Finger-spin duo twirl England to first Test victory over Sri Lanka

Finger-spin duo twirl England to first Test victory over Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka began the day on 15/0 - 447 runs away from their victory target - and did well to progress to 51 before Leach delivered England their first wicket of the day in the 23rd over, pinning Kaushal Silva lbw on the sweep for 30. "Our batting was below-par during the game, you can't stay in the game (with this kind of batting)".

Sri Lanka's failure to grasp finer nuances of sessions cricket irked Hathurusingha further. One ball after Dhanajaya de Silva successfully overturned a caught behind decision Stokes tightened up his line and took an indisputable edge that nestled safely in the hands of Joe Root. "It will be touch and go for the second test match". Angelo Mathews scored his second fifty of the match and Kusal Mendis contributed 45 runs to the cause but the rest of the batting order could not hold up and bundled out for 250 runs. "We have to look at a replacement or standby player", he added. We have a real clear plan about how we want to get to be the number one side in the world.

Their openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva fought valiantly in the first hour of the day and kept the opponents away.

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

In between, Leach had bowled captain Dinesh Chandimal with a gripping beauty, and Moeen had enticed Niroshan Dickwella into edging to slip, where Stokes took the first and best of his three catches, making up for an easier chance he'd dropped earlier in the day.

Jos Buttler smashed a quick 35 before being caught off Herath while Foakes belted out 37 before falling to spinner Akila Dananjaya. Two wickets in 10 balls after tea to Moeen removed the last of Sri Lanka's recognised batsmen in Niroshan Dickwella and Angelo Mathews, the latter for the highest score of the innings - 53 - and it was all over when Rangana Herath was run out in his final global innings.

England's varied attack, which features three seamers and three spinners, probed persistently through the morning as captain Root employed attacking field placements. When we used to play cricket, we learned from people who played with us, and we had like certain periods of game where we bowl short. "In test cricket, especially on wickets like these, it is very hard to come back. From there on we were chasing the game", he said.