Earlier this week in the 2023 World Cup, Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka’s star all-rounder, found himself at the center of controversy when he became the first batter in international cricket history to be dismissed ‘timed out.’ This unusual incident occurred during the 25th over of the first innings in the match against Bangladesh.
Mathews faced the timed-out decision after failing to reach the crease within two minutes of Sadeera Samarawickrama’s dismissal, prompted by an appeal from Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan. Despite a discussion between Mathews and Shakib, the Sri Lankan chose not to contest the decision, resulting in his departure from the game. After the match, Mathews claimed to have video evidence proving he reached the crease within the specified time.
Despite the controversy, a noticeable shift in mood occurred as Sri Lanka took the field for their final group game against New Zealand on Thursday. Kane Williamson engaged in a conversation with Mathews, likely discussing the previous incident, leading to a moment of laughter between the two. Trent Boult also playfully teased Mathews, contributing to the light-hearted exchange with the New Zealand team.
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Kane Williamson asking Angelo Mathews if he had checked his Helmet strap when he came to bat. 😂😂😂#NZvsSL #ICCWorldCup2023 #WorldCup2023 #ICCWorldCup #AngeloMatthews #KaneWilliamson pic.twitter.com/KB7Ob3iThs— Akash Kumar (@AkashInsight) November 9, 2023
However, Sri Lanka continued to struggle in their batting performance, losing their first five wickets within 70 runs. Mathews, too, couldn’t make a substantial contribution, conceding his wicket to Mitchell Santner after scoring 16 runs. With only two wins in eight matches so far, Sri Lanka faced elimination from the tournament. On the other hand, New Zealand had the opportunity to strengthen their claim for a top-4 spot, being level on points with Pakistan but maintaining a comfortable lead in Net Run Rate (NRR) against Babar Azam’s men and Afghanistan. The outcome of the match would significantly impact both teams’ standings in the competition.