ball that he wanted to hit. That is an exaggeration because the Headingley pitch ensures the odd whoosh for no result but the point is made. Even Bradman could not have played it better and he played a pretty darn good hand here in 1948.

Probably, this effort will lead his country to victory. It will be the first time that England have lost one of the short series at the start of the summer that began back at the turn of the century. The damage has been done by one of cricket's best innings. Yes, criticism will swamp Alastair Cook's team at the inquest but it must never be forgotten that something rather special brought them down.

Mark Nicholas, the former Hampshire captain, presents the cricket on Channel 9 in Australia and Channel 5 in the UK

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Nmiduna on | June 25, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    Relax guys, mark never says mathews second to don, but only says he invites that comparison, and has potential to be great! Obviously he still has a long way to go n play many more great innings..but he looks like he ll go on and do it!

  • POSTED BY Naikan on | June 24, 2014, 21:52 GMT

    Thanks Mark for bringing to light Mathews achievement. He seems a simple at heart person who may not have the flamboyant appeal (as yet) of some of the greats you mentioned. Therefore I do feel disappointed by some of the outrage expressed here. Is there any question on the 160 being a great innings now that it has won SL the match and their first away series in England? And what is the issue with acknowledging a simple stat that he has achieved an Avg of 78+ as Captain? Some of the counters quoted are hilarious - Atherton? he got 54 as captain in first 9 tests. Strauss got 59. How do these numbers compare to 79? Or is too much of a stretch - asking people to break down their prejudice and view something plainly for what is stated? Even Sobers took 16 tests before hitting his first century. So I hope Mathews grows from here to smash some of the prejudice that I see expressed here.

  • POSTED BY Nortox on | June 24, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    Excellent article and Mathews deserve the accolades..... England have two major issues 1- They need to find a calculating & aggressive captain 2- They need to get rid of people like Prior and Anderson and look to build a young energetic team.. losses will come but atleast there will be young players grooming not the same old hags...

  • POSTED BY Kays789 on | June 24, 2014, 15:17 GMT

    Everyone just relax. Yes, the title is a bit outrageous, but intentionally so. Mark is clearly not suggesting here that Mathews is so good that he's only second to the Don. He's only pointing to a particular stat here and in that regard he's currently only behind Bradman. And like he also points out it's still very early and that average is most certainly going to come down. Nothing to get worked up over here. It's just a stat fellas. But yes he did play a game changing innings yesterday, that's a fact.

  • POSTED BY GHemrajani on | June 24, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    Liked the point about reducing Anderson and Broad to bowling machines with fixed line and length. A lot of credit to Matthews but England doesn't have good bowlers any more. Anderson is living on past performances - time for him to hang up his boots.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    Mark, you're right that it was an excellent innings by Mathews. But I do feel England could not have been more accommodating to him.

  • POSTED BY jtsapkota on | June 24, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    You don't see Mark Nicholas Praising anyone without deep analysis. Excellent article, Matthew has earned this praise.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    great article sir i always read yours article...what a point talked...one of best test Performance you ever seen good luck mathews and sad about cook

  • POSTED BY Indians-love-flattracks on | June 24, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    Showd brilliant temperament. He could have easily given up after the dismissal of Chandimal and Prasad. Yet calmly went about his business.

    One of the best test innings in recent memory.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    I can't quite believe believe you are even comparing him to the Don. Look at Atherton, Strauss and Cook's first 9 test as captain and you will see similar figures. Again your article is splattered with unnecessary superlatives.

  • POSTED BY Nmiduna on | June 25, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    Relax guys, mark never says mathews second to don, but only says he invites that comparison, and has potential to be great! Obviously he still has a long way to go n play many more great innings..but he looks like he ll go on and do it!

