England complete an unlikely win
England have completed a highly unlikely first Test victory over Sri Lanka
by bowling them out in record short time, 24.4 overs to be precise.
Play had once again been delayed by rain, only starting at 3pm, and England wasted little time in declaring.
Ian Bell, 98 not out overnight, was allowed to complete his 13th Test ton before England decided enough was enough on 496 for five, a lead of 96.
And Sri Lanka found themselves in huge trouble as they slumped to 43 for six with Chris Tremlett bowling magnificently with the new ball.
The towering paceman had figures of three for 15 and he removed openers Tharanga Paranavitana (nought) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (10) cheaply.
He then claimed his third as Mahela Jayawardene (15) failed for the second time in the match, with Graeme Swann getting the wickets of Thilan Samaraweera (nought), Kumar Sangakkara (14) and Farveez Maharoof (nought) in the space of eight balls.
With England down to three frontline bowlers due to James Anderson’s side strain much rested on Broad and Tremlett with the new ball, and they did not disappoint as two early wickets fell.
Paranavitana had played and missed at a full Broad ball early in the innings, but another loose push in Tremlett’s first over saw him edge to Strauss at first slip with the score on one.
Dilshan drove Broad to the cover boundary and then edged Tremlett between third slip and gully as the captain initially kept new batsman Sangakkara off strike.
But the skipper was on his way later in the over as he gloved Tremlett onto his thigh pad, with the Surrey seamer gratefully pouching the looping return catch for two wickets in three balls, with Dilshan’s review proving in vain as the tourists slumped to 10 for two.
Jayawardene, out for just four first time round, almost went cheaply by snicking low between Matt Prior and Strauss for four.
Chances continued to come for the home side as Sangakkara slashed wildly wide of gully from the fired-up Tremlett, and the former captain survived an lbw appeal with Broad’s delivery drifting down towards the leg side.
The two batsmen slowly began to settle and were looking slightly more secure at the crease as tea arrived with the tourists on 33 for two, still 63 behind.
But Jayawardene lasted just five balls after the interval as Tremlett claimed his third wicket by again finding the edge, with captain Strauss’ hands once again proving reliable.
Samaraweera was next man in, having not fielded at all in the game after being struck on the arm by Tremlett in the first innings, and he saw out an over from Graeme Swann as he tried to ease himself in.
But the spinner’s next over accounted for him as he dragged on a ball spinning back towards his off stump to depart without scoring and leave the tourists in trouble on 36 for four with 35 overs left in the day.
Sangakkara then joined the procession edging to Strauss off Swann as he pushed forward and Maharoof was gone just three balls later with the tourists lengthy tail exposed.
source – www.espnstar.com