England close in on victory in Sri Lanka

What was Dhananjaya de Silva thinking? Pic Fox SportsMore

"I believe you've got to pick the team that's going to win you a Test match on any given day". Credits to some fantabulous performances from Jack Leach (2/41 and 3/60) and Moeen Ali (4/55 and 4/71) for uprooting the Lankan wickets in both innings of the contest.

England made 342 in the first innings thanks to a century from Foakes.

Sri Lanka's top-order collapse mirrored England's wretched start in the first innings, but lacked a Foakes-style rescue in their middle order.

Sri Lanka wasted both their reviews inside 12 overs but it was the golden arm of retiring 40-year-old Rangana Herath that ended Root's 62-run stand with Jennings.

"The danger for us is that if he is not 100 percent fit, he may not play". Once again Moeen Ali led the bowling attack with four wickets and sum of eight in the match.

"We knew we were going to have to work hard and that there would be periods where we would have to be very patient, hold our nerve, trust our plans and how we were going to go about things", said Root.

England secured victory Friday in the first Test against Sri Lanka, winning by 211 runs at Galle and giving the visitors their first away Test success in 13 games.

Overnight batsmen Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva saw through the first hour without any damage, even if they had a little luck when the former edged Moeen Ali on 16 but Ben Stokes grassed an easy catch at slip. Has a lot of good things to say about Herath, and besides his exceptional cricketing skills, he mentions that above all, he's a wonderful human being and one of the best he's ever known.

England had earlier made an unconvincing start to life following the retirement of stalwart Alastair Cook after captain Joe Root opted to bat first to avoid the prospect of having the final innings at a famously spin-friendly venue.

In his last Test match, Herath picked up three wickets to end career with 433 wickets in 93 Tests. One ball after Dhananjaya 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 Root.

With Bairstow missing due to an ankle injury, Foakes deputised and was named man of the match after scoring a century and an impeccable showing behind the stumps in the first Test in Galle.

Herath retired from global cricket as one of the most successful Lankan bowlers in Tests after Muttiah Muralitharan who scalped 800 wickets.



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