Eng­land spin their way to Galle suc­cess

Western Mail - - SPORT -

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.”

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