Earlier this week, controversy erupted in the 2023 World Cup when Sri Lanka’s star all-rounder Angelo Mathews became the first batter in the history of international cricket to be dismissed ‘timed out’. The rare occurrence took place during the 25th over of the first innings during the match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, as Mathews faced a timed-out decision after failing to reach the crease within two minutes of Sadeera Samarawickrama’s dismissal.
An appeal from Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan led to the umpire’s decision to send Mathews back, adhering to World Cup cricket laws. Despite a conversation between Mathews and Shakib, the former chose not to reverse the decision, resulting in the departure of the veteran all-rounder. Following Sri Lanka’s defeat, Mathews mentioned having video evidence proving he reached the crease within the stipulated time.
Following the controversial timed-out decision, Mathews took to his official X account in the ensuing hours, sharing multiple videos defending his position.
However, despite Sri Lanka’s defeat and subsequent elimination from the tournament, a shift in mood was evident as the team took the field for its final group game against New Zealand on Thursday. As Mathews approached the crease, Kane Williamson engaged in a conversation with him, presumably discussing the previous controversy, leading to a moment of laughter between the two. Additionally, Trent Boult had also playfully teased Mathews, adding to the lighthearted exchange with the New Zealand captain.
Sri Lanka, however, continued to endure a poor batting performance, as the side lost its first five wickets within 70 runs. Mathews failed to make a mark in the game, conceding his wicket to Mitchell Santner on 16.
The islanders have only two wins in eight matches in the tournament so far; New Zealand, meanwhile, will solidify their claim for a top-4 spot with a win on Thursday. The Kiwis are level on points with Pakistan but remain comfortably ahead on Net Run Rate (NRR) against Babar’s men, as well as Afghanistan.