  • POSTED BY Naikan on | June 24, 2014, 21:52 GMT

    Thanks Mark for bringing to light Mathews achievement. He seems a simple at heart person who may not have the flamboyant appeal (as yet) of some of the greats you mentioned. Therefore I do feel disappointed by some of the outrage expressed here. Is there any question on the 160 being a great innings now that it has won SL the match and their first away series in England? And what is the issue with acknowledging a simple stat that he has achieved an Avg of 78+ as Captain? Some of the counters quoted are hilarious - Atherton? he got 54 as captain in first 9 tests. Strauss got 59. How do these numbers compare to 79? Or is too much of a stretch - asking people to break down their prejudice and view something plainly for what is stated? Even Sobers took 16 tests before hitting his first century. So I hope Mathews grows from here to smash some of the prejudice that I see expressed here.

  • POSTED BY Nortox on | June 24, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    Excellent article and Mathews deserve the accolades..... England have two major issues 1- They need to find a calculating & aggressive captain 2- They need to get rid of people like Prior and Anderson and look to build a young energetic team.. losses will come but atleast there will be young players grooming not the same old hags...

  • POSTED BY Kays789 on | June 24, 2014, 15:17 GMT

    Everyone just relax. Yes, the title is a bit outrageous, but intentionally so. Mark is clearly not suggesting here that Mathews is so good that he's only second to the Don. He's only pointing to a particular stat here and in that regard he's currently only behind Bradman. And like he also points out it's still very early and that average is most certainly going to come down. Nothing to get worked up over here. It's just a stat fellas. But yes he did play a game changing innings yesterday, that's a fact.

  • POSTED BY GHemrajani on | June 24, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    Liked the point about reducing Anderson and Broad to bowling machines with fixed line and length. A lot of credit to Matthews but England doesn't have good bowlers any more. Anderson is living on past performances - time for him to hang up his boots.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    Mark, you're right that it was an excellent innings by Mathews. But I do feel England could not have been more accommodating to him.

  • POSTED BY jtsapkota on | June 24, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    You don't see Mark Nicholas Praising anyone without deep analysis. Excellent article, Matthew has earned this praise.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    great article sir i always read yours article...what a point talked...one of best test Performance you ever seen good luck mathews and sad about cook

  • POSTED BY Indians-love-flattracks on | June 24, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    Showd brilliant temperament. He could have easily given up after the dismissal of Chandimal and Prasad. Yet calmly went about his business.

    One of the best test innings in recent memory.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    I can't quite believe believe you are even comparing him to the Don. Look at Atherton, Strauss and Cook's first 9 test as captain and you will see similar figures. Again your article is splattered with unnecessary superlatives.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    Nice article Mr Mark Nicholas, Hats off to you, i'm your fan, Simply Mathews Likely one of Steve Waugh/Jacques Kallis

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    The shortened title on the main Cricinfo page for this article iis outrageous. It said MATTHEWS SECOND TO THE DON. Please avoid such exaggerations.

    Excellent piece by Mark Nicholas. Especially liked the last sentence.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    One of the best captain's innings in my memory. Very well played, Mathews. SL have unearthed a great player and captain rolled in to one. Hopefully, Mathews can stay injury free and add more venom to his bowling.

  • POSTED BY BradmanBestEver on | June 24, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Nice article - I suggest a change to the title: replace the word "second" with the word "third"

    Who was second? Answer = "daylight" and lots of it

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2014, 7:43 GMT

    Reminds VVS Laxman at his very best!

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    excellent bring back KP we wants see him playing in international ERA--- he is stylish errogant..

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    He is nothing but Steve Waugh. In accounting it is ROI in crickets it Performance over Elegance . Both Steve Waugh and AM are not soothing on the eye, but highly result oriented and provides higher satisfaction for the supporters of their teams.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | June 24, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    Not wanting to put a dampner on things but there is a caveat in this regard, Mathews is still playing and in the best tradition of investment portfolio management, Averages can go down as well as up.

