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July 1, 2019

Angelo Mathews

Chester-le-Street, County Durham, England, UK

Sri Lanka - 338-6, West Indies - 315-9

THE MODERATOR: English questions first.

Q. Angelo, maybe the best place to start is with Avishka's knock. How long have you been excited about him and what he can achieve and how impressed were you with him today?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, I mean, it was a brilliant knock, you know, against that attack. I mean, it looks like he has a lot of time to face the quicker bowlers and, you know, he was showing it in the past two games as well.

But after the 30s and 40s, he never got going. But I thought, you know, after getting that wonderful start, he carried on and he made sure that we got to a very good score towards the end.

Q. Angelo, was it a surprise for you to be asked to bowl towards the end?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah. I haven't held the ball for, what, a good eight months and that was the first ball after eight months so... (smiling). Yeah, I mean, 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, so I said to the captain, "Look, I have a bit of experience, so I'll just try bowling the two overs."

Q. You must be delighted to have got the prime wicket as well? Is it something you will be putting your hand up for in the future as well?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Absolutely (smiling). Pooran was the man that we needed to get and, you know, quite fortunate to get him in the first ball before he clobbered me for a few sixes (laughter) I thought. But, yeah, it was a fantastic effort by Pooran. He batted all the way through and he nearly got them through, but it was fortunate for us, you know, to get him at the right time.

Our fielding was not up to the mark, but we fought our way through all the way.

Q. Angelo, do you think that -- you spoke about Pooran, but do you think that Fabian Allen's run-out actually brought you guys back into the game? Back then they were looking very aggressive and everything.
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah. He was batting brilliantly, too. We needed one wicket as soon as possible when they were getting going and they were hitting it clean. You know, our bowlers didn't have answers to how they played at the time.

Credit should go to them because they batted really well. Our bowlers put their hearts out. Once again, Lasith was brilliant. All the bowlers tried their extreme best and we needed a little bit of luck towards that latter part of the innings and we were fortunate to get that run-out.

Q. Angelo, have you been bowling in the nets? And also what was going through your mind as you were running into bowl that first ball?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, as I said, I haven't been bowling in the nets at all. That was the first ball that I got Pooran out and that was after eight months, that was the first ball (smiling).

So, yeah, 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 and I said to the captain, "Look, I'll just bowl and see how it goes."

Q. Angelo, trying to finish the tournament at No. 5, is that a realistic target now for you guys?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah. Look, we're disappointed. We had our chances throughout the tournament. I thought the Australian game, the middle order didn't fire. We had that game in our hands after the brilliant start.

Again, the South African game, we didn't bat well, so we had our opportunities in the tournament, but unfortunate that, you know, we couldn't reach the semifinals. But at least if we can finish off well, that would be a good thing.

Q. Obviously, you have had quite a bit of success bowling your overs in t20 format and one-day cricket as well. It's obviously a huge drawback for the team. Are you anywhere closer to start to resume bowling again?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, unfortunately, I didn't have the time to build it up. I mean, 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, you know, 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.

Q. Angelo, if you hadn't been a captain before and didn't have the experience and leadership capabilities that you have, do you think you would have offered to bowl that last couple of overs, or do you think you would have kept quiet and hoped that something happened?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Look, I'm a guy who wants to take up a challenge, you know, at any given time. And I have played quite a number of ODIs, you know, before this and I've got a little bit of experience playing all three formats, bowling in all three formats and bowling in different occasions, different situations, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do at the time and I'm glad that I was able to do it, you know.

Thinking it is something else. Doing it, doing that is something else, different. So you've got to think and you'll be able to sort of do it, do what you think on the park, so I was able to do that.

Maybe my experience, you know, helped. And we had no choice, too. So I had to bowl that couple of overs.

Q. Angelo, you saw two young batsmen get centuries today. Avishka you know. And what was assessment how Nicolas Pooran played? Had you seen him before? Have you heard about him?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, I have seen him play. He's played in the IPL and he's played quite a few games for West Indies as well. He showed his class previously as well and we have seen him.

We know all their batters are extremely dangerous. If they get going, they can clear any ground. So we needed to keep taking wickets and Pooran just got stuck in there and he was batting right through to the end and if he had batted that three overs as well, it would have been a different story. So, credit should go to him and also Avishka was a fantastic innings.

I must mention Kusal and his start as well, and Kusal Mendis, he was fighting in the middle, and Thirimanne finished off well. So it was all in all a very good game for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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