SL must play ‘really good cricket’ to win: Mathews


Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews is expressing confidence ahead of his team’s opening cricket match in the triangular one-day series against the West Indies, which begins on Friday at Sabina Park.

India, winners of this year’s ICC Champions Trophy, is the other team participating in the tri-nation series.

Mathews told The Gleaner in an interview, shortly after their arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport yesterday, that his team has been playing good cricket over the past few weeks and so everyone is ready and raring to go.

“We have played some really good cricket in the ICC Champions Trophy, beating England and Australia to reach the semi-final and so the confidence is pretty high,” said Mathews.

“West Indies and India are two very good teams in the shorter format of the game and I think that we really need to play some really good cricket to win against them,” he said.

Continuing, Mathews said: “The West Indies are a strong team when it comes to the shorter format of the game and so we need to be on our guard from ball one and also we need to play some good cricket to beat the West Indies.”

Sri Lanka’s cricket selectors have made two changes to their team which competed in the Champions Trophy in England last week.

Batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan is out with a calf injury suffered in last Thursday’s semi-final defeat to India, while all-rounder Thisara Perera was dropped from the 15-member squad.

“Its unfortunate that Dilshan picked up an injury, but it is a good opportunity for our youngsters to try and prove themselves,” Mathews said.

“I think our main challenge is to try and adapt to the conditions as soon as possible because the wicket might turn and so you never know. We are looking for a good start, so hopefully we can beat the West Indies and start on a winning note,” Mathews pointed out.

Sri Lanka squad: Angelo Mathews (captain), Dinesh Chandimal (vice-captain), Kusal Janith, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeevan Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dilhara Lokuhetti, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake and Ajantha Mendis.