Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Sport | By

England thrash hosts Sri Lanka in first Test

England thrash hosts Sri Lanka in first Test

Such an ambition is a long way from being fulfilled but the 211-run victory was Root's first as captain overseas and ends a winless sequence of 14 matches stretching back to October 2016 when England beat Bangladesh in Chittagong. Mathews was dismissed after tea for 53, caught by Jos Buttler at short mid-wicket off Ali. Mathews had made his second half-century from the game, confirming his status as his side's premier batsman.

"Our batting was below-par during the game, you can't stay in the game (with this kind of batting)", Sri Lanka's captain Dinesh Chandimal said.

Set a gargantuan 462 for victory, the hosts ended the morning session on 98 for 3, after their openers had earlier batted out the first hour of play.

Kaushal was leg before sweeping Leach for 30 and Karunaratne skipped down the pitch and was caught and bowled by Ali for 26.

Less than three overs later Karunaratne decided he would take the aerial route against Moeen, an ill-judged scheme that saw him club a firm return catch back at the off-spinner.

Kusal Mendis's dismissal in the second innings had drawn stone-dead reactions from the dressing room on the fourth day's play after the batsman holed out to the mid-off fielder barely a ball after charging at Jack Leach and hitting him over the top at a time when Sri Lanka were looking to bat time. One ball after Dhananjaya de Silva successfully overturned a caught behind decision, Stokes tightened up his line and took an indisputable edge that nestled safely in the hands of Root.

England needed five wickets in the last session to go 1-0 up in the three-test series, and there was not much resistance from Sri Lanka. England hadn't won four previous tests here.

England´s Keaton Jennings plays a shot during the third day of the opening Test match between Sri Lanka and England at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on November 8, 2018.

They struck regularly throughout the day, and though Sri Lanka's batting performance was an improvement on their first innings effort, England were never unduly troubled. Suranga Lakmal led Sri Lanka during Chandimal's absences in Galle.

The 25-year-old became just the 20th Englishman in 141 years of Test cricket to score a hundred on debut and only the second keeper after Prior, who made an unbeaten 126 against the West Indies at Lord's in 2007. In Test cricket, especially on wickets like these, it is very hard to come back, ' he said.

Thisara Perera and Rangana Herath, who was playing his final global fixture, took two wickets each.

England players celebrate their win in Galle on Friday.

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