Moeen Ali stars with the ball as England beat Sri Lanka by 211 runs at Galle
Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth in China Open quarters
Spinners Moeen Ali and Jack Leach combined to destroy Sri Lanka and bowl England to a comprehensive 211-run victory inside four days in the first test on Friday.
With no realistic chance of winning after conceding a 139run first innings lead to England, Sri Lanka tried in vain to force Rangana Herath’s farewell test into its final day. Yet while Angelo Mathews made his second fifty of the match and Kusal Mendis contributed 45, the rest of their batting order failed to offer substantial resistance and they collapsed for 250. Moeen claimed 4-71 as he and fellow spinners Leach and Adil Rashid shared eight of the 10 Sri Lankan wickets.
Playing his 93rd and last test, Herath was the last man out, diving into his crease in a failed effort to avoid being run out.
“Very proud, I thought the way we played throughout the four days is excellent,” England captain Joe Root said, singling out Ben Foakes, whose century on debut earned him the manof-the-match award, for special praise.
“For a guy to come in on his debut and play an innings of that substance... really proud of him,” he added.
Beginning day four on 15-0, Sri Lanka needed a solid start to prolong their battle and overnight batsmen Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva saw through the first hour without any damage as they put on 51 runs for the opening stand.
Karunaratne enjoyed a slice of luck on 16 when he edged Moeen, but Stokes grassed an easy catch at slip.
Stokes was later subjected to similar agony as he watched James Anderson drop
Mathews off his bowling.
Leach eventually made the breakthrough when Silva could not connect with a sweep shot and was dismissed leg before wicket for 30.
He was soon joined in the dressing room by Karunaratne (26), who charged down the pitch against Moeen and drove it straight back to the offspinner, gifting him his 150th test wicket.
Kusal Mendis added 46 runs with Mathews for the fourth wicket, but he too could not convert a good start into a big innings and fell for 45. Leach bowled Dinesh Chandimal for one, the Sri Lanka captain struggling to move because of a hamstring injury, but Moeen struck the biggest blow when he dismissed Mathews for 53, effectively ending Sri Lankan resistance.
“It was a very good wicket but our batting was below-par,” Chandimal said, adding it was not the farewell that he and his team mates had imagined for Herath. Third seeded Indian PV Sindhu crashed out of the China Open badminton tournament after losing to local girl He Bingjiao in the quarter-final. While India’s lone hope in men’s singles Kidambi Srikanth too went down in the last 8 in straight games 14-21, 14-21 to Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen.
Sindhu, who was crowned champion of the tournament in 2016, lost to the eighth seeded player in three games in a tough encounter.
The Rio Olympics silver medallist was put on the back foot early by her Chinese opponent as she lost the first game 17-21. The Hyderabad girl though made a comeback in the match and evened things out by taking the second game 21-17.
Bingjiao though hit her strides early in the decider won the game 21-15 to advance to the semi-finals. Third seeded Sindhu, who clinched three silver medals this season -- Commonwealth Games, World Championship and Asian Games -- lost 17-21 21-17 1521 to the eighth seeded Chinese in the quarterfinal. It was Indian shuttler’s third loss to Bingjiao, who had defeated her at the Indonesia Open and French Open in July and October this year. Sindhu frittered away a 8-3 advantage early on to lose the opening game but made a roaring comeback in the second before losing the decider after a late charge. Sindhu had started well to take a 4-1 lead early on before moving to 8-3 but Bingjiao managed to claw back at 9-9. The duo moved neck and neck till 15-15 when the Chinese moved ahead with three straight points. Sindhu made it to 17-18 before Bingjiao pocketed the opening game. and