Mathews urges Sri Lanka to right the wrongs

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Angelo Mathews said Sri Lanka must banish the painful memories of their Headingley hammering when they attempt to keep the Test series against England alive at Chester-le-Street.

The tourists were crushed by an innings and 88 runs inside three days in Leeds last weekend after they were all out for 91 and 119 in reply to England's 298.

Victory for Alastair Cook's side in the second Test in Durham, which starts on Friday, will give them an unassailable lead in the three-match series.

And Sri Lanka captain Mathews stressed they must not dwell on a dismal showing in the opener.

The all-rounder said: "It was an embarrassing defeat. We've had a few days to think about it ... we just have to flush it out of our system. We have to forget Headingley. That's simple, the first thing we have to do.

"The more we think about it, the more disappointed we get. Obviously, you can't erase it - but we have to move on. That's what we'll do. Tomorrow is going to be a fresh start. To stay alive in the series, we have to win."

 

WOAKES WITH A POINT TO PROVE

Chris Woakes has been recalled to the England side to replace the injured Ben Stokes after being left out of the squad for the Headingley match having only taken two wickets in his two Test appearances in the series victory over South Africa.

Woakes took 9-36 in Warwickshire's County Championship match against Durham this week and also scored a century against Nottinghamshire last month, with skipper Cook backing the 27-year-old to fill the void left by Stokes.

"Chris Woakes can now learn how to play the all-rounder's role. We haven't seen the best of him in his six Tests so far but he is in fine form." said Cook.

 

TOURISTS BRACED FOR THE COLD

Sri Lanka were caught cold in the first match of the series, with James Anderson and Stuart Broad making the most of the overhead conditions to rip through the tourists.

Mathews is braced for low temperatures in the north east, but knows Sri Lanka cannot use that as an excuse.

"The weather can be a factor, but it can't be an excuse. You have to compete, regardless of the conditions. You can't control the weather, but we can try to control our performances," he said.

 

SRI LANKA ATTACK DEPLETED

After the loss of Dhammika Prasad to a shoulder injury last week there was a further blow for Sri Lanka when paceman Dushmantha Chameera returned home after sustaining a back injury at Headingley.

Replacements Chaminda Bandara and Kusal Perera - available once again after his ban for testing positive in a drugs test was lifted - have not yet completed visa protocols, but will be hoping to feature in the final Test at Lord's.

 

COMPTON UNDER PRESSURE

Nick Compton gave an honest assessment of his predicament, acknowledging that he needs to make his mark at Chester-le-Street with his Test future on the line.

Captain Cook said of the number three: "It's the nature of international cricket and it's refreshing that he has said it. You are always under pressure as an England player because of the standard and competition for places. People want to be taking his place and he has another chance here."

 

OPTA STATS

- Cook is 20 runs shy of becoming only the 12th batsman ever to reach 10,000 Test runs and the first England player to achieve that feat.

- This will be the first time these sides have met at Chester-le-Street. England have won all five of their previous Test matches played at the home of Durham.

- Bairstow is averaging 91.2 in first-class cricket during 2016 (12 innings). The Yorkshireman has gone on to score 140 or more on every occasion he has reached his half-century.