• Friday, Sep 18, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:29 pm

England seal Sri Lanka series

  • Published at 06:43 pm November 18th, 2018
Jack Leech

England needed just 30 minutes on the fifth and last day to take the final three Sri Lanka wickets

Captain Joe Root set his sights on taking England to the top of the world ranking after his spin trio finished off Sri Lanka in the second and penultimate Test match Sunday to seal the series with a match to spare.

England needed just 30 minutes on the fifth and last day to take the final three Sri Lanka wickets. Jack Leach got last man Malinda Pushpakumara caught and bowled to claim his first five-wicket Test haul.

Moeen Ali took four wickets and Adil Rashid one as England's three frontline spinners accounted for the whole innings, as well as 18 of Sri Lanka's 20 wickets in the game overall.

Root's 124 in England's second innings also played a key role in the 57-run victory and earned him the man-of-the-match award.

Celebrating England's first away series win since beating South Africa in 2015-16 and his first away triumph as captain, Root sees England - who are currently ranked third in the world - challenging India for the top Test team spot.

Sri Lanka needed 301 in their second innings to register an upset win but managed just 243 at the Pallekele ground.

They started the day needing 75 more runs and with three wickets in hand had an outside chance.

After Niroshan Dickwella was caught by Ben Stokes off Moeen for 35 - the first wicket of the morning - Sri Lanka's hope was all but extinguished.

Moeen then struck No 10 batsman Suranga Lakmal, the Sri Lanka skipper, on the pad next ball for a strong lbw appeal which was turned down. He bowled Lakmal his very next delivery. 

Pushpakumara lasted only eight balls before chipping the ball back to Leach and the game was over.

Lakmal insisted his side had been "unlucky". But England's triumph followed a crushing 211-run win in the first Test in Galle, and was set up by masterful performances from Leach, Moeen and Rashid.

The spinners were dominant for both sides, as Sri Lanka's Dilruwan Perera took seven wickets in the game and Akila Dananjaya - who now goes off for an investigation into his bowling action - eight.

Leach, playing just his third Test, said the game had been "unbelievable".

Root insisted that England will not ease up for the third and final Test which starts in Colombo Friday.

He faces some tough selection choices after stand-in wicketkeeper Ben Foakes again shone with the bat - hitting a crucial unbeaten 65 in the second innings - just as Jonny Bairstow steps up claims for a recall after injury.

Sri Lanka will be looking to strengthen their rebuilding, said coach Chandika Hathurusingha.


ENGLAND 1ST INNINGS            R    B

Burns c de Silva b Dananjaya            43    81

Jennings c Dickwella b Lakmal        1    8

Stokes lbw b Perera                19    27

Root b Pushpakumara                14    23

Buttler c Karunaratne b Pushpakumara    63    67

Moeen lbw b Pushpakumara            10    23

Foakes c De Silva b Perera            19    29

Curran c Karunaratne b Perera        64    119

Rashid lbw b Perera                31    52

Leach b Dananjaya                7    13

Anderson not out                7    12

Extras (b 4, lb 3)                7 

Total (75.4 Overs)                290 all out 

Fall Of Wickets

1-12 (Jennings), 2-49 (Stokes), 3-70 (Root), 4-94 (Burns), 5-139 (Moeen), 6-170 (Foakes), 7-176 (Buttler), 8-221 (Rashid), 9-230 (Leach), 10-290 (Curran)


Lakmal 12-1-44-1, Perera 24.4-5-61-4, Pushpakumara 23-4-89-3, De Silva 2-0-4-0, Dananjaya 14-1-80-2


Karunaratne run out (Stokes)        63    125

Silva b Leach                6    15

Pushpakumara c Burns b Moeen    4    22

De Silva c Foakes b Rashid        59    98

Mendis c Stokes b Leach        1    3

Mathews c Foakes b Rashid        20    42

Silva c Moeen b Rashid        85    174

Dickwella lbw b Root            25    33

Perera lbw b Leach            15    37

Dananjaya lbw b Ali            31    39

Lakmal not out            15    30

Extras (b 6, lb 6)            12 

Total (103 Overs)            336 all out 

Fall Of Wickets

1-22 (Silva), 2-31 (Pushpakumara), 3-127 (Karunaratne), 4-136 (Mendis), 5-146 (De Silva), 6-165 (Mathews), 7-211 (Dickwella), 8-252 (Perera), 9-308 (Dananjaya), 10-336 (Silva)


Anderson 14-2-40-0, Curran 4-0-19-0, Leach 29-5-70-3, Moeen 25-1-85-2, Rashid 22-2-75-3, Root 8-0-26-1, Stokes 1-0-9-0


Leach lbw b Perera            1    11

Burns lbw b Pushpakumara        59    66

Jennings c de Silva b Dananjaya    26    54

Root lbw b Dananjaya            124    146

Stokes lbw b Perera            0    2

Buttler b Dananjaya            34    45

Moeen lbw b Dananjaya        10    14

Foakes not out            65    119

Curran b Dananjaya            0    1

Rashid lbw b Dananjaya        2    13

Anderson b Perera            12    13

Extras (b 4, lb 9)            13 

Total (80.4 Overs)            346 all out 

Fall Of Wickets

1-4 (Leach), 2-77 (Jennings), 3-108 (Burns), 4-109 (Stokes), 5-183 (Buttler), 6-219 (Moeen), 7-301 (Root), 8-301 (Curran), 9-305 (Rashid), 10-346 (Anderson)


Perera 20.4-2-96-3, Pushpakumara 27-1-101-1, Dananjaya 25-0-115-6, De Silva 4-0-7-0, Lakmal 4-0-14-0


Karunaratne c Foakes b Rashid57    96

Silva st Foakes b Leach    4    6

De Silva c Jennings b Leach    1    10

Mendis lbw b Leach        1    7

Mathews lbw b Moeen    88    137

Silva c Root b Moeen        37    95

Dickwella c Stokes b Moeen    35    43

Perera lbw b Leach        2    11

Dananjaya not out        8    28

Lakmal b Moeen        0    2

Pushpakumara c & b Leach    1    9

Extras (b 5, lb 4)        9 

Total (74 Overs)        243 all out 

Fall Of Wickets

1-14 (Silva), 2-16 (De Silva), 3-26 (Mendis), 4-103 (Karunaratne), 5-176 (Silva), 6-221 (Mathews), 7-226 (Perera), 8-240 (Dickwella), 9-240 (Lakmal), 10-243 (Pushpakumara)


Anderson 5-2-12-0, Leach 28-2-83-5, Moeen 19-2-72-4, Rashid 17-1-52-1, Root 5-0-15-0

England won by 57 runs

MoM: Joe Root

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