Galling as hosts are gunned down

ENG­LAND AT­TACK PUT SRI LANKA TO SWORD

The Citizen (KZN) - - SPORT - Galle

Eng­land claimed their first away Test vic­tory in 13 matches yes­ter­day with a com­mand­ing 211run win against Sri Lanka in Galle, with Moeen Ali claim­ing his sec­ond four-wicket haul of the game.

Last out was sil­ver fox Ran­gana Herath, cricket’s most suc­cess­ful left-arm spin­ner in his swan­song be­fore re­tire­ment, run out for five.

The hosts, chas­ing 462 to win in the first match of a three-Test se­ries, could only muster 250 on day four, with Jack Leach tak­ing three wick­ets to go with Ali’s four, with Adil Rashid and Ben Stokes get­ting one each.

Eng­land had se­cured a first-in­nings lead of 139 thanks to a cen­tury on de­but by Ben Foakes and a for­mi­da­ble spin at­tack led by Ali and as­sisted ably by Leach and Rashid re­strict­ing Sri Lanka to 203.

In Eng­land’s sec­ond in­nings an as­sured un­beaten 146 by Keaton Jen­nings, his first cen­tury since a ton on his 2016 de­but that has si­lenced his crit­ics for now at least, al­lowed Root to de­clare at 322/6.

“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.

“Credit goes to Eng­land, they played some out­stand­ing cricket. We had a re­ally good start in the first ses­sion but we couldn’t cap­i­talise on it,” he said.

Fif­teen without loss overnight, open­ers Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne with­stood the pres­sure from Eng­land’s for­mi­da­ble bowl­ing at­tack for the first hour of day four yes­ter­day.

But both fell af­ter at­tack­ing shots, with Kaushal leg be­fore try­ing to sweep Leach for 30 and Karunaratne caught and bowled by Ali for 26.

Dhanan­jaya de Silva, af­ter a con­fi­dent start, was caught at first slip by skip­per Joe Root off Stokes in the last over of the morn­ing ses­sion for 21. There­after it was a pro­ces­sion. Eng­land’s var­ied at­tack, with three quicks and three spin­ners, ap­plied sub­stan­tial pres­sure.

“To be able to con­trib­ute is just amaz­ing,” Foakes said af­ter be­ing named Man-of-the-Match.

“One of the best weeks of my ca­reer so far. It’s a dream come true to be fair,” said the Sur­rey wick­et­keeper-bats­man, brought in to re­place the in­jured Jonny Bairstow. – AFP

Pic­ture: AFP

DE­STROYER. Spin­ner Moeen Ali claimed four wick­ets as Eng­land thumped Sri Lanka on the fourth day in Galle yes­ter­day.

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