What was Dhananjaya de Silva thinking? Pic Fox SportsMore
10 November, 2018, 08:17
In pursuit of a notional 462 for victory, the hosts were 211-7 just after the tea break, with spinners Jack Leach and Moeen Ali claiming three wickets apiece.
There have been 13 games since the last success on foreign soil - taking in trips to Bangladesh, Australia, India and New Zealand - but England banished their travel sickness in style, led by Moeen Ali's best match figures away from home.
The second match of the three-test series is in Kandy, starting on November 14, before the final contest in Colombo from November 23. "We have to look at a replacement or standby player for him".
In England's second innings an assured unbeaten 146 by Keaton Jennings, his first century since a ton on his 2016 debut that has silenced his critics for now at least, allowed Root to declare at 322 for six.
The final result might have seemed nearly inevitable at the start of play, with Sri Lanka pursuing a world record chase of 462 or the equally unlikely prospect of batting two full days for a draw, but the scale of the achievement should not be underplayed.
"The danger for us is that if he is not 100 percent fit, he may not play".
He offered only one chance on 58, when he would have been lbw on review had Sri Lanka not been dissuaded by the sound of bat on ball.
Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal is doubtful for the second Test against England after sustaining an injury in the first Test match. We have a real clear plan about how we want to get to be the number one side in the world.
But both fell after attacking shots, with Kaushal leg before trying to sweep Leach for 30 and Karunaratne caught and bowled by Ali for 26 as he skipped down the pitch for an attempted heave.
England took control of the series opener as they recovered from 103-5 on the opening day to post 342 all out, thanks largely to Ben Foakes' debut century, and then rolled Sri Lanka for 203. In the first innings, for example, Niroshan Dickwella pushed at a Moeen Ali delivery, and put it straight in the hands of the short cover that had been placed there for exactly that stroke. Dhananjaya de Silva, for example, was out in the over before lunch on day four - an over that began just in the nick of time, but might not have done so had Sri Lanka's batsmen delayed during the previous over that Joe Root delivered specifically to speed up the match. "Our batting was below-par during the game, you can't stay in the game (with this kind of batting)". Angelo Mathews was the top scorer with 52 runs. The contributions of offspinner Akila Dananjaya came in for especial scrutiny - Dananjaya got only two wickets in the match, and conceded more than 4.7 runs per over.
"After that, the way they batted, they took the game away from us".