GALLE: Dom Sibley scored an undefeated half century as England pursued a target of 164 on Monday to ensure a series sweep, defeating Sri Lanka by six wickets in the second test at the Galle International Stadium on a day of drama.
In order to complete a 2-0 series victory, England scored 164-4, with Sibley 56 not out and Jos Buttler unbeaten on 46 as they overcame jittery moments.
After the first innings, the tourists reversed a 37-run deficit to win the sixth consecutive test in Sri Lanka. In their second innings, England earlier dismissed Sri Lanka for 126, giving themselves a morale boost ahead of the start of their four-Test series in India next month.
As they lost their first four wickets for 89 runs, including a tired-looking Joe Root, England’s run chase started nervously with Sri Lanka’s dangerous spinner Lasith Embuldeniya threatening with the new ball and taking three wickets for a 10 match count.
But Sibley, who had previously struggled with the bat on tour, and Buttler took England home an undefeated 75-run partnership as they demonstrated the application their hosts lacked in their batting.
England, who only added five runs to their overnight total before being dismissed for 344, took just over a session to turn the game on its head as Dom Bess and spin partner Jack Leach scored four wickets apiece in the second innings of Sri Lanka
As the home batting line-up was undone by the turn of the wicket and reckless shots, Bess took 4-49 and Leach 4-59. It included veteran Angelo Mathews’ wild sweep as he was bowled for five by Bess, and a slog that was top-edged by Captain Dinesh Chandimal (9) and expertly caught off Leach by James Anderson.
Embuld-eniya was the first home batsman to make more than 20 with a quickfire 40 out of 42 deliveries, and his 48-run ninth wicket partnership with Suranga Lakmal helped set a tougher target for England. But he was finally dismissed by Root’s part-time bowling, who took another wicket with his next ball by bowling Asitha Fernando to wrap up the innings. With figures of 2-0-off 11 balls, Root done
SRI LANKA (1st Innings) 381 (A.D. Mathews 110, N. Dickwella 92, L.D. Chandimal 52, H.D.R.L. Thirimanne 43; J.M. Anderson 6-40, M.A. wood 3-84).
ENGLAND (1st Innings, overnight 339-9):
Z. Crawley c Thirimanne b Embuldeniya 5
D.P. Sibley lbw b Embuldeniya 0
J.M. Bairstow c O. Fernando b Embuldeniya 28
J.E. Root run out 186
D.W. Lawrence c Thirimanne b Embuldeniya 3
J.C. Buttler c O. Fernando b Mendis 55
S.M. Curran c Thirimanne b Embuldeniya 13
D.M. Bess c Thirimanne b Embuldeniya 32
M.A. Wood c Thirimanne b Embuldeniya 1
M.J. Leach lbw b D. Perera 1
J.M. Anderson not out 4
EXTRAS (B-8, LB-3, NB-5) 16
TOTAL (all out, 116.1 overs) 344
FALL OF WKTS: 1-4, 2-5, 3-116, 4-132, 5-229, 6-252, 7-333, 8-337, 9-339.
BOWLING: Lakmal 16-7-31-0; Embuldeniya 42-6-137-7 (4nb); A.M. Fernando 10-2-31-0; M.D.K. Perera 32.1-4-86-1 (1nb); Mendis 16-1-48-1.
SRI LANKA (2nd Innings):
M.D.K.J. Perera lbw b Leach 14
H.D.R.L. Thirimanne c Crawley b Leach 13
B.O.P. Fernando c Crawley b Bess 3
A. Mathews b Bess 5
D. Chandimal c Anderson b Leach 9
N. Dickwella c Lawrence b Bess 7
W.T.R. Mendis c Buttler b Leach 16
M.K.D. Perera c Crawley b Bess 4
R.A.S. Lakmal not out 11
L. Embuldeniya c Bairstow b Root 40
A.M. Fernando b Root 0
EXTRAS (B-3, NB-1) 4
TOTAL (all out, 35.5 overs) 126
FALL OF WKTS: 1-19, 2-29, 3-37, 4-37, 5-47, 6-66, 7-70, 8-78, 9-126.
BOWLING: Anderson 2-0-6-0; Curran 2-0-9-0; Bess
16-1-49-4; Leach 14-1-59-4 (1nb); Root 1.5-1-0-2.
ENGLAND (2nd Innings):
Z. Crawley c O. Fernando b Embuldeniya 13
D.P. Sibley not out 56
J.M. Bairstow lbw b Embuldeniya 29
J.E. Root b Mendis 11
D.W. Lawrence c Dickwella b Embuldeniya 2
J.C. Buttler not out 46
EXTRAS (LB-4, NB-3) 7
TOTAL (for four wkts, 43.3 overs) 164
FALL OF WKTS: 1-17, 2-62, 3-84, 4-89.
BOWLING: Embuldeniya 20-3-73-3 (1nb); M.D.K. Perera
13-3-1-39-0 (1nb); Mendis 10-0-48-1.
RESULT: England won by six wickets to win two-match series 2-0.
UMPIRES: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka), Ruchira Palliyaguruge (Sri Lanka)
TV UMPIRE: L.E. Hannibal (Sri Lanka).
MATCH REFEREE: R.S. Madugalle (Sri Lanka).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Joe Root.
MAN-OF-THE-SERIES: Joe Root.
FIRST TEST: Galle, England won by seven wickets.