Murali has never been treated with such disdain: Mathews

Murali has never been treated with such disdain: Mathews

Murali has never been treated with such disdain: Mathews

Virender Sehwag (AP)

Sehwag went after Muralitharan right from the word go, often dancing down the track to unsettle the wily offie, whose 20 overs cost him 119 runs without any success.

Mathews, whose 99 was one of the highlights of the Sri Lankan innings, conceded he had not seen anything like this before. "It never happened to Murali before," Mathews said, all candour.

"The wicket was flat and the spinners did not get any turn. Besides, Virender was batting really well," he said. "We all know he's Virender Sehwag. On his day he can do what he did to us today. He bats that way. The bowlers have to be careful with line and length, a little error would be dangerous," Mathews said of the Delhi dasher who was unbeaten on 284 and remains in hunt for his third triple century.

Looking ahead, Mathews refused to panic and said his teammates would have to do something different tomorrow. "We may come out with better plan tomorrow, try new things and get him out," he said. Overall, Mathews argued, India were ahead just by 50 runs and the islanders could bounce back tomorrow with some quick wickets.

"It's not over. If two or three wickets fall quickly in the morning we can still come back tomorrow. There are still three days remaining. Anything can happen. It is only the second day and tomorrow if we take early wickets, we will be back in the game," Mathews said.

Personally, Mathews was unlucky to miss his maiden century by just one run and he made no effort to his his disappointment. "It was unfortunate to be run out at 99. That was supposed to be my first Test hundred. I would have been much happier if I had got hundred but that is how it goes," said the disappointed Mathews.