By Jake Goodwill
- After a mini collapse Bairstow hit 140, well supported by Hales with 86.
- James Anderson picked up five wickets in both innineds, with Stuart Broad taking 4 wickets in the first innings.
- Sri Lanka looked mismatched playing in those conditions against a quality England side.
HEADINGLEY, ENGLAND – In tough conditions at Headingley England dominated with the ball winning the first test against tourists Sri Lanka inside three days.
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England dominated the first Test Match of the summer beating Sri Lanka convincingly within three days despite weather interruptions. Sri Lanka started the match brightly having elected to bowl with Dasun Shanaka picking up three quick wickets. England were under pressure when in form Jonny Bairstow strode to the crease. He scored a quick fifty before going on to score 140 the next day. Alex Hales, who was under pressure going in to the game, scored a resilient 86 and showed he has the aptitude for the highest level.
England went on to score 298 before skittling out Sri Lanka for 91 before enforcing the follow on and bowling the opposition out for 119 to win the match by an innings and 88 runs. James Anderson was superb in both innings taking 10 wickets in the match. His control of the swing in favourable conditions was too much for the Sri Lankan top order. Stuart Broad also bowled well in the first innings taking four wickets. There was little resistance from Sri Lanka in either innings bar a fifty from Kusal Mendis in the second innings.
Worryingly Ben Stokes did not bowl in the second innings after sustaining a minor knee injury. Assuming Stokes comes through fit for the next Test the match could hardly have gone any better.
England will be extremely confident of wrapping up a series win at the Emirates Riverside in Durham which starts on Friday 27 May.
Alastair Cook (C) 6/10 – The England Captain failed to make it 10,000 Test runs in this match getting dismissed chasing a wide ball. However he showed some nice touches, rotated bowlers nicely and correctly enforced the follow-on.
Alex Hales 7/10 – Far from fluent and looked uncomfortable outside the off-stump against the new ball but crucially hung around to score an important 86 in tough conditions. Disappointing dismissal against Herath but his resilience shone through.
Nick Compton 5/10 – Compton failed to trouble the scorers with a third ball duck. Hard to read too much into this performance.
Joe Root 5/10 – It was a shame that Root in front of his home crowd did not get off the mark. He will be even more eager than normal to go big next match.
James Vince 5/10 – An unexceptional debut for the Hampshire skipper. A surprise over of medium pace bouncers provided some entertainment.
Ben Stokes 6/10 – Attempted to initiate a counter-attack with England on the back-foot but only scored 14. Stokes bowled nicely in Sri Lanka’s first innings utilising the conditions effectively. However a knee niggle kept him off the field in the second innings. England need him to be fit this summer with a like for like replacement not readily available.
Jonny Bairstow (WK) 9/10 – In the lead up to the match Bairstow stated that a Test Match hundred at Headingly was top off the bucket list. He fulfilled that wish only a few days later scoring a brilliant hundred. He came to the crease at 83-5 and played with controlled aggression to steer England out of trouble. Bairstow went on to score 140 and take 9 catches. One dropped catch was the only blot in a Man of the Match performance.
Moeen Ali 6/10 – Ali’s batting has become a bit of a worry only passing 50 once in the last 10 innings. Nevertheless he is in the side to bowl which was barely required in this match. He picked up the important wicket of Chandimal to break the back of the second Sri Lankan innings in his only over.
Stuart Broad 8/10 – An excellent first innings performance with the ball picking up four wickets. Utilised the favourable conditions well. Broad failed to back it up in the second innings but a good start to the summer nonetheless.
Steven Finn 6.5/10 – He struggled in the first innings and was lacking in rhythm. But a nice spell after tea on the third day showed some promise although admittedly two of his three wickets were Sri Lankan bowlers who were uninterested in staying in.
James Anderson 9/10 – A masterful performance from Anderson claiming 10 wickets. He moved past Kapil Dev onto 443 wickets and sixth on the all-time list. The conditions were perfect for Anderson and he was simply too good for the Sri Lankan batsman.
Dimuth Karunaratne 4/10 – He was batting in extremely tough conditions but nevertheless Karunaratne struggled and did not look like scoring many.
Kaushal Silva 5/10 – Silva looked slightly more settled at the crease than his opening partner but also failed to score many runs.
Kusal Mendis 7/10 – The talented 21 year old played nicely in the second innings and was the only Sri Lankan to pass the 50 mark. Mendis batted with intent and looked to go after the bad balls. He showed some resilience that was lacking elsewhere.
Dinesh Chandimal (WK) 5/10 – A lot relies on Chandimal for Sri Lanka and his decision to try and cut away Moeen Ali in the second innings was a poor one. Bad decision making from the vice-captain.
Angelo Mathews (C) 6/10 – The Captain started nicely in the first innings getting to 34 before being dismissed by Anderson. One of himself or Chandimal needs a big score to keep Sri Lanka in the series.
Lahiru Thirimanne 5/10 – Thirimanne managed to get into double figures in both innings, which is more than can be said of most of the Sri Lankan batsman, but failed to go on. They need more from him at number 6.
Dasun Shanaka 7/10 – The all-rounder on debut bowled a brilliant spell dismissing three batsman in eight balls. His bowling put England on the back foot. However his batting, which showed promise in the warm up games, looks like it needs work.
Rangana Herath 6/10 – Bowled nicely and managed to pick up the wicket of Hales who was set and looking for a hundred. Herath needs to take his batting more seriously if he wants to continue at number 8.
Dushmantha Chameera 7/10 – Chameera bowled well with decent pace taking three wickets. He has had a good start to his Test career and looks a good prospect.
Shaminda Eranga 6/10 – He would have liked to have been more effective with the new ball but kept the pressure on after wickets started to fall.
Nuwan Pradeep 6/10 – The same for Pradeep who bowled with control.
Jake Goodwill is a History student at the University of Bristol who covers Cricket and Rugby Union for Britwatch Sports. Find him on twitter @jakegoodwill1. Check out his blog HERE
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