About the Match
England won the second test against Sri Lanka by 9 wickets to take the series 2-0 and the two teams will now play against each other in the 3rd Test at Lord’s, scheduled to begin on 9th June. Although the match is a dead rubber, England will aim for a complete series whitewash against the visitors; Sri Lanka on the other hand will be eager to redeem itself with a better performance before the start of the one-day series soon after. England has dominated throughout and will leave no stone unturned to win this match too; it needs to be seen if the islanders can make a much-needed comeback here.
Batting first, England posted a gigantic 498 runs in the first innings followed by spectacular bowling by speedsters Stuart Broad, Anderson and Woakes, who got the opponents all-out for just 101 runs on board. The 2nd innings saw Anderson pick up 5-58 in 27 overs while Woakes, Broad, Finn and Ali provided regular breakthroughs to help win the match comfortably. Anderson with a total of 8 scalps was awarded the player of the match while Broad and Woakes showcased their skills with 5 wickets each and look good to continue with their wicket-taking abilities here.
The batting effort was good with Moeen Ali being the top scorer with an unbeaten 155 in the first innings; Joe Root and Alex Hales contributed well with 80+ runs each while Bairstow and Woakes helped them post a competitive total. Alistair Cook created history by becoming the youngest to cross the 10K mark in test runs and he looks well prepared to lead the team to another win.
Overall, they have a well-balanced team with hard-hitting batsmen like Cook, Root, Vince, Hales, Bairstow and Moeen Ali, who also is a great spin asset for the team. Broad is in excellent form and along with Anderson, Woakes and Finn, the English bowling squad can make life difficult for the visitors.
Fast bowlers Pradeep and Lakmal found success against the hosts as they claimed 6 wickets between; spinners Herath and Siriwardana too ended up with 3 wickets in total and they definitely will try to continue with their skills in the upcoming match. However, the batting performance was poor as the top and middle-order collapsed like a pack of cards; batsmen like Karunaratne, Silva, Chandimal, Mathews and Thirimanne need to pull up their socks if they want a fighting chance here.
The 2nd innings saw a better performance with the bat as Chandimal posted a well-made 126 and Mathews and Silva helped keep the scoreboard ticking. Herath was exceptional as he posted 61 off 99; he also stifled the opposition with his economical spells. Although Eranga suffered setback for his suspected bowling action, Sri Lanka has a tough pace attack that will try to avenge their series defeat.
Mathews and the other experienced batsmen must focus on building a strong foundation whether batting first or during chase; with a combination of spin charm and pace skills, they can put up a stiff challenge for the hosts over the coming weekend.
England has already won the 3-match test series but they won’t take the Lankans lightly and will be battle-ready on Thursday. Sri Lanka definitely is down on morale and its quite an uphill climb for them; England with its superior batting expertise looks better placed to win the last match