Angelo Mathews has said he felt "great" after getting over the barrier of scoring his maiden hundred on the fourth day of the third Test against Australia.
"It was great getting to it after a couple of missed opportunities," said an elated Mathews who finished unbeaten on 105. "This was a very patient knock close to 270 balls. Even though the wicket was flat and hard the Aussies didn't give it easily. We had to be patient and wait for the loose balls."
Mathews admitted that he was nervous batting in the nineties and having to bat with the tail. "You can always say batting in the nineties you get a bit nervous because I haven't got a hundred yet. I was a bit nervous on this occasion as well," said Mathews, who was helped to the elusive mark by last man Suranga Lakmal who hung around for 37 minutes.
Mathews said that Sri Lanka certainly had a plan in mind when they started the fourth day with a lead of 112 but were pegged down by some accurate bowling by Australia. "We wanted to get 100 runs today and get the lead up to about 200 runs which we couldn't. We fell short by about 40 runs. Australia was not giving away any easy runs, they bowled to a plan. If we had to push then we had to go for big shots and we couldn't afford to lose wickets. We had to be patient.
"We need to win this Test to level the series. We are in a very strong position today because Australia are three wickets down and the wicket has started to spin. In Rangana Herath and Tillakaratne Dilshan we have two good spinners. If we can get a couple of early breakthroughs tomorrow we are back on track."
Mathews who is playing as a batsman said that he would be travelling to Australia at the end of the series to get a few injections for his troubled quadricep of the left knee that has prevented him bowling. "I hope to start bowling gradually soon after the injections and hopefully bowl from the next series."