We had to work extremely hard for runs: Matthews
Angelo Matthews has suffered a poor run of form in the last couple of years that has seen him not score a hundred since 2015. After breaking the century drought by scoring a fighting ton against India on Day 3 of the third Test, Matthews evinced a big relief on his part.
"I badly wanted to get a hundred so it was very pleasing to get there and a bit of a relief as well. I got a start in the Kolkata Test also but couldn't capitalize on it. But I had the confidence within myself that I was hitting the ball well in the nets.
“Once I got the start today I thought let's capitalize on this. I had a bit of luck as well but that is part of the game," a noticeably relieved Matthews said at the press conference after the end of day's play.
But he was a little unhappy with himself for not getting a bigger score and praised the Indian bowlers for their efforts on the day.
"I am a bit disappointed also that I couldn't get a bigger score but credit should go to the Indian bowlers as well.
“They kept coming at us and made us work extremely hard. We had to grind for our runs. Chandimal was batting very fluently.
“But in my case, it wasn't one of my best innings as I had to fight my way through. I am glad it worked out in the end," the former Sri Lankan captain explained.
Matthews had taken the attack to the Ravichandran Ashwin on Day 2 but said that it wasn't part of any plan.
"We didn't really have a plan as such. We know we are playing against the No 1 Test team and all their four bowlers keep coming at you all the time.
“Virat rotated them beautifully and the pressure was on us always.
“There were very few loose balls and myself and Chandi had to grind and make use of them when they came."
Matthews also thanked his team's batting coach and former middle-order batsmen for Sri Lanka, Thilan Samaraweera for helping him recover his form.
"I should thank Samaraweera.
“He has reminded me of things that I was doing when I was in good form but which I stopped doing in the last year," the 30-year old mentioned.
In conclusion, Matthews expressed disappointment with the fact that his team suffered a collapse in the last session but remained hopeful of continuing the good show.
"We are a little disappointed the way we ended the day's play.
“We made the Indian bowlers work extremely hard but then gave away too many wickets today.
“We have to get back tomorrow and do well to not let the game slip away," he stated.
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