Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior has admitted that he had his heart in mouth after Sri Lanka decided to review a second-ball lbw appeal during the first day of the first Test at Lord’s.
After Prior was given not out, he buckled down and went on to score 86 off 131 balls, which included 10 boundaries, before being dismissed during the morning session on the second day.
“It was a whole range of emotions,” Prior said. “You’re just watching the screen, and it’s like ‘that looks dead’. I’m thinking ‘right, that’s nought off two balls – see you later, Matt’.
“Then, when the umpire’s call came up, I almost looked at Rooty and said: ‘Right, it’s changed. I’m back. Here we go.’ I decided to attack again, and hit that one over the top. That was me off and running, and I felt comfortable from then on in. Ultimately you need a bit of luck as well, I don’t feel I had much over the last year and that second-ball decision going my way was maybe the thing that turns it around again.
“Certainly after my second ball I’d have taken it (86). For a year or so I’ve not had things go my way. I was watching (for the umpire’s decision) and I looked at Joe Root and said ‘things are changing…I’m back’.
“In a lot of ways that triggered me off again. I thought ‘why are you sitting in? Play you game’. I’ve always been an attacking player, if I get out, so be it.”
Prior also noted that Sri Lanka should have been two down at the end of the second day after a catch he took was deemed not out. The wicketkeeper-batsman claimed to have taken the catch cleanly, but replays suggested otherwise, and it allowed Kaushal Silva to carry on with his innings. Silva went on to score an unbeaten 62.
“You saw my reaction, I had no doubt about the catch. I thought it carried,” Prior told Sky Sports. “I thought I got my hand, certainly my finger, under the ball. There’s a rubber tip on keeping gloves and you can feel when it hits that.
“I’ve gone forward at the ball and certainly thought it carried but it’s always tricky when it goes upstairs with the camera angles. We’re disappointed but we get on with it.”
Prior also revealed that he wasn’t worried when rumours and speculation about Jos Buttler replacing him in the Test side surfaced.
“Nah,” Prior said. “Of course, whenever you are out of the team you are watching other performances and that was phenomenal, absolutely, but in sport you can have very short memories as well. I’ve had a rough year but the three or four years before that I’d played some pretty good cricket and I know what I bring to the team.
“When people put faith in you, you do feel a certain pressure to back them up. I certainly want to do that. But there was a reason why they did put faith in me.”