Eng­land thrash Sri Lanka

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

GALLE. - Eng­land claimed their first away Test cricket vic­tory in 13 matches yes­ter­day with a com­mand­ing win against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Last man out was sil­ver fox Ran­gana Herath, cricket’s most suc­cess­ful lef­t­arm spin­ner in his­tory, in his last match be­fore re­tire­ment.

The hosts, chas­ing a no­tional 462 vic­tory, were all out for 250 on day four, with Moeen Ali taking four wick­ets and Jack Leach three.

Eng­land had se­cured a first in­nings lead of 139 and on Thurs­day an un­beaten 146 by Keaton Jen­nings, his first cen­tury since a ton on his 2016 de­but, al­lowed Joe Root to de­clare at 322 for six.

Fifteen with­out loss overnight, open­ers Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne with­stood the pressure from Eng­land’s for­mi­da­ble bowl­ing at­tack for the first hour. 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 and skipped down the pitch for an at­tempted heave.

Dhanan­jaya de Silva, af­ter a con­fi­dent start, was caught at first slip by skip­per Joe Root off Ben Stokes in the last over of the morn­ing ses­sion for 21.

One ball ear­lier, de Silva had been given out caught be­hind flash­ing at a Stokes de­liv­ery wide of the off stump, but he was re­prieved on re­view.

Af­ter lunch Kusal Mendis hit Leach for four over his head but at­tempt­ing a re­peat the next ball skied the ball to Ali and de­parted for 46.

He had ear­lier ap­peared con­fi­dent at the crease, em­ploy­ing the sweep shot es­pe­cially well against all Eng­land’s spin­ners, while se­cure in de­fence.

Home skip­per Di­nesh Chandimal, suf­fer­ing from a groin in­jury that kept him off the pitch all of Thurs­day, was bowled by Leach for 11.

The fi­nal ses­sion be­gan badly for the hosts. Niroshan Dik­wella fell the first ball af­ter tea, caught adroitly by Stokes one-handed at slip off Ali for 16.

Soon af­ter­wards An­gelo Mathews - dropped on 18 by James An­der­son - went for 53, caught by Jos But­tler at mid­wicket with Ali again the wicket-taker. He was fol­lowed into the pavil­lon by Ak­ila Danan­jaya for 8 be­fore Herath was run out for five.

Eng­land’s var­ied at­tack, with three quicks and three spin­ners, ap­plied sub­stan­tial pressure, with the slightly ex­pen­sive Adil Rashid the only dis­ap­point­ment so far. — AFP.

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