By Michael Stafford-Jones
- Joe Root hits brilliant 124 to guide England to 57-run victory
- Jack Leach earns his first five-wicket haul as Sri Lanka are bowled out for 243
- Angelo Matthews scores 88 and Roshen Silva makes 85 as hosts improve
KANDY, SRI LANKA – Joe Root leads by example with a superb hundred as England fight back from a first-innings deficit to beat Sri Lanka by 57 runs and seal a series win.
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Rory Burns – 7/10 – He batted sensibly and effectively as he contributed scores of 43 and 50 to the cause. It was a very encouraging display in only his second Test match.
Keaton Jennings – 4/10 – He reminded everyone just how fallible he is against pace bowling when he was dismissed by Lakmal for 1 in the first innings. However, his second innings’ 26 was a bit better and he took a brilliant catch at short leg.
Ben Stokes – 5/10 – His stunning run out of Dimuth Karunaratne was a crucial moment in the match. As for his batting, he looked good in the first innings until he missed a straight ball when on 19 and he was out for a duck second time around.
Joe Root – 9/10 – This match will live long in the captain’s memory. He hit a wonderful century in the second innings and led his side superbly in the field.
Jos Buttler – 7/10 – Set the tone for the team with an attacking 63 from 67 balls in the first innings that showcased the remarkable array of sweep shots in his armoury. He also made a useful 34 in the second innings.
Moeen Ali – 7/10 – Made up for his first-innings struggles by ripping through Sri Lanka’s middle order second time around to finish with 4-72. He failed twice with the bat again.
Ben Foakes – 7/10 – He compiled a crucial unbeaten 65 in the second innings in partnership with the tail. He also excelled behind the stumps with three catches and a stumping.
Sam Curran – 6/10 – Made one vital contribution to proceedings – an extraordinary first innings knock of 64 that included six sixes – before a side strain hampered his efforts thereafter.
Adil Rashid – 7/10 – He took four critical wickets – Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Matthews and Roshen Silva in the first innings and Karunaratne in the second innings – in the match and made an important 31 with the bat.
Jack Leach – 9/10 – His performances get better with every Test. He took three wickets in the first innings and then seized a match-winning five wicket haul in the second innings.
James Anderson – 5/10 – Through no fault of his own, he has had very little impact on the spin-dominated series. He did well to stick around during 10th wicket partnerships of 60 and 41.
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Dimuth Karunaratne – 8/10 – He showed exactly why he is a highly-rated opening batsman with cultured fifties in both innings.
Kaushal Silva – 1/10 – Dismissed twice by Leach for 6 and 4 respectively.
Dhananjaya de Silva – 6/10 – Played well for his 59 in the first innings but made just 1 in the second innings.
Kusal Mendis – 1/10 – Out for 1 in both innings – both times to Leach
Angelo Matthews – 8/10 – He batted superbly to make 88 in the second innings after getting 20 in the first. If he had stayed in longer, Sri Lanka may have earned a famous victory.
Roshen Silva – 8/10 – His excellent knock of 85 put Sri Lanka on top after the first innings, and he backed it up with a patient 37 in the second innings.
Niroshan Dickwella – 6/10 – His cameos of 25 and 35 again showed promise but he must go past 50 to make a significant impact in matches.
Dilruwan Perera – 8/10 – He bowled splendidly in the first innings to finish with figures of 4-61. He also took three wickets in the second innings but was considerably more expensive.
Akila Dananjaya – 7/10 – He took 2-80 in the first innings and 6-115 in the second, which is a big improvement on his display in the First Test. However, he needs to be more economical.
Suranga Lakmal – 4/10 – After he dismissed Jennings in the first innings, he bizarrely decided not to take the new ball second time around. He also set some strange fields.
Malinda Pushpakumara – 5/10 – Removed Root, Buttler and Moeen during encouraging first-innings spell but struggled in the second innings.
The Third Test between Sri Lanka and England begins in Colombo at 4.30am GMT on Friday 23rd November 2018.
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