  • POSTED BY Cricketluv on | June 24, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    Now that MJ KS have achieved all records, form today onward let us change the batting order to prepare ourselves. for two years , KP,DK open, No 3 Thiri, 4, mathews, then dinesh, sanga and mahela. . So by the time the two biggies leave we will be ready with another two, to follow the trend,; (Anura Roy) Bandu, Dulip) (Arjuna, Ara) (mahela Sanga) mathews , Thiri)

  • POSTED BY rizwan1981 on | June 24, 2014, 5:34 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

  • POSTED BY siddhartha87 on | June 24, 2014, 4:31 GMT

    Matthews has activated "god mode"

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | June 24, 2014, 3:25 GMT

    The guy batted like Lara ... Come now ... End these comparisons with the Don ...

    The only knock this resembles is Brian Lara's 153* .... And that was against the Best bowlers in the world at the time. And against one of the winningest teams and captain in Cricket History ...

    Albiet Lara's Knock was at home ....

    Mathews was in the Lion's den, in England , which is a feat in itself... The fact that this was done by an away batsman is mind blowing ....

    yup,,,

    Mathew's / Lara .. same sentence ...

    Take a bow Angelo ....

    ( no comparisons with the Don just yet)

  • POSTED BY gajan on | June 24, 2014, 2:10 GMT

    @the_blue_android : why are you referring to this team as England A? This is clearly the best side England can put up (apart from the inclusion of Ben Stokes, there is noone else out there)

  • POSTED BY Kotuwegogoda on | June 23, 2014, 23:56 GMT

    An excellent presentation by Mark once again. The comparison of Angelo with Sir Don Bradmon and Sir Vivian Richards may sound too premature yet Angelo has the hallmark of becoming an astute leader an Allrounder cricketer is true at so younger age. I would have liked some similarities of Angelo with great Imran Khan and Kapil Dev of the sub continent few decades ago.

    Today's batting of Mahela, Angelo and Herath added more misery to Englishmen. Then Prasad's four wicket haul set up nicely the game tomorrow for Srilanka barring some miracle.

    Early contributions from Sanga with the bat and Eranga, Pradeep with the bowl contributed immensely to Lanka's cause. Klaushal Silva and Tirimanne need to work on their techniques if they are to bat high up on grassy pitches. Chandimal's comeback to test cricket couldn't have come at a better time than now. All the best for first series win in English soil!

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2014, 23:09 GMT

    Mark, Is it just coincidence, that in the 1948 Headingley Test which you mention, England were undone by an Australian quick bowler called Johnson!

  • POSTED BY pestonji on | June 23, 2014, 21:58 GMT

    What is disturbing about this loss is that even an average performance by SL seems to be good enough for victory in cricket these days. The sport is too easy and descending into mediocrity.

  • POSTED BY pestonji on | June 23, 2014, 21:56 GMT

    time to sack Coook and bring in Carberry. Only England would drop a player who stood up to Mitch Johnson. this match is a reflection the England cricket establishment's incompetence more than anything else. Moeen Ali??? Why the heck did Swann resign? What a circus!! No wonder America is now better than England in football. They might be better at cricket soon!! Cluelessness and diffidence is the English Way.

  • POSTED BY jerryman on | June 23, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    What a wonderful knock by Matthews and great support by the tail , finally when it was needed badly. Hoping SL can go in for the kill tomorrow , need to get early wickets and prevent a rear guard action by the England team . 4th day am sure has knocked the sails of the English team. Now need to be ruthless and finish the game .

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 23, 2014, 20:57 GMT

    Well at last a great captains innings by angelo mathews well soppert innings by herath keep it up boys the victory is not 2 far!

  • POSTED BY Philip_Gnana on | June 23, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    The writer has said it all. Well written and does bring out the modesty of the whole team too. Angelo, who has not ego. I hope they go on to complete a great victory. Nothing but a victory will do justice to this plucky SL team. Philip Gnana, Surrey

  • POSTED BY nlambda on | June 23, 2014, 20:29 GMT

    Great innings by Matthews but dislike this hyperbole. What was Garry Sobers' average as captain, out of curiosity?

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | June 23, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    The photo there says it all: Captain Mathews triumphant and unstoppable; Ali dejected in the background thinking "I'm really here as the spinner?"

