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'We Are Not Out of the Game' - Angelo Mathews Hopeful of Winning Second Test

"It is a wicket where there is lot of assistance to the spinners. Credit to England for bowling so well."

Cricketnext Staff |November 17, 2018, 7:15 PM IST
'We Are Not Out of the Game' - Angelo Mathews Hopeful of Winning Second Test

Angelo Mathews, who scored a crafty 88 in the second innings, was optimistic about Sri Lanka's chances going into the final day of the second Test at Kandy. The hosts, who trail the three-match series 0-1, need another 75 runs to win with three wickets in hand with Niroshan Dickwella batting on 27 at the close of play.

"It is evenly poised. Unfortunate I got out at a very crucial time. But we still have got a batter at the crease. Then guys like Akila Dananjaya and Suranga Lakmal are no mugs with the bat. So we are not out of the game. If we get one good partnership we are in with a win," a confident Mathews told reporters after an intriguing day's play.

The former captain who registered his third half-century of the series said that it wasn’t easy batting out there as English bowlers made them work hard on a tricky deck.

"It is a wicket where there is lot of assistance to the spinners. Credit to England for bowling so well. They didn't give too many loose balls. We had to work extremely hard to score runs," said Mathews.

"Dimuth (Karunaratne) was superb today with the bat and it was extremely unfortunate that he had to fall for a brilliant catch. That changed the game. He was the batsman in form. Had we got a bigger partnership we would have been in a commanding position."

Left-handed Karunaratne swept a turning delivery as Keaton Jennings anticipated the hit from the forward short leg to get a hand to the ball which popped out and an alert Ben Foakes completed the catch.

"I saw him go down to paddle and just set off running. He got a little too much bat on it and it ended up at me. I'd love to say I parried it to Foaksey but I genuinely tried to catch it. It hit me really hard and went straight off to Foakesy," said Jennings.

The tourists need three more wickets to seal the series and the opener was confident about their chances going into the last day.

"We are really positive. Hopefully, our game-plan will prevail. It is set up to be a really good Test - the last four days have been amazing to watch and it is set up to be a thriller,” he said.

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