England secure series sweep despite Sri Lanka resistance
Colombo (Reuters) – England overcame some spirited late resistance from the hosts to seal a first 3-0 series sweep in Sri Lanka when the tourists wrapped up a 42-run victory shortly after tea on the fourth day of the third and final Test on Monday.
Chasing an improbable 327-run target, Sri Lanka’s last six batsmen combined well to get to within less than 50 runs of what would have been a remarkable triumph after they resumed on 53 for four at the Sinhalese Sports Club.
Kusal Mendis (86) and Roshen Silva (65) set the tone for the hosts with a dogged 102-run sixth-wicket stand in an exemplary display of defiance spread over 30 overs as Sri Lanka sought to end a disappointing series on a high.
After Mendis was run out, Malinda Pushpakumara (42 not out) survived a sickening blow to the helmet to raise 58 runs with Suranga Lakmal for the final wicket to give England some jitters before the tourists secured victory in the first over after tea.
England looked on course for a routine triumph after half an hour of play when Jack Leach angled one into the leg stump and nightwatchman Lakshan Sandakan could only edge the ball to Ben Stokes at slip to depart after making seven.
The hosts rallied and Mendis brought up his seventh test fifty as Silva shrugged off occasional discomfort against all-rounder Stokes’ awkward bounce to thwart the England attack.
Leach’s left-arm spin could not separate the duo but his right-handed throw did, the Somerset bowler charging in from backward square leg to throw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end with Mendis short of his ground.
It was a tragic end to a stellar innings by the right-hander, who hit eight boundaries and a six in an assured knock.
Leach (4-72) struck again to dismiss Niroshan Dickwella for 19 with Keaton Jennings enhancing his reputation as an exceptional close-in fielder by taking a smart bat-pad catch at short leg.
Moeen Ali (4-92) then dismissed Dilruwan Perera and Silva but Pushpakumara engineered a spirited counter-attack with stand-in skipper Lakmal, who was the last man out.
England triumphed in the series opener in Galle to end a 13-match winless streak in overseas tests and won in Pallekele to take an unassailable 2-0 lead, ending the side’s 17-year wait for a test series victory in Sri Lanka.
In response to their poor showing, Sri Lanka sacked the entire selection committee on Sunday and replaced them with a new panel headed by former test player Asantha de Mel.
England 1st innings Rory Burns b Dilruwan Perera 14 Keaton Jennings c Roshen Silva b Malinda Pushpakumara 13 Jonny Bairstow b Lakshan Sandakan 110 Joe Root c Danushka Gunathilaka b Lakshan Sandakan 46 Ben Stokes c Dhananjaya de Silva b Lakshan Sandakan 57 Jos Buttler c&b Lakshan Sandakan 16 Moeen Ali c Angelo Mathews b Dilruwan Perera 33 Ben Foakes c Niroshan Dickwella b Malinda Pushpakumara 13 Adil Rashid Not Out 21 Stuart Broad b Lakshan Sandakan 0 Jack Leach c Angelo Mathews b Dilruwan Perera 2 Extras 7b 3lb 1nb 0pen 0w 11 Total (92.5 overs) 336 all out Fall of Wickets : 1-22 Burns, 2-36 Jennings, 3-136 Root, 4-235 Stokes, 5-254 Bairstow, 6-265 Buttler, 7-294 Foakes, 8-328 Ali, 9-329 Broad, 10-336 Leach Bowling Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex Suranga Lakmal 11 2 33 0 3.00 1nb Dilruwan Perera 32.5 1 113 3 3.44 Malinda Pushpakumara 20 3 64 2 3.20 Lakshan Sandakan 22 0 95 5 4.32 Dhananjaya de Silva 5 0 16 0 3.20 Danushka Gunathilaka 2 0 5 0 2.50 .................................................................. Sri Lanka 1st innings Danushka Gunathilaka c Keaton Jennings b Jack Leach 18 Dimuth Karunaratne c Keaton Jennings b Adil Rashid 83 Dhananjaya de Silva c Keaton Jennings b Adil Rashid 73 Kusal Mendis c Ben Stokes b Adil Rashid 27 Angelo Mathews c Ben Foakes b Ben Stokes 5 Roshen Silva c Keaton Jennings b Adil Rashid 3 Niroshan Dickwella c Ben Foakes b Ben Stokes 5 Dilruwan Perera c Ben Foakes b Ben Stokes 0 Suranga Lakmal Not Out 3 Lakshan Sandakan Run Out Adil Rashid 2 Malinda Pushpakumara lbw Adil Rashid 13 Extras 0b 7lb 0nb 0pen 1w 8 Total (65.5 overs) 240 all out Fall of Wickets : 1-31 Gunathilaka, 2-173 de Silva, 3-187 Karunaratne, 4-200 Mathews, 5-205 Silva, 6-222 Dickwella, 7-222 Mendis, 8-222 Perera, 9-224 Sandakan, 10-240 Pushpakumara Bowling Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex Stuart Broad 9 2 36 0 4.00 Jack Leach 18 2 59 1 3.28 Moeen Ali 13 2 55 0 4.23 Adil Rashid 13.5 2 49 5 3.54 Joe Root 2 0 4 0 2.00 Ben Stokes 10 1 30 3 3.00 1w ......................................................................... England 2nd innings Rory Burns lbw Dilruwan Perera 7 Keaton Jennings lbw Dilruwan Perera 1 Jonny Bairstow c (Sub) b Dilruwan Perera 15 Joe Root c&b Malinda Pushpakumara 7 Ben Stokes c Malinda Pushpakumara b Dilruwan Perera 42 Jos Buttler st Niroshan Dickwella b Lakshan Sandakan 64 Moeen Ali c Dhananjaya de Silva b Lakshan Sandakan 22 Ben Foakes Not Out 36 Adil Rashid c Niroshan Dickwella b Malinda Pushpakumara 24 Stuart Broad c Kusal Mendis b Malinda Pushpakumara 1 Jack Leach c Niroshan Dickwella b Dilruwan Perera 0 Extras 3b 4lb 3nb 0pen 1w 11 Total (69.5 overs) 230 all out Fall of Wickets : 1-3 Jennings, 2-20 Burns, 3-35 Bairstow, 4-39 Root, 5-128 Stokes, 6-168 Buttler, 7-171 Ali, 8-215 Rashid, 9-217 Broad, 10-230 Leach Bowling Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex Dilruwan Perera 29.5 3 88 5 2.95 Malinda Pushpakumara 12 2 28 3 2.33 Dhananjaya de Silva 9 1 24 0 2.67 Suranga Lakmal 3 1 7 0 2.33 1w 1nb Lakshan Sandakan 16 1 76 2 4.75 2nb ................................................................. Sri Lanka 2nd innings Danushka Gunathilaka c Ben Stokes b Moeen Ali 6 Dimuth Karunaratne b Moeen Ali 23 Dhananjaya de Silva lbw Jack Leach 0 Kusal Mendis Run Out Jack Leach 86 Angelo Mathews c Stuart Broad b Ben Stokes 5 Lakshan Sandakan c Ben Stokes b Jack Leach 7 Roshen Silva lbw Moeen Ali 65 Niroshan Dickwella c Keaton Jennings b Jack Leach 19 Dilruwan Perera c Keaton Jennings b Moeen Ali 5 Suranga Lakmal lbw Jack Leach 11 Malinda Pushpakumara Not Out 42 Extras 8b 0lb 2nb 0pen 5w 15 Total (86.4 overs) 284 all out Fall of Wickets : 1-15 Gunathilaka, 2-24 de Silva, 3-34 Karunaratne, 4-52 Mathews, 5-82 Sandakan, 6-184 Mendis, 7-214 Dickwella, 8-225 Perera, 9-226 Silva, 10-284 Lakmal Bowling Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex Stuart Broad 5 0 14 0 2.80 3w Moeen Ali 26 3 92 4 3.54 Jack Leach 28.4 4 72 4 2.51 Ben Stokes 8 1 25 1 3.12 2w 1nb Adil Rashid 19 1 73 0 3.84 1nb ................................... Umpire Sundaram Ravi Umpire Christopher Gaffaney Video Marais Erasmus Match Referee Andrew Pycroft