Moeen bowls Eng­land to big win over Sri Lanka

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Galle: Moeen Ali –Chanel News Asia.

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 139-run 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.

“For a guy to come in on his de­but and play an in­nings of that sub­stance... re­ally proud of him.”

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.

“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.

“It’s a hard day for us, be­cause we know how much Ran­gana has done for the team and Sri Lanka cricket...We’ll have to say ‘sorry’ to him, we couldn’t give him a re­ally good farewell.”

Chandi­mal, who bat­ted through pain in both in­nings, said he had sus­tained a grade one groin strain and was not sure how long it would take to heal.

The sec­ond match of the three-test se­ries is in Kandy, start­ing on November 14, be­fore the fi­nal con­test in Colombo from November 23.

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