England thrash Sri Lanka by 211 runs in Rangana Herath’s farewell Test

Pallekele cricket ground

Pallekele cricket ground

Opener Keaton Jennings ended his two-year wait for a second test century with a career-best 146 not out as England inched towards a comprehensive victory in the opening test against Sri Lanka yesterday.

England captain Joe Root said the homework that his side had done before the start of their tour to Sri Lanka paid off, as the visitors registered a 211-run victory in the first Test in Galle. The match will start on November 14 (Wednesday). "We have to look at a replacement or standby player", he added.

England, with a 139-run first-innings lead and 38-0 overnight, lost a somewhat shaky Rory Burns, brought in to fill the huge shoes of the retired Alastair Cook, in the morning session, run out for 23.

'Our batting was below-par during the game, you can't stay in the game (with this kind of batting),' said Chandimal.

'Credit goes to England, they played some outstanding cricket. But him coming into runs is a good sign for us.

Root, who only managed 35 and 3 with the bat himself, said he was "very proud" of his team, paying tribute to his "excellent" bowling unit and to some "crucial knocks" by England's batsmen. I said for a long time we were going to do things differently and we have backed that up.

Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal is doubtful for the second Test against England after sustaining an injury in the first Test match.

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Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne were dismissed by spinners soon after the drinks break, with Kaushal leg before to Jack Leach for 30 and Karunaratne caught and bowled by fellow spinner Moeen Ali for 26.

Stokes took out Dhananjaya de Silva (21) with the last ball before lunch to put England in complete control heading into the afternoon session and more steady progress followed. The ball earlier he was given out but reprieved on review.

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

His captaincy for the wicket of Kusal Mendis was good because after Mendis hit over the top a ball earlier, Root could have moved the fielder back - but he kept Moeen Ali up and he took the catch at mid-off.

Jos Buttler smashed a quick 35 before being caught off Herath while Ben Foakes, the centurion hero of the first innings, belted out 37 before falling to spinner Akila Dananjaya.

Last out was silver fox Rangana Herath, cricket's most successful left-arm spinner in his swansong before retirement, run out for five.

Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha rued missed opportunities, especially on the first day.

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