Angelo Mathews got the maximum value out of the two day warm-up match between South Africa and Sri Lanka Board XI at P Sara Stadium yesterday when he scored a solid 92 ahead of Thursday’s first Test in Galle.
Mathews who joined Test discard Kaushal Silva at the fall of Dhananjaya de Silva’s wicket eloquently constructed his innings hitting 13 boundaries and three sixes before Lungi Ngidi cleaned his stumps with eights runs short of a century. Hosts finished their innings on 287 all out when spinner Tabraiz Shamsi made a real claim for a Test with a five wicket haul.
Mathews form is a welcome respite for the hosts who will most likely miss their regular skipper facing a Level 3 charge for stoping play for two hours during the third day of the second Test in the West Indies.
He has spent most of his life during the last one and half years watching cricket at home than playing cricket as multiple leg injuries haunted him continuously. Along with Mathews Test hopeful Danushka Gunathilaka scored a brisk 53 off 66 balls while the senior Test opener Silva answered his critics with a well played 76 before being run out.
In their reply, South Africa who lost their opener Aiden Markramfor a first duck off the bowling of Lahiru Gamage reached 17 for 1at stumps on day one.
Sri Lanka Board XI 1st Innings 287 all out (Danushaka Gunathilaka 53, Kaushal Silva 76, Dhananjaya de Silva 28, Angelo Mathews 92, Tabraiz Shamsi 5 for 45, S von Berg 2 for 82)
South Africa 17 for 1 ( Dean Elgar 14 not out, Hashim Amla 2 not out)