Defiant Mathews eyes SL win

2014-06-19 19:46
Angelo Mathews (AFP)

Leeds - Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews is adamant a drawn series with England won't satisfy the tourists.

Mathews's side face England in the second and final Test at Headingley on Friday, having held out for a draw in the series opener with just one wicket standing on Monday' final day at Lord's.

Sri Lanka have won just two Tests in England, losing six and drawing six, but Mathews was in positive mood on Thursday.

"If we can win the game, that's what we're looking for, not really a draw," the all-rounder told reporters at Headingley.

"If needed, we'll try to change our plans and tactics a little bit, but all in all our strength is to keep it line and length and bowl in those good areas.

"Test cricket is all about challenging people. It's about thinking a step further than the batsman. If we have to make those tactical changes we will."

Mathews defied convention by asking England to bat first at Lord's and then saw the hosts post a commanding 575 for nine declared.

But he added he wouldn't be afraid to do the same at Headingley if he believed conditions favoured bowling first again.

"You never know, there is a bit of grass on the wicket," he said.

"But you can't say anything until game day. You can never predict a wicket 100 percent."

- Illegal action -

Meanwhile relations between the England and Wales Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket were said to be "amicable" after the row regarding Sachithra Senanayake's action.

Sri Lanka spinner Senanayake was reported for an illegal action during the one-day series, much to the tourists' dismay.

Mathews was reported as telling BBC Sinhala, in Sinhalese, that England had instigated the probe into Senanayake because they disliked facing him.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Sunday Times suggested ECB chairman Giles Clarke had referred Mathews's comments to the International Cricket Council in the hope of an apology.

Sri Lanka team manager Michael de Zoysa banned all questions relating to Senanayake at Mathews's press conference on Thursday, but did say: "The matter has been resolved amicably. There is no further comment."

Earlier, an SLC statement published by the Sunday Times made clear the governing body's displeasure at the paper's story.

It read: "SLC wishes to express its surprise and disappointment at your accusation levelled against Mr Giles Clarke.

"Mr Clarke, who has been a great friend of SLC and Sri Lanka, has been a pillar of strength to the Cricket in Sri Lanka and its growth unconditionally."

Cook had previously insisted no England player had played a part in the reporting of Senanayake, while leaving little doubt as to his view of the bowler's action.

"We as players have no power to report anyone," he said. "It's directly down to the umpires and the match referee. I know that for a fact. So we can't say anything.

"(But) I think everyone saw his action and I think concerns were raised -- you only had to watch TV and see that. Concerns were raised just by watching the TV."

Asked if the ensuing row would stop Moeen Ali bowling the 'doosra' the England spinner claims to have at his disposal, Cook pointedly replied: "No, because you don't have to bowl a 'doosra' by throwing it."

Read more on:    angelo mathews  |  cricket

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