CT 2017: It is not easy to bowl to Dhoni in death overs, says Angelo Mathews

CT 2017: It is not easy to bowl to Dhoni in death overs, says Angelo Mathews

"You know, if we play good cricket, I'm certain that we can beat any team," said Mathews.

Angelo Matthews of Sri Lanka
Angelo Matthews of Sri Lanka celebrates as Sri Lanka beat India. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Team Sri Lanka registered the highest ever successful run chase in the history of the Champions Trophy when they overhauled the target of 321 set by the Indian team. Skipper Angelo Mathews was very pleased with the way the boys had responded in the match. Coming in to the match, none had given the Sri Lankans a sniff against the mighty Indian team.

However, the eventual resulted saw the Lankan lions stun the audiences and the Indian side. Indian skipper Virat Kohli lauded the efforts of the Sri Lankan team after the game. In the post-match press conference, Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews reflected back at how things transpired for them in the day. He was happy with the win and believes the team can beat any opposition.

“Yeah, it was a very important game for us. You know, no one really expected us to win. That took us — you know, that took a lot of pressure off ourselves, and we just went out there, expressed ourself, and you can see what we can do when we play with a lot of freedom,” quote Angelo Mathews.

On team morale and Danushka’s inclusion

He further added that he is not thinking too far ahead at the moment. He is keen on taking one match at a time. Speaking about the heroes of the match – Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka – Angelo Mathews pointed out that the effort of Danushka was commendable. He was not even in the initial squad and had come in as a replacement for Chamara Kapugedara in the playing eleven. Hence, the guts and grit that he showed deserves a big applause.

“We don’t want to think too far ahead. We just want to take one game at a time. Now it’s done, and we look forward to the next game. It will be the same plans, go out there, no expectations. Go out there, play with a lot of freedom. You know, if we play good cricket, I’m certain that we can beat any team,” said Mathews.

“Yeah, I mean, mind you, to walk into a game knowing that he wasn’t even in the 15 and Kapugedera got injured yesterday, and he had to step in and to open the batting against a very strong opposition, was fantastic the way he batted. It was very pleasing the way he batted. You know, Kusal Mendis and Danushka played with a lot of freedom, and that really set us a platform. As I said before, for us, it would make it so much easier for myself and Kusal Perera and the middle order batters. Don’t forget Asela, that little cameo, really won us the game. It was a fantastic batting effort,” he conceded further.

On bowling to Dhoni, Kedar in the death overs

Earlier in the game, it was a fine century from Shikhar Dhawan and a brisk fifty from Rohit Sharma that set the tone for a big score for team India. But the final flourish was given by MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav. Angelo Mathews rightly cited that it is not easy to bowl against Dhoni in the end overs. Despite this, the bowlers did a decent job of restricting India to 321. Mathews backed his bowlers for their efforts on the day.

“When you’re against Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav and all these guys, they are fantastic. He does have the cricket ball, especially towards the end as well. It’s not easy to bowl Dhoni. He took us apart in the end, but I thought bowlers were fantastic. I thought to restrict them for 321 on that wicket — you know, 300-plus, 310, 320 is very much gettable on these tracks. Even though the wicket had a lot of grass, it played out really well,”