England vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Day 5: Sri Lanka create history by winning first Test series in England

Sri Lanka finally won their first Test series in England

Sri Lanka finally won their first Test series in England

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sri Lanka created history by winning their first Test series in England following their convincing 100-run victory on the fifth and final day of the second Test at Headingley.

Sri Lanka were able to achieve this feat thanks to pace bowler Dhammika Prasad’s maiden five-wicket haul in the second innings.

However, England all-rounder Moeen Ali also deserves a huge amount of credit as he scored his maiden Test century in a valiant effort to try and keep England alive.

Starting out the day on 57/5, England batsman Joe Root and Ali amassed a 67-run partnership before Root was caught by Lahiru Thirimanne at gully off the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep for 31.

Matt Prior only made 10 runs before he was caught by Kaushal Silva at short leg to give Dhammika Prasad his maiden five-wicket haul.

However, Prior’s dismissal stirred up a lot of debate as there was a high degree of uncertainty about whether Prasad’s foot was behind the crease or not. But, in the end, the third umpire decided to uphold the original decision.

Prasad is over the moon after taking his maiden five-wicket haul

Prasad is over the moon after taking his maiden five-wicket haul

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Ali and Chris Jordan put together a much-needed 52-run partnership before Jordan was given out lbw off the bowling of Rangana Herath for 21.

Jordan immediately reviewed the decision, but replays showed that the ball was going on to crash into middle and leg stump, which led to the third umpire upholding the original decision.

Stuart Broad failed to trouble the scorers as he too was given out lbw off the bowling of Herath.

Sri Lanka wrapped things up when James Anderson was caught by Herath at backward square off the bowling of Shaminda Eranga for a duck.

Ali was left stranded on 108 off 281 balls, which included 17 boundaries.

Ali remained unbeaten on 108

Ali remained unbeaten on 108

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Prasad led the way with five wickets, while Herath picked up three and Eranga and Pradeep chipped in with one wicket apiece.

England captain Alastair Cook was extremely disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “Moeen played an outstanding innings, to get a hundred like that is amazing and bodes well for the future. He’s a brave cricketer and the way he constructed that innings today, he didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. For Jimmy to survive 80 minutes was a great effort but credit to Sri Lanka, they’ve just won the crucial moments.

“For eight days of this series we’ve probably had the better of it but we’ve lost the crucial moments and you can’t let opportunities slip. Here, we didn’t bowl as we would have liked to in the second innings. I thought Mahela’s comments were harsh, we’ve won big series in the past and I think after today he would change his words. My own form is tough, I have to go back to basics, work hard and I’ve got 10 days to get prepared for India. If I keep losing form and matches I won’t be asked to captain for much longer but I’m determined to make it right.”

Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews, who was also named Man of the Match, was ecstatic to have broken his country’s curse when playing a Test series in England, and said: “We play a lot of cricket in the subcontinent and people don’t expect us to do it in England but we’ve played some great cricket. We kept trying, I threw the ball to Eranga saying you’ve got tot do it and I had faith in him.

“England also played some great cricket, batting like that on a final day wicket. I had to keep changing the bowlers. We played some great cricket, a lot of hard work and dedication, our bowlers are quite inexperienced but they played so well. Mahela and Kumar contributed a hell of a lot in this series and the ODI series and this is a fitting send off. I’ve had a good six months with bat and ball and hopefully I can continue that into the future. I think this has cemented my captaincy but you have to keep performing.”

Mathews was also Sri Lanka’s Player of the Series, while Anderson took home the same award for England.

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