Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews looks to level the Test series against England. Mathews’ men were thrashed by an innings and 88 runs in the first Test as they went 1-0 down in the three-match series at a cold and grey and Headingley ground in Leeds, northern England last week. “weather can be a factor but it can’t be an excuse,” said Mathews.
Miserable conditions have greeted Sri Lanka in Chester-le-Street, with rain preventing any meaningful outdoor practice on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of the start of Friday’s second Test at north-east county Durham’s Riverside ground. “It’s the coldest weather I’ve known playing cricket. It was extremely cold yesterday (Wednesday),” added Mathews.
More than the actual temperature, it was the overcast conditions which aided swing movement and were superbly exploited by England spearhead James Anderson, who had match figures of 10 for 45, that proved Sri Lanka’s undoing in Leeds.
Similar conditions could well lie in wait at the Riverside, but Mathews is determined there won’t be a similar outcome. “The weather can be a factor, but it can’t be an excuse … you have to compete, regardless of the conditions,” Mathews said.
“When they (England) come out to Sri Lanka it’s going to be hot and yes they struggle, but you have to compete regardless of the conditions. You can’t control the weather, but we can try to control our performances. It was an embarrassing defeat. We’ve had a few days to think about it, and talk about strategies. We have to forget Headingley. Tomorrow is going to be a fresh start. To stay alive in the series, we have to win,” Sri Lanka captain said.