England on Monday defeated Sri Lanka in the second Test by six wickets and won the two-match series 2-0. England’s victory against Sri Lanka came on the fourth day of the Test match as they comfortably chased the target of 164 runs.
Although England had a minor scare when they were reduced to 89-4 as the pitch deteriorated to suit spin bowlers, Dom Sibley successfully led the chase for the tourists with the opening batsman remaining unbeaten at 56. Sibley added 75 runs for the fifth wicket with Jos Buttler, who remained not out at 46.
Sri Lanka had made 386 runs in their first innings and took a narrow lead of 37 runs after the hosts bowled England out for 344 even though the English skipper Joe Root played another knock of 186 runs after having scored a double century in the first Test. However, the hosts were bundled out for 126 as Dom Bess and Jack Leach spun magic to claim four wickets each. The remaining two wickets went to Root, who could not do any wrong in the second Test.
Reacting to his side’s Test and series win ahead of the crucial Test series against India, Root told BBC Sport, “From that first reverse sweep of Jimmy’s it has been a pretty good day. The guys were brilliant in the field. I felt we created a lot of pressure and soaked things up, squeezed the game, and we caused a bit of chaos and mayhem and thankfully we restricted them to a total we were very comfortable with.
“The most pleasing thing for me was that the spinners took the responsibility and ownership to get us into that position but I thought the way we handled the chase with such calmness and poise was really outstanding. To deal with that kind of pressure, on a surface like that, shows we’ve come a long way. In the past we’d have made that look a lot more difficult.”
Today’s series win was the fourth in a row for England with the side extending their unbeaten run to 10 Tests under Root’s captaincy.
England are now fourth in the ICC Test rankings with the top two teams set to compete in the final this summer.
Scores in brief:
Sri Lanka 381 (Mathews 110, Anderson 6-40) & 126 (Bess 4-49, Leach 4-59)
England 344 (Root 186, Embuldeniya 7-137) & 164-4 (Sibley 56*, Buttler 46*)
England won by six wickets