Galle [Sri Lanka], January 20 (ANI): Ahead of the second Test against England, Sri Lanka's all-rounder Angelo Mathews on Wednesday praised Stuart Broad, saying that the Englishman is one of the best bowlers going around in the world.
Sri Lanka had lost the first Test against England by seven wickets. Mathews had played 37 balls against Broad in the second innings, and the batsman managed to register only one scoring shot against the pacer.
"We all know what kind of a bowler Broad is -- he's taken over 500 Test wickets and he's one of the best fast bowlers going around. On any kind of surface, the wicket was not offering anything for the fast bowlers, but he was moving the ball. One spell I felt like I was playing in England against him because he was moving the ball. That's very difficult for a fast bowler to do in these conditions in Galle," ESPNCricinfo quoted Mathews as saying.
"Even the spinners didn't give anything away. They didn't give loose deliveries at all. Even though the wicket was turning, and they were trying to take wickets. It was pure Test cricket where they held on to a line and length and we actually made a lot of mistakes by trying to go for too many shots too early off good balls, where we couldn't score off," he added.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Tuesday had announced that five players including Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis have been released from the national squad and as a result, they would not be playing the second Test against England.
Karunaratne has been released due to injury while four others -- Kusal Mendis, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Kumara, and Nuwan Pradeep have been dropped looking at their performances.
After stumbling to a seven-wicket loss against England in the first Test, Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur said that the batting performance of his side in the first innings was very poor and it was a major reason that the hosts were on the back foot from the get-go. In the first innings, Sri Lanka was dismissed for 135, and after this dismal batting show, the hosts conceded 421, and this handed the Joe Root-led England side a hefty lead.
In the second innings, Sri Lanka recovered to register 359 runs as Lahiru Thirimanne went on to register a century. But the hosts managed to gain a lead of 73 runs, and in the end, England had no problem in chasing down this below-par total in the fourth innings. (ANI)