Mathews wants series wins for Mahela

News

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews hopes to give veteran batsman Mahela Jayawardene the perfect farewell when they take on South Africa in a two-Test series, as the legend will retire from the format in August.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews hopes to give veteran batsman Mahela Jayawardene the perfect farewell when they take on South Africa in a two-Test series, as the legend will retire from the format in August.

While Jayawardene will still face Pakistan after the series against the Proteas, Mathews wants to make sure it's a winning sequence of games, starting with the first Test in Galle this week, which will be Mahela's 146th Test.

Mathews said: "We sent Sanga and Mahela both off in a magnificent way in Bangladesh by winning the World T20, so if we can send him off by winning all four Tests, against South Africa and Pakistan, we will do our best to do so.

"He's been tremendous for us in the past 15 years or so scoring a lot of runs his contribution to the team is unbelievable. He's decided that he is going to quit so we got to respect it and move on.

"It's always good to have him in the team but when he has decided we can't really go against it. He made his decision a couple of days ago, and he had a chat with me as well.

"Every good thing comes to an end and its going to be a massive loss. He also had a chat with the whole team yesterday. To fill his shoes it's going to be a tough challenge for all of us.

"We got a bunch of lads who we can have faith in we just have to go with it."

While the Proteas have one of the most respected pace attacks in Test cricket, Mathews went on to say that he had faith in his own young seamers to defeat the second-ranked South Africans, based on recent efforts.

He said: "Starting from Pakistan in Dubai, I had the two fast bowlers – Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal – and later Dhammika Prasad. They all bowled extremely well.

"They haven't played a lot of Test match cricket but the way they bowled showed a lot of maturity and a lot of confidence in themselves. It's great to have a few guys like that, because when you throw the ball to them, you always know what you are going to get.

"I'm very proud to have them in the team."

Latest