Sri Lanka vs England, 1st Test

England in Sri Lanka, 2 Test Series, 2021 | 1st Test | Thursday 14th January | 04:30
Day - 5,  Match Ended
Sri Lanka
& 359 (136.5) RR:2.62
& 76/3 (24.2) RR:3.12
  • Commentary
  • Scorecard
  • Graphs
  • Match Info
  • Sri Lanka 1st inningsSL 1st inn
  • England 1st inningsENG 1st inn
  • Sri Lanka 2nd inningsSL 2nd inn
  • England 2nd inningsENG 2nd inn

So England have managed to win the first Test and now go 1-0 up in the series. Can Sri Lanka level the series? Or will England repeat their 2018 heroics against the island nation? All questions will be answered in a few days time as the second Test starts at Galle itself on 22nd January 2021, at 1000 local (0430 GMT). Do join us for that. Till then, take care and goodbye.

England skipper, Joe Root is adjudged the Man of the Match. He says winning away from home in the subcontinent is good. Also praises the effort of their spinners to take two 5-fers in the match. Also praises the entire bowling group and is pleased to start the tour with a win. He adds that there are different challenges playing away from home, especially with quarantine rules, but is happy with how the team trained and put on a good performance. On his own performance, he says he was in a good mindset while playing against the spinners and was happy with the way his feet were moving. Also is pleased that he could convert his fifty into a big score. Ends by saying that he expects the Sri Lankan team to come back strong in the next Test match.

Sri Lanka skipper, Dinesh Chandimal says that the first innings score of 135 lost them the game. Says they needed to get a big score in the first innings to win a match at Galle, with batting getting difficult on Day 4 and 5. Also praises Kusal Perera, Thirimanne and Mathews for their batting effort in the second innings. Says 70-80 runs more would have been good for their bowlers. He adds that their batting unit played like they were batting in South Africa, but would like to learn from their mistakes from this game and looks forward to the next game at Galle.

Jonny Bairstow is down for an interview. He says it was tough to bat in spinning conditions and he was looking to play more off the back foot. He is happy with a win in the subcontinent and credits the entire team including the likes of Root, Leach and Bess for their performance. Says the talk was to score the remaining 36 runs with a positive mindset and keep rotating the strike. He says it was good for him to get a Christmas break and it is tough to stay away from the family in the bio-bubbles. Ends up by saying that wins like these make all the sacrifices worth it. Also ends by thanking the fans back home for their support.

In pursuit of 74, England got off to the worst possible start as they lost 3 wickets with just 14 runs on the board. The spinners Embuldeniya and Perera made the England batters dance to their tunes, but in the end didn't had enough runs to play with. You already know what transpired on Day 5 as England went on to win the match by 7 wickets. Stay tuned for the presentation.

After conceding a lead of 286, Sri Lankan batsmen showed more application in their second innings with openers Kusal Perera scoring a fine half ton, while his partner Lahiru Thirimanne going on to score a fine 111, his 2nd Test century. Angelo Mathews too scored a fighting 71. He received good support from the lower middle order batsmen, as the hosts manage to wipe out the deficit and scored 359, setting a target of 74 to the visitors. England spinners Leach and Bess combined to take 8 wickets in the second essay, with the former taking a 5-wicket haul.

In the course of next two days, Root then went on to play a marathon knock of 228, his 4th double ton in Tests, stitching important partnership of 114 runs first with Bairstow and then a mammoth 173-run stand with the debutant Dan Lawrence. The young lad showed good temperament with the bat in spinning conditions with a good knock of 73. A change of ball, due to its lost shape saw Sri Lanka make a comeback with the ball with Asitha Fernando taking two wickets in consecutive balls. The spinners, Dilruwan Perera and Lasith Embuldeniya then ran through the English lower order, thereby restricting England to a score of 421.

Day 1 saw Sri Lanka win the toss and bat first, only to get bundle out for a paltry 135. The likes of Perera, Mathews and Chandimal all got starts, but failed to continue and were out playing poor shots. For England, Dom Bess was the pick of the bowlers with 5 wickets and got good support from Stuart Broad, who got 3 while Leach got 1. England's innings too started poorly as they lost both their openers early. The duo of Root and Bairstow, though steadied the ship and went unbeaten to stumps.

England started Day 5 needing just 36 runs. The overnight duo of Bairstow and Lawrence managed to play the spinners well and kept rotating the strike without any trouble whatsoever and eventually saw their team home with an unbeaten stand of 62. Sri Lankan spinners bowled their heart out with Embuldeniya getting 2 wickets and Dilruwan Perera getting 1 on late Day 4 but were not able to get any breakthroughs this morning. But one can't blame them, it was their first innings score of 135 that put them on the back foot right from the start.

So England have completed the formalities and have won the first Test match comprehensively by 7 wickets. Sri Lanka hoped that their spinners could replicate yesterday's form, but it was not to be for them. England would be happy though, beating the hosts in their backyard.

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