World Cup 2019: Need a bit of time to start bowling again, says Mathews

The all-rounder hadn’t bowled in ODIs since December 2017, and it has been eight months since he rolled his arms over in any forms of competitive cricket.

Angelo Mathews celebrates after picking the wicket of Nicholas Pooran.   -  AFP

He came, he saw and he conquered!

That’s perhaps the only way to define Angelo Mathews’ short and sweet spell against the West Indies on Monday.

The all-rounder hadn’t bowled in ODIs since December 2017, and it has been eight months since he rolled his arms over in any forms of competitive cricket.

But at the Riverside on Monday, Mathews dismissed an in-form Nicholas Pooran in his very first delivery and brought Sri Lanka back into the game. In the two overs that he bowled, Mathews scalped a wicket and gave six runs.

“I haven’t held the ball for good eight months and that was the first ball after eight months or so. We knew that we had to make up two overs. We couldn't just bowl the spinner towards the end when Pooran was batting beautifully,” Mathews said.

So, at a time, when it was necessary to find a breakthrough, Mathews walked up to captain Dimuth Karunaratne and said, “Look, I have a bit of experience, so I will just try bowling the two overs.”

Karunaratne agreed and the move worked in favour of Sri Lanka.

“I haven’t been bowling in the nets at all. I mean, if I got injured at that time, I wouldn't have regretted it because we had the game in our hands and we needed the bowler to come in and bowl a couple of overs to make that two overs” Mathews, a former captain himself, said.

With injury playing a key role, Malinga has been out of action in the bowling department for a while. But after this feat, will he again start bowling?

“Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to build it up. I need a little bit of time to start bowling and build it up because the body needs to adapt, so it takes a little bit of time.”

“Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to build it up before the World Cup. Glad that I was able to help the team out bowling a couple of overs today, but I'm trying my best to start bowling as soon as possible going forward…” Mathews, who has 115 ODI wickets in his kitty said.