  • POSTED BY LALITHKURUWITA on | June 23, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    SL has not finished the job. Root is still there and so as Ali and Prior. Poms has the chance to play like Anji/Ranga. Only problem is POMS look already lost team and no any confidence.

  • POSTED BY LAKingsFan on | June 23, 2014, 20:23 GMT

    Early days still. Is this innings one of the greatest? Absolutely,yes. No doubt about it. But, is Mathews greatest after Don? I would say no. He's in early days of captaincy and remember England team was butchered by Australia with KP. And, this England team was without KP. There are many more things to come. Let's wait and see (Even this match is not over yet).

  • POSTED BY SLMaster on | June 23, 2014, 20:11 GMT

    His contribution could have been better if he didn't had to bat with tail

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2014, 20:10 GMT

    This is confirmation that in order to be recognized internationally as a "great player", that you have to do well against Australia, England, or India. The praise coming for Matthews is genuinely a little bit too much (this is a weak English side). Also, in the last few days, there have been tons of articles about Sangakkara, but not too many articles came out when he hit two consecutive 190's against Pakistan (arguably one of the greatest bowling attacks) last year. A bit sad in a way, but at least Sangakkara and Matthews will get the accolades that they deserve.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 23, 2014, 19:42 GMT

    I agree with Mark in that I could sense a bit of arrogance in Angelos batting and even i thought there was a bit of Richards in him. SL have a great batdman and leader in Angelo Mathews.

  • POSTED BY golfallday on | June 23, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    Hi Praise - well deserved! Well done Angelo. Keep up the good work.

  • POSTED BY aarifboy on | June 23, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    Without Kevin England are performing like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe

  • POSTED BY crickketlover on | June 23, 2014, 19:22 GMT

    Great recognition from a great writer! Hope SL wins it tomorrow and I sure hope so, as it will validate the captain's knock. Go SL. you are amazing!

  • POSTED BY SP123 on | June 23, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    Good all-round play by the Lankans. Good captaincy and knock by Angelo. Keep it up and create history.

  • POSTED BY top_SPIN on | June 23, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan fan, I would not bracket Mathews with Don Bradman & Sir Viv Richards, at least not yet. But one thing is sure, Mathews is quite comfortable at the driving seat. Same time he is becoming the most reliable batsman in SL batting lineup. He is doing it better than Thilan Samaraweera, who was not that aggressive with bat.

    Still Mathews has not played even 50 tests, but he surely reads the game much better than many contemporaries. Not only he is just a good captain but a very good entertainer as well, if he is at the crease get ready for a last over nail biter.

    He gets criticized for not being attacking as Micheal Clerk or so, but one needs to take into account the ammunition Mathews has got. With his limited resources he is quite effective compared to other captains who've got experienced fast bowling attacks.

    It is quite unfortunate that SL do not get many test matches away from home. But I wish Mathews all the best to make most out of the limited opportunities given

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2014, 18:58 GMT

    the kind of an inng produced by methews can hardly be substituted....................he is the real class after arvida srilanka have wittnessed.

  • POSTED BY dns07 on | June 23, 2014, 18:56 GMT

    Great article, Mathews is simply at his best since he got the captaincy!!

  • POSTED BY rizwan1981 on | June 23, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    As a SRI LANKAN I am proud of the way the boys played - But lets put things in perspective - Its a lot easier to score a century at #6 rather than #3 or 4 # when the openers are out cheaply . Mathews's innings was fantastic but credit should go to Sangakkara and Mahela for making things easy for Mathews

  • POSTED BY Nmiduna on | June 23, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    good point and thank you for that! i don't know whether it is because this is sri lanka, but almost all are saying how bad England played. yes they did, but usually you need something extraordinary to make them play that bad. it's mostly a mental thing..and we should give the credit where its due, a cliche in cricket but it's true here!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 23, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    cook and England deserve it for treating kevin the way they did.

