Angelo Mathews scored his fourth Test ton © Getty Images
Angelo Mathews scored his fourth Test ton © Getty Images

By Abhijit Banare

Jun 23, 2014

Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews scored his second consecutive Test ton and fourth overall as Sri Lanka dominated the hosts in he second session on Day Four of second test at Headingley. Resuming at 311 for seven, the match was evenly poised but England looked completely demoralised by the time they walked back for tea with Lanka on 426 for eight and the lead looking a threatening 318.

England were hungry to pick the remaining three wickets post lunch but their pacers never quite looked to pitch it in the right areas. Cook’s reluctance to bring in Moeen Ali meant that the batsmen were dealing with pacers.

As the day progressed the pitch has slowed down considerably. The fact that Herath was standing outside the crease facing pacers showed the condition of the wicket. Mathews on the other end was busy taking on the short balls and dispatching them in the deep. Within no time after the lunch break, Mathews got in to a routine of facing pacers with the field spread out. In other words, England weren’t quite aiming at getting Mathews out which cost them dearly as he galloped in to the 90s.

Seven overs post break, Mathews was pumping his fists celebrating his second consecutive Test ton. It was one of the finest knock he would’ve played. Mathews averages over 80 in Tests as captain which shows how well he is enjoying the responsibility.

England shoulders were drooping just over an hour after lunch. Cook finally brought on Ali who created a few opportunities. Herath struggled against the off-spinner but the partnership grew in confidence. Herath added to the frustration when he hammered two boundaries in a Stuart Broad over.

They registered Sri Lanka’s highest eighth wicket stand in England and the second highest at Headingley. England managed to find the breakthrough just before tea when a confusion between batsmen led to Herath backing to far ahead and Joe Root hitting directly at the stumps. But by then the the 149-run stand had already snatched the control of the match.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka  257 (Kumar Sangakkara 79, Dinesh Chandimal 45; Liam Punkett 5 for 64, Stuart Broad 3 for 46) and 426 for 8 (M Jayawardene 79, Angelo Mathews 149*; Liam Plunkett 2 for 101) lead England 365 (Sam Robson 127, Gary Ballance 74; Shaminda Eranga 4 for 93, Angelo Mathews 4 for 44) by 318 runs.

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(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)