Mathews wants more credit for Sri Lanka


Angelo Mathews believes Sri Lanka deserve more credit for their series victory over Australia, telling detractors of the tourists' performances to "grow up".

Sri Lanka blew Steve Smith's side away in Pallekele before inflicting a 229-run thumping upon them in the second Test in Galle, the hosts taking a 2-0 lead to secure just a second series triumph over Australia.

However, Mathews feels too much emphasis has been put on Australia's sub-par batting displays - their struggles to take on spin resulting in a high score of 203 from four innings.

The Sri Lanka captain believes the staunch fight put up by the tourists has been overlooked, with his side worthy of greater levels of praise.

"You can't say they've not given us a fight. We had to work really hard to win those two games," said Mathews.

"I thought we played better cricket than them. I'm hearing the Aussies have not played good cricket, the wickets were pretty poor - well, come on, you've got to grow up.

"We've been on the same wicket, they've got spinners we've got spinners. They've fought really hard it's just our spinners have bowled really well, exploited the conditions and bowled better than them."

Sri Lanka can secure a whitewash by winning the third and final Test in Colombo, and that is the focus for Mathews ahead of Saturday's start.

"We would never get such an opportunity easily again, and certainly I and the team is aware of how vital winning the third test is for us," he added.

"We have trained harder than what we did in the last two weeks because we need the 3-0 and everyone's all good. They've not taken their foot off the gas and trained extremely hard. Hopefully we can go out there and beat the Aussies again.

"The Aussies are going to come back very hard at us and we know they're a tough team to beat, but we are excited for the challenge."

Suranga Lakmal's return from an ankle injury means Vishwa Fernando will make way in the hosts' only change as they seek to maintain the winning formula.

"I spoke to the selectors and everyone's of the view that there might be just the one change, Lakmal is in the squad so he's fit, Vishwa might miss out," said Mathews.

"The selectors, the coach and everyone is of the view that we should go with the same batting order and not chop and change.

"Now that we've won the series we'll try to give that extra opportunity to the guys who we think will deliver at some stage."


Key Opta stats:

- Sri Lanka will complete a whitewash if they win this final Test. Only three times previously have they achieved a series whitewash (three or more games in a series), twice in 2001 against West Indies and Zimbabwe and against Bangladesh in 2007.
- This will be the fifth time these sides have met at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo; Sri Lanka have failed to claim victory across any of the previous four encounters at the venue (D2 L2).
- Sri Lanka have won their last four home games, their best such run since a streak of six victories between 2006 and 2007.
- Australia have mustered just one Test win in their last 17 attempts in Asia (D4 L12); losing their last eight there.