Sri Lanka out for 126; England chasing 164 for series sweep

Angelo Mathews failed to shine in the second innings.— Twitter
Angelo Mathews failed to shine in the second innings.— Twitter

Galle - Jack Leach and Dom Bess claimed three wickets each in a wild morning session on day four and then added one more apiece after lunch


Published: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 12:40 PM

England moved into a strong position to complete a series sweep after dismissing Sri Lanka for 126 in the second innings on Monday, setting up a victory target of 164 in the second Test.

Jack Leach and Dom Bess claimed three wickets each in a wild morning session on day four and then added one more apiece after lunch. Joe Root picked up the last two wickets on consecutive balls to finish the innings to ensure all 10 wickets fell to spin.

Root ended Lasith Embuldeniya’s rearguard cameo of 40 from 42 balls when had the Sri Lanka tail-ender caught by Jonny Bairstow and then bowled Asitha Fernando on the next ball.

England resumed at 339-9 and added only five runs before being dismissed and handing Sri Lanka a 37-run first-innings lead. But far from enhancing the small advantage, Sri Lanka’s top order collapsed.

The England spinners went wicketless in the first innings but made amends in the second, with the pitch offering plenty of turn and bounce.

Spin was introduced early in the innings with Bess operating from the Dutch Fort End after just four overs of seam.

Leach started from the City End and made his presence felt immediately by trapping Kusal Perera leg before wicket for 14.

Bess then bowled into the rough and had Oshada Fernando (3) caught bat pad by Zak Crawley at forward short leg.

Lahiru Thirimanne scored 13 before he flicked a Leach delivery into Crawley’s hands at short leg and the slide got worse, with three wickets falling for 10 runs within 13 deliveries.

Angelo Mathews (5), who scored a century in the first innings, was bowled attempting a sweep to a ball from Bess which pitched outside off stump and turned sharply.

Stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal had a failure immediately after launching Leach for four to the mid-wicket boundary. He tried to clear mid-on from the next delivery, but didn’t get the elevation and was well caught by the 38-year-old Jimmy Anderson in the outfield.

Niroshan Dickwella, who earned much admiration for his career best 92 in the first innings, was out for seven driving straight into the hands of Daniel Lawrence in the covers.

Root’s 186 helped England narrow in on Sri Lanka’s first-innings total before was run out in the last over on day three.

His 309-ball knock ended when he attempted to flick Dilruwan Perera to mid-wicket but the thick edge was grabbed by Oshada Fernando at short leg on the bounce. Root had taken a few steps out of the crease and, sensing an opportunity, Fernando threw the stumps down as a tired Root’s diving effort couldn’t save him.

Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Embuldeniya finished with 7-137 from 42 overs.


Sri Lanka 1st innings 381 (A. Mathews 110; S. Broad 6-40)

England 1st innings (overnight 339/9, J. Leach 0)

Z. Crawley c Thirimanne b Embuldeniya 5

D. Sibley lbw b Embuldeniya 0

J. Bairstow c O. Fernando b Embuldeniya 28

J. Root run out (O. Fernando) 186

D. Lawrence c Thirimanne b Embuldeniya 3

J. Buttler c O. Fernando b Mendis 55

S. Curran c Thirimanne b Embuldeniya 13

D. Bess c Thirimanne b Embuldeniya 32

M. Wood c Thirimanne b Embuldeniya 1

J. Leach lbw b Perera 1

J. Anderson not out 4

Extras (b8, lb3, nb5) 16

Total (116.1 overs, all out) 344

Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Sibley), 2-5 (Crawley), 3-116 (Bairstow), 4-132 (Lawrence), 5-229 (Butter), 6-252 (Curran), 7-333 (Bess), 8-337 (Wood), 9-339 (Root), 10-344 (Leach)

Bowling: Lakmal 16-7-31-0, Embuldeniya 42-6-137-7 (nb4), Fernando 10-2-31-0, Perera 32.1-4-86-1 (nb1), Mendis 16-1-48-1

Sri Lanka 2nd innings

K. Perera lbw b Leach 14

L. Thirimanne c Crawley b Leach 13

O. 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

R. Mendis c Buttler b Leach 16

D. Perera c Crawley b Bess 4

S. Lakmal not out 11

L. Embuldeniya c Bairstow b Root 40

A. Fernando b Root 0

Extras (b3, nb1) 4

Total (35.5 overs, all out) 126

Fall of wickets: 1-19 (K. Perera), 2-29 (Fernando), 3-37 (Thirimanne), 4-37 (Mathews), 5-47 (Chandimal), 6-66 (Dickwella), 7-70 (D. Perera), 8-78 (Mendis), 9-126 (Embuldeniya), 10-126 (Fernando)

Bowling: Anderson 2-0-6-0, Curran 2-0-9-0, Bess 16-1-49-4, Leach 14-1-59-4 (nb1), Root 1.5-1-0-2

Toss: Sri Lanka

Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI), Ruchira Palliyaguruge (SRI)

TV umpire: Lyndon Hannibal (SRI)

Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)

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