  • POSTED BY DC75 on | June 23, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    well played Angelo, last night I thought 200 would be about the best SL can do but 350 was fantastic and England already down by 5...superbly played...

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    Oh so Cook is out of that list. It was Cook some years back who was pipped as going for it. Wonder how many players have been on this list on n off. The greats ofcourse stay in that list for a long time. Like the author says, never judge players too early. One thing about Mathews is that if he can get even half a player as Mahela/kumar at the top of the order pretty soon, his record will then improve. Hope he flourishes and with him SL cricket. Good luck.

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2014, 18:31 GMT

    Angelo is young and has a good head on his shoulders. He does not show off and mouth off but shows what he is made of with the bat and ball. Cook was such a great batsman. Captaincy is a total strain on him. He needs people like Prior to prop him up. He should be relinquished of the burden and allowed to play his role as before. Spirit of the game? Not from the masters who invented and taught the world how to play the game of cricket.

  • POSTED BY the_blue_android on | June 23, 2014, 18:30 GMT

    Is this SL vs England A match gonna have a result? At 57/5, I do think so!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY the_blue_android on | June 23, 2014, 18:30 GMT

    Is this SL vs England A match gonna have a result? At 57/5, I do think so!

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2014, 18:31 GMT

    Angelo is young and has a good head on his shoulders. He does not show off and mouth off but shows what he is made of with the bat and ball. Cook was such a great batsman. Captaincy is a total strain on him. He needs people like Prior to prop him up. He should be relinquished of the burden and allowed to play his role as before. Spirit of the game? Not from the masters who invented and taught the world how to play the game of cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    Oh so Cook is out of that list. It was Cook some years back who was pipped as going for it. Wonder how many players have been on this list on n off. The greats ofcourse stay in that list for a long time. Like the author says, never judge players too early. One thing about Mathews is that if he can get even half a player as Mahela/kumar at the top of the order pretty soon, his record will then improve. Hope he flourishes and with him SL cricket. Good luck.

  • POSTED BY DC75 on | June 23, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    well played Angelo, last night I thought 200 would be about the best SL can do but 350 was fantastic and England already down by 5...superbly played...

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 23, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    cook and England deserve it for treating kevin the way they did.

  • POSTED BY Nmiduna on | June 23, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    good point and thank you for that! i don't know whether it is because this is sri lanka, but almost all are saying how bad England played. yes they did, but usually you need something extraordinary to make them play that bad. it's mostly a mental thing..and we should give the credit where its due, a cliche in cricket but it's true here!

  • POSTED BY rizwan1981 on | June 23, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    As a SRI LANKAN I am proud of the way the boys played - But lets put things in perspective - Its a lot easier to score a century at #6 rather than #3 or 4 # when the openers are out cheaply . Mathews's innings was fantastic but credit should go to Sangakkara and Mahela for making things easy for Mathews

  • POSTED BY dns07 on | June 23, 2014, 18:56 GMT

    Great article, Mathews is simply at his best since he got the captaincy!!

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2014, 18:58 GMT

    the kind of an inng produced by methews can hardly be substituted....................he is the real class after arvida srilanka have wittnessed.

  • POSTED BY top_SPIN on | June 23, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan fan, I would not bracket Mathews with Don Bradman & Sir Viv Richards, at least not yet. But one thing is sure, Mathews is quite comfortable at the driving seat. Same time he is becoming the most reliable batsman in SL batting lineup. He is doing it better than Thilan Samaraweera, who was not that aggressive with bat.

    Still Mathews has not played even 50 tests, but he surely reads the game much better than many contemporaries. Not only he is just a good captain but a very good entertainer as well, if he is at the crease get ready for a last over nail biter.

    He gets criticized for not being attacking as Micheal Clerk or so, but one needs to take into account the ammunition Mathews has got. With his limited resources he is quite effective compared to other captains who've got experienced fast bowling attacks.

    It is quite unfortunate that SL do not get many test matches away from home. But I wish Mathews all the best to make most out of the limited opportunities given