Ben Foakes outstanding knock in the first innings and Moeen Ali’s brilliant bowling performance was enough for England to register a comfortable 211-run win in the first Test of the three-match series against Sri Lanka in Galle on Friday.
The game started with visitors captain Joe Root winning the toss and opting to bat first in conditions favorable for spinners. His decisions seemed to be an incorrect one as England lost half of their side at the score of 103 inside the first session on day one. But from there on it was Foakes’ show all the way as he scored a brilliant century on his debut to guide the team to a competitive first-innings total of 342. The 25-year-old finished with 107 off 202 balls with the help 10 fours.
The Three Lions register 211-run win to go 1-0 up in three-match series.
For Sri Lanka, off-spinner Dilruwan Perera was the pick of the bowlers as he claimed figures of five for 75. In reply, the home side had a difficult outing with the bat and were bundled out for just 203 in their first innings, where veteran all-rounder Angelo Mathews finished with the top score of 52 off 122 balls with the help of three fours.
For England, it was off-spinner Moeen Ali who finished as the most successful bowler with four wickets. In their second innings, England showed a much better batting display and declared after scoring 322 for the loss of six wickets, setting the home side record target of 462 to win the match.
Opener Keaton Jennings was the star of the show for the visitors as he registered his second century in the five-day format and finished unbeaten on 146 off 280 balls with the help of nine fours. For the home side, Perera and retiring veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath claimed two wickets each.
Chasing the mammoth target, Sri Lanka was never really in the game and were bowled out for 250 on the fourth day, where Mathews once again finished with the top score of 53 off 92 balls with the help of five fours. For the visitors, it was once again Ali who was the star of the show with the ball as he claimed four wickets.