Mathews anticipates less verbal from Proteas

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Captain Angelo Mathews is eager to capitalise on a successful first half of the year, when Sri Lanka's ODI series against South Africa gets underway in Colombo on Sunday.

Captain Angelo Mathews is eager to capitalise on a successful first half of the year, when Sri Lanka's ODI series against South Africa gets underway in Colombo on Sunday.

The Sri Lankans' 2014 campaign has been highlighted by a triumphant Asia Cup campaign, the World Twenty20 triumph and – most recently – a historic Test series win over England.

"The England series is in the past now. It's history. It's done and dusted. Now we've got to move on and play our best cricket to beat the South Africans," said Mathews.

"The six months that we've had – starting with the Asia Cup and the World T20 – is probably the best team environment I've been in. We just want to carry on the good things that we do.

"We obviously make mistakes, but the quicker you learn, the quicker you get over it. We can't get complacent thinking we've had six good months. We have to play our best cricket once again.

The recent tour of the United Kingdom witnessed occasional animosity, after Sri Lanka spinner Sachithra Senanayake controversially ran out English batsman Jos Buttler at the non-striker's end during the ODIs – and Mathews and host skipper Alastair Cook shared a few heated exchanges during the Tests.

"I don't think South Africa will have a go at us verbally, because the relationship between the teams is very good. We're not usually a very aggressive team on the field, but we can be," added Mathews.

"We need to control our emotions, but sometimes you've got to give it back to the opponents. When a situation occurs, we back ourselves and we back each member of the team."

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