Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Galle Test: Moeen, Leach bowl England to big win over Lanka

Galle Test: Moeen, Leach bowl England to big win over Lanka

England spinner Moeen Ali (L) celebrates the wicket of Sri Lankan batsman Angelo Mathews with team-mates on the fourth day of their first Test at Galle on Friday.

At the age of 40, Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath retired from Test cricket on November 9, 2018 after the first Test against England in Galle.

The left-arm spin of Jack Leach accounted for three wickets - including the huge scalps of Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal during the afternoon session - while once again it was Moeen Ali who underlined his importance to this England team with four.

Keaton Jennings´s first century since his 2016 debut helped England put Sri Lanka on the ropes in the first Test on Thursday, setting the hosts a daunting 462 to win at notoriously low-scoring Galle. "We had a really good start in the first session but we couldn't capitalise on it", he said. We played in a collective way, everyone contributed.

Several Sri Lanka batsmen made starts and appeared confident at the crease in both innings, before a loose stroke brought about their dismissal. We have a real clear plan about how we want to get to be the number one side in the world.

This earned England it's biggest win against Sri Lanka in terms of runs, eclipsing a 137-run win at Lord's in 1991.

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"We knew we were going to have to work hard and that there would be periods where we would have to be very patient, hold our nerve, trust our plans and how we were going to go about things", said Root.

Jennings' second Test ton was neither pretty nor dynamic - and offered no clues about how he might reverse his struggles on seaming decks at home - but it was a study in concentration, the kind of effort England might have feared had headed for retirement with Alastair Cook.

Dimuth Karunaratne (26) and Kaushal Silva (30) passed 50 without loss after resuming their innings in the morning, after which Dhananjaya de Silva scored 21 off 44 balls, but all three batters were back in the hut with the score under 100. The ball earlier he was given out but reprieved on review.

After lunch Kusal Mendis hit Leach for four over his head but attempting a repeat the next ball skied the ball to Ali and departed for 46.

Karunaratne enjoyed a slice of luck on 16 when he edged Moeen, but Stokes grassed an easy catch at slip.

And the England spinner finally took the big wicket of Mathews in his next over, sticking the ball in the pitch for Jos Buttler to make a simple catch.

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