Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

England close in on victory in Sri Lanka

England close in on victory in Sri Lanka

The Englishmen are now having an outing in Sri Lanka for a complete series that includes five ODIs, one T20Is and three Tests.

England skipperJoe Root won the toss and elected to bat first. He smashed his second century in Test cricket to press his case for the future matches.

Moeen claimed 4/71 as he and fellow spinners Jack Leach and Adil Rashid shared eight of the 10 Sri Lankan wickets.

Sri Lanka vs England 2018: 1st Test Galle - Match Report; England continues their fine run in Test format of the game.

Leach eventually made the breakthrough when Silva could not connect with a sweep shot and was dismissed leg before wicket for 30.

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Moeen Ali, centre, celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne (Eranga Jayawardena/AP). "After reducing them to 100 for five, if you had given only another 150 runs for the next five batters, we would have been still in the game at this stage".

Sri Lanka were chasing a massive 462 and, resuming on 15 without loss, they never threatened to come back into the contest on Thursday with no rain forthcoming to save them after an overnight downpour.

Angelo Mathews (53 off 92 balls) and Kusal Mendis (45 off 77) added 46 for the fourth wicket as the last real form of resistance, with Mathews surviving until the 69th over, when he was caught by Jos Buttler off Moeen Ali to leave Sri Lanka on 190-6. If Jonny Bairstow does return to fitness in Kandy next week, Foakes will surely not be the one to make way. Chandimal, who was nursing a groin strain, could miss the second test at Pallekele next week.

The 40-year-old ends his illustrious Test career with 433 wickets - placing him joint-eighth on the all-time list - and Chandimal was disappointed to see his team-mate bow out on a losing note.

Stokes said before the day's play that he expected Moeen, Leach and Rashid to do the most damage, with the ball spinning ever more quickly off the pitch.

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"It's a hard day for us, because we know how much Rangana has done for the team and Sri Lanka cricket..."

In addition to the wasteful batting across both inning, Hathurusingha also rued allowing England to mount 342 in the first innings, having had them at 103 for 5 in the first session. Playing his final test, left-arm spinner Herath drew the England captain out and bowled slightly wide to induce an edge that safely nestled into Niroshan Dickwella's gloves.

A brilliant century from Ben Foakes, who was also the Man of the Match on his debut, helped Sri Lanka gain a huge lead in the first innings.

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

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