Mathews shakes off two-year break for Sri Lanka T20 clash

Angi

Colombo, Jan 14, 7.15PM – Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka’s experienced allrounder and former captain, made a comeback to the Sri Lanka Twenty20 side after a two-year hiatus. The decision to field first against Zimbabwe was taken in the first Twenty20 match at R Premadasa Stadium on Sunday.

Mathews, 36 years old, last played a T20 game against West Indies in March 2021. Pathum Nissanka is also returning to the side after recovering from the flu. Nuwan Thushara, the slinger, secured a spot ahead of the other three pacers on the bench: Dilshan Madushanka and Matheesha Pathirana.

Captain Hasaranga led the spin attack alongside Maheesh Theekshana, with Sri Lanka showcasing good bench strength with Akila Dhananjaya. Adding firepower at the top of the order, Kusal Perera joined the side.

Wanindu Hasaranga highlighted the inclusion of two allrounders, Angelo Mathews and Dasun Shanaka, with Nuwan Thushara also in the side. This meant no room for Dhananjaya de Silva or Dilshan Madushanka.

Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza mentioned Brian Bennett’s inclusion and the significant news of Sean Williams making a return from injury. Despite batting first with the wicket appearing a bit dry, Raza expressed no major concerns.

Farveez Maharoof commented on the new pitch, noting less grass but consistent hardness. The pitch promised more even bounce, allowing batters to play through the line, with a suggested par score of 140.

Sri Lanka XI:

1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Kusal Mendis (wk), 3 Kusal Perera, 4 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Dasun Shanaka, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga (capt.), 9 Maheesh Theekshana, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Nuwan Thushara.

Zimbabwe XI

Craig Ervine, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Brian Bennett, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza (capt.), Ryan Burl, Clive Madande (wk), Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava

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