England in Sri Lanka, 2 Test Series, 2021
Venue: Galle International Stadium, Galle
Date: 14 January-18 January, 2021
RR: 3.12 | England beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets
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.
Lasith Embuldeniya is back on.
Wanindu Hasaranga is on.
Review time! Sri Lanka have taken a review for LBW against Lawrence. Replays are in...Ultra Edge shows there is a spike when the ball passes the glove. The original decision stays.
Jos Buttler is down for an interview. He says it was twitchy last evening when they lost quick wickets. Also hopes for a couple of partnerships to take them home. Also praises Leach and Bess for their bowling. He says that the team is getting used to the conditions and also says the boys have fought really hard. On his first stumping, he says he was about to appeal for the catch but later was happy to get the batter stumped.
Pitch Report - Russel Arnold is there for the pitch report. He says the pitch is very helpful for the spinners. And they have to bowl full to make the batter drive.
Welcome one and all to Day 5 of the first Test between England and Sri Lanka in Galle. The match would have ended on Day 4, had the Sri Lankan batters including the likes of Lahiru Thirimanne and Angelo Mathews not put their hand up. It was due to their efforts, that England had to bat again. In pursuit of a target of 74, the Britts lost 3 wickets for just 14 runs. The duo of Bairstow and Lawrence weathered the storm yesterday and would like to score the remaining 36 runs without any more hiccups. Can Sri Lanka get some more wickets and pull off a rabbit out of the hat? Everything coming up soon in the morning session, which starts shortly.
... Day 5, Session 1 ...
Right then! When the day began, it looked unlikely that Sri Lanka would end up gaining a lead but they managed to get a lead of 73 which is proving to be too much for the opposition. Still, 36 adrift are England for a win and it should be their game with Bairstow and Lawrence there unbeaten and Buttler to follow. Sri Lanka would hope that they take the remaining wickets quickly and get a come from behind win. Who will have 1-0 against their name? Join us to find as the Final Day of this Test unfolds tomorrow at 0945 local (0415 GMT). Till then cheers and take care.
Sri Lanka defending a paltry 73 to aim for an unlikely win ended up taking three quick wickets to make the target of 73 look like 173 for the opposition. Dilruwan Perera and Lasith Embuldeniya spitted venom as the ball danced to their tunes. Turn and bounce made life look like hell for the England batsmen out there in the middle. Embuldeniya ended the day with a couple of wickets and a brilliant effort from the wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella saw the back of England skipper Joe Root. Sri Lanka would hope that they could get the remaining wickets quickly on Day 5 to win the Test.
England once again began their chase on a faulty note as they lost their both the openers quickly. Chasing a target of 74 runs, England once again wanted their skipper to lead from the front but the double centurion from the first innings became a victim of miscommunication as he was run out for just a solitary run. Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence then combined to weather the storm generated by the Sri Lankan spinners to see England end the day without any further hiccup.
The day began with Sri Lanka trailing by 130 runs and gradually and slowly Mathews and Thirimanne ate up on the lead. Despite losing Embuldeniya early, the other lower-order batsmen hung around to take Sri Lanka into the lead. Mathews stitched substantial stands with Thirimanne, Chandimal, Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera as he brought up his half-ton in the process. Thirimanne too went onto getting to his 2nd Test ton as Sri Lanka ended with 359 runs and with a handy lead of 73 runs. For England with the ball, Jack Leach ended up with a 5-wicket haul but conceded 122 runs. Dom Bess, the man who had taken a 5-wicket haul in the Sri Lankan first innings ended up with 3 wickets in the second innings. Curran had two to his name as Broad and Wood ended wicketless. Root and Lawrence too rolled their arms but they could not get a wicket to their name.
Once again the rain does not come to play the spoilsport but the bad light at the fag end does take the game into Day 5. England need 36 runs more to win this first Test. For that we will have to wait for Day 5 to commence as it is STUMPS for the day.
As Wanindu Hasaranga comes onto bowl the umpires take the reading on the light meter and they feel that the light is not apt to continue. The players go off for now. This should be the day as we wait for the official confirmation.
Dan Lawrence is the new man in.
Run out check sent upstairs. Root looks to be out and that is a massive blow to England. Direct hits are always dangerous and the double centuion from the first innings has to depart.
Joe Root is the new man in.
Jonny Bairstow is the new man in. Dilruwan Perera to bowl from the other end.