England spin their way to Galle success
ENGLAND completed a thumping 211-run victory on day four of the first Test against Sri Lanka to end their 13-match winless run away from home.
The tourists steadily took top order wickets in the first two sessions before taking the final five after tea as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 250 in Galle.
Moeen Ali claimed 4-71 and Jack Leach 3-60, while Adil Rashid and Ben Stokes picked up a wicket each.
The win puts England 1-0 up in the threematch series and is their first in an overseas Test since October 2016.
Between them, England’s three spinners took 16 wickets in the match, the second-best return by English spinners in a Test since 1958.
A dominant performance from England over the first three days had left Sri Lanka needing to bat out the final two days to draw – or score a record 462 to win.
England skipper Joe Root said: “I am very proud. I thought the way we played throughout the four days was excellent.
“From after lunch (on the first day) we were in control. The partnership between Jos Buttler and Ben Foakes put us in a really good position.
“I thought as a group we built good pressure over a long period of time and we were excellent.
“The way we played throughout the four days, with everyone contributing and playing a part is really pleasing.
“It’s great to see the strength in depth in this squad of players. We’ve some difficult selections ahead which I’m not complaining about. I’m going to enjoy that meeting.
“Selection is going to be tough, but that’s what you want.
“Now we have to build on it and not rest on our laurels.”