Sri Lanka were dealt a massive blow on the eve of the second ODI against the West Indies, with the most experienced player on tour, Angelo Mathews, returning home.
Mathews, who stood in as captain for the T20I series, left the tour party yesterday to “attend to a family matter,” a Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) media release said.
While it is not immediately clear if Mathews will return for the Test series, considering the quarantine periods that he will have to undergo on arrival in Sri Lanka and if he were to go back to the West Indies, it appears unlikely that he would feature again on the tour.
Wicketkeeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella or Oshada Fernando will be at the front of the queue as replacements for Mathews, who batted at number four in the first ODI.
Despite his poor run of form – he made scores of 5, 13 and 11 in the three T20Is and contributed just 5 in the first ODI – Mathews’ departure will come as a setback to a team that is attempting to square the ODI series.
Sri Lanka lost the first ODI by eight wickets, with their 233-run target not proving too challenging for the hosts.
Shai Hope scored his tenth ODI century, having also put on a 145-run opening wicket partnership with Evin Lewis.
West Indies reached the target in the 47th over, with Darren Bravo seeing the hosts to victory with an unbeaten 37.
Today’s second ODI will also be played at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua, which will host Sunday’s final ODI as well.
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