Playing XI when Angelo Mathews made his Test debut
Angelo Mathews recently became the sixth Sri Lanka cricketer to play 100 Test matches for the country. It is a terrific feat for the cricketer, who made his debut back in 2009. In this article, we take a look at the playing XI when Angelo Mathews made his Test debut.
At that time, subcontinent teams were not used to having good quality medium-pace bowling all-rounders. However, Angelo Mathews did well in this department and cemented his spot in the Sri Lankan XI. He even went on to captain the unit. The first game for Mathews was against Pakistan in 2009 at Galle. It was a match that Sri Lanka won by 50 runs.
Openers: Malinda Warnapura and N Paranavitana
Malinda Warnapura and N Paranavitana were the openers in the playing XI when Angelo Mathews made his Test debut. Sri Lanka did not have a popular opening combination for this encounter. Nevertheless, they did have important contributions in the game. Interestingly, Rangana Herath opened the batting in the second innings.
Middle-Order: Kumar Sangakkara (C), Mahela Jayawardene, T Samaraweera and T Dilshan (WK)
At that time, Sri Lanka had a terrific batting line-up. Especially at home, it was hard to get past their solid middle-order. While Kumar Sangakkara and Jayawardene closed many games together, the lower middle-order was also terrific. Samaraweera was an important part of the Test setup while T Dilshan gave a lot of balance to the XI with his wicket-keeping skills. If not with the gloves, he also used to roll his arm over, when required.
All-Rounders: Angelo Mathews
When Angelo Mathews made his Test debut, he was the sole all-rounder in the playing XI. Mathews had a brilliant contribution in his debut game. While he scored 42 and 27 in the first and second innings respectively, he collected the crucial wicket of Younis Khan in the second innings to firmly turn the game in Sri Lanka's favour. For many more years, Mathews came in with similar impactful performances, although he does not bowl now, due to his fitness.
Bowlers: Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Thilan Thushara and Ajantha Mendis
Kulasekara and Thushara were the pacers for Sri Lanka in this game. While the right-arm pacer picked up four important wickets in the first innings, Thushara collected two wickets each in both innings. In the context of the game, they had a good outing. It was the spin-combination that helped Sri Lanka win the game. Of course, it was Rangana Herath who was the game-changer. The Player of the Match, Herath picked a four-wicket haul in the second innings. Mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis also contributed with two scalps in the second innings.