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Angelo Mathews: Kumar Sangakkara played important role in massive win over England

Angelo Mathews said Sri Lanka had an unbelievable start to their bowling innings against England © Getty Images
Angelo Mathews said Sri Lanka had an unbelievable start to their bowling innings against England © Getty Images

Chester-le-Street: May 26, 2014

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews disclosed that Kumar Sangakkara had played an important role in the build-up to their massive win over England in the second One-Day International (ODI) at the Riverside in Chester-le-Street. Sri Lanka beat England by 157 runs on Sunday after posting a challenging 256 for eight. England were bowled out for 99.

The batsman briefly played for Durham in the County Championship earlier this season, including a four-day match on the Riverside ground.

“We got a lot of information from him because he knows the conditions quite well,” said Mathews. “The wicket was under covers for three or four days and he thought it would be sporty — and it was sporty. It didn’t seam a lot, but it was hard to score.”

Sangakkara also made a contribution on the pitch as he scored 40, but even he was overshadowed by Tillakaratne Dilshan as they put on 96 for the second wicket.

“It was an exceptional performance by Dilshan,” Mathews said. “He was a doubt before the game, but the physio and masseur worked really hard with him and it paid off. He’s very aggressive and when he gets a start, the team is sitting pretty. He and Kumar Sangakkara set the platform.

“We were not really sure if 256 was good enough because the track was pretty challenging, but we had an unbelievable start.”

Nuwan Kulasekara made the early breakthroughs as England’s top-order collapsed, then Sachithra Senanayake captured four for 13 in seven overs — his best ODI performance.

“All our bowlers bowled pretty well, but Senanayake was unplayable. In those conditions, he’s a nightmare for batsmen. He came as our only spinner and was brilliant here. He bowled with a lot of confidence.”

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