Jack Leach takes three wickets as England beat Sri Lanka in Galle

Jack Leach takes three wickets as England beat Sri Lanka in Galle

Jack Leach takes three wickets as England beat Sri Lanka in Galle

England skipper Joe Root is hoping the drought-snapping test victory over Sri Lanka on Friday will prove just the start of a run of success away from home for his team.

Spinners did most of the damage picking up eight wickets between them with Moeen Ali picking four.

Spinners Moeen Ali and Jack Leach combined to destroy Sri Lanka and bowl England to a comprehensive 211-run victory inside four days in the first cricket test in Galle. Rues the fact that they couldn't capitalize in the 3rd innings when England were on the back foot, and applauds Keaton Jennings and Ben Stokes for batting