About the Match
An emphatic win by an innings and 88 runs has given hosts England a 1-0 lead against Sri Lanka in the 3-match Investec Test series and they will now face each other in the 2nd Test at Chester-Le-Street starting from 27th May. England completely dominated the Lankan batsmen, getting them all-out in both innings in less than 40 overs and the visitors will now have to regroup to come back stronger in the next test. Injury issues are a cause for worry for the islanders and they must focus on the resources at hand now; England on the other hand will be eager to continue with their winning momentum and will leave no stone unturned to take the series with a win here.
James Anderson put up a breath-taking performance claiming 10 wickets in total with immense precision and helped England win the first test match against Sri Lanka; the fast bowler created magic and stifled the opposition giving less than 2 runs per over on an average. Stuart Broad took 5 wickets in total while Finn and Moeen Ali took 4 wickets between them in the 2nd innings to help England seal victory. The English pace attack is in great form and despite Stokes absence due to injury they surely are a strong side that will come out with all their firepower over the weekend.
Batting first, the English top-order crumbled in a dismal way with only Alex Hales being able to score 86 runs; however, Jonny Bairstow down at No.7 kept his nerves together and posted a heroic 140 from 183 deliveries to give the hosts a respectable total of 298 on board. The bowlers had a field day and more than made up for the poor show by the batsmen; the win has boosted their morale but the batting line-up must exude more confidence in the upcoming match.
Overall, they have good depth in the bowling department and with strong batsmen like Joe Root, Hales, Bairstow, James Vince and Moeen Ali, they can definitely prove to be a tough nut to crack.
After Dhammika Prasad, it is now Dushmantha Chameera who has been ruled out of the tests due to injury; the fast bowler will most likely be replaced by Suranga Lakmal while wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera is set to join the squad in place of Prasad to strengthen the batting line-up. In the first innings of the last match, Chameera and Shanaka crippled the hosts by taking 3 wickets each while Herath, Pradeep and Eranga took 4 wickets between them to restrict England to 298 all-out.
However, a poor show by the batsmen wherein only a good nick by Mathews and Kusal Mendis’ well-made half century in the 2nd innings are worth mentioning, led to their humiliating defeat by an innings and 88 runs. Players like Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Chandimal and Thirimanne failed to build partnerships; they will have to pull up their socks and do a better job in the upcoming game.
Mathews continues to struggle and he will have to lead from the front in order to motivate his team members; the bowling is superb but the batsmen must realize they must acquaint quickly with the conditions here to come back stronger.
The Sri Lankan team is young, full of energy and extremely talented. Lack of experience of playing in English conditions was clearly evident in the first test. Sri Lanka will have to reinvent themselves and with the present bunch of youngsters, they will find it an uphill task to defeat England; the hosts with a clear strategy and talent are better placed to win here again