Angelo Mathews played his first international match in 2008. Selected for his all-round skills, the Sri Lankan star suffered multiple injuries as a result of his bowling and with time has turned into a great batsman in Test matches. However, in the shorter formats of the game, he shows off his bowling ability as much as his batting skills.
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When Pakistan were touring Sri Lanka in 2009, Angelo Mathews got a call-up from the selectors. In his very first match of the series, Mathews proved his all-round ability with scores of 42 and 26 and bowling figures of 1/26 and 1/13 achieved in two innings. After scoring his first fifty in the third Test, the player went on to record his first century (105 not out) in September 2011 during Australia’s tour in Sri Lanka with both innings coming at Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club Ground. In the same series, Mathews also achieved scores of 95 and 58 that helped him finish the three-match series with an astounding batting average of 91. Earlier, in his third series, on a tour of India in 2009, Mathews got out for 99 missing the magic mark by a single run. The Sri Lanka selectors entrusted Mathews with the Test captaincy in February 2013, making him the country’s youngest player to hold the team’s reins. Captaincy appears to have brought out the best in the Sri Lankan star, with an exceptional average of 86.62 in 13 matches played on his watch. Particularly remarkable was Sri Lanka’s first-ever Test series win in England that was scored under Mathews’ captaincy in 2014. He also celebrated his highest score of 200 against Zimbabwe in 2020. While Matthews has been overall more dominant with the bat in home series than overseas, his record in England has been exceptional with four of his 10 hundreds made there. Moreover, one of his best series with the bat came in the 2013 – 2014 season, when he toured the UAE for a series against Pakistan. In three Test matches, Mathews scored 412 runs with the help of innings of 157 not out, 91 and 91, to finish with a series average of 103. In 86 Test matches, Mathews has scored 5981 runs at an average of 45.31 with 10 centuries and 35 fifties and a highest score of 200. He has also taken 33 wickets averaging 52.87, without any 5-wicket hauls in an innings.
His ODI debut on the tour of Zimbabwe was rather lacklustre, with a duck with the bat and 0/24 with the ball. But later that year playing against Zimbabwe in a Tri-Nation tournament held in Bangladesh, he recorded his first ODI fifty at Dhaka. In 2009, against India in the Compaq Cup hosted by Sri Lanka, Mathews registered his best ODI bowling figures of 6/20. That match was particularly memorable for Mathews as he helped his side thrash India by a huge margin. Batting first, Sri Lanka piled up 307/6 in their 50 overs. India began reasonably well achieving 105/2 at some point. Then came Mathews. He had Yuvraj Singh caught behind and dismissed Raina in a similar way off the next ball. Though he did not score a hat trick, Mathews ripped through the middle order to send the likes of Dravid, Dhoni, Pathan and Harbhajan Singh back to the pavilion. India were dismissed for 168 to give Sri Lanka one of their biggest wins over their subcontinental neighbours. Mathews began to stamp his authority with the bat only after the tour of India in 2009 – 2010, with batting averages of 75, 75 and 97 in successive series, the last referring to the Asia Cup hosted by Sri Lanka in 2010. Touring Australia in 2010 – 2011, Mathews had an impressive average of 101 after a three-match series. However, it was not until Sri Lanka’s tour of India in 2014 – 2015 that Mathews was able to register his first ODI century, staying unbeaten on 139. In the five-match series, Mathews made 339 runs which included other innings of 92 not out and 75. India proved to be a favourite hunting ground when later in 2017 – 2018, Mathews made his second ODI century en route to finishing a three-match series with an average of 153. After a reasonably successful World Cup in 2019, where innings of 113 and 85 not out helped him record a batting average of 40.66, Mathews was in prime form in a home series with Bangladesh, where he scored 87, 52 not out and 48, to finish with a batting average of 93.50. In 217 ODI matches, Mathews has scored 5830 runs at an average of 41.94 with 3 centuries and 40 fifties and a highest score of 139. On the bowling front Mathews has taken 120 wickets at and average of 33.35 and an economy rate of 4.62, with one 5-wicket and two 4-wicket hauls.
Angelo Mathews made his T20I debut against Australia during the T20 World Cup held in England in 2009. He took 1/10 with the ball and did not get to bat. Mathews ended the World Cup with a batting average of 75, having got out just once in six innings! Although he snared only five wickets, he had one standout performance of 3/12 against the West Indies. Batting first, Sri Lanka scored 158/5 with Mathews’ contribution of 12 not out. Although the score was not very imposing Mathews brilliant bowling helped Sri Lanka skittle out the West Indies for 101 in 17.4 overs. The top order was in tatters after Mathews had dismissed opener Marshall, Simmons and Bravo – all for zero runs to their credit. Mathews also had a hand in Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup title win in 2014. Alongside scores of 43, 40 and 11 not out, he took 5 wickets including the best bowling figures of 3/16. In 75 T20I matches, Mathews has scored 1119 runs at an average of 26.64 with a top score of 81 not out and five 50-plus innings. He has also taken 38 wickets at an average of 31.07, in addition to snapping up 23 catches.