Jack Leach takes three wickets as England beat Sri Lanka in Galle

England began the day needing 10 wickets to go ahead in the series after setting Sri Lanka a world record chase of 462.

There have been 13 games since the last success on foreign soil - taking in trips to Bangladesh, Australia, India and New Zealand - but England banished their travel sickness in style, led by Moeen Ali's best match figures away from home.

Sri Lanka vs England 1st Test, Galle: The touring Englishmen finally had a reason to smile after they beat hosts Sri Lanka by 211 runs to play spoilsport in Rangana Herath's farewell Test.

Leach (3-60) then bowled Dinesh Chandimal for one, the Sri Lanka captain struggling to move because of a hamstring injury. An LBW appeal when Jennings was on 58 was turned down and Sri Lanka chose - erroneously it turned out - not to review. On the other hand, Ben Foakes had a ideal start to his Test career as the wicketkeeper-batsman scored a century on debut.

In an illustrious career, the left-arm orthodox bowler took 433 Test wickets in matches, putting him eighth on the all-time list, which has Lankan compatriot Murali Muralitharan at the top with 800 scalps.


Another fine Moeen delivery saw Akila Dananjaya (8) edge to Stokes and then Adil Rashid (1-59) belatedly got in on the act, Dilruwan Perera (30) gone before Rangana Herath was rescued by an appeal after the on-field umpire had the retiring star out first ball. For now, Foakes should take things game-by-game and avoid getting carried away. I have a groin strain and I still don't know who long it takes to heal. Last man out was Herath, returning to the pavilion for the one last time. I might go to my club and may play some first-class cricket.

Fifteen without loss overnight, Sri Lanka's openers Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne withstood the pressure from England's formidable bowling attack for the first hour on Friday. After a dizzying morning this was regulation Test cricket, and it worked. "To see them work, to see the hard work leading into the game pay off, is great", Root said.

"It won't sink in until afterwards, when I speak to family and stuff".

With the score at 103-5 on the first day of the Test match, it seemed as if England would roll over again in Asia.

"I'm thankful for all those years that I have played, those people who have been behind me, especially the team-mates, Sri Lanka Cricket, all the people".

  • Steve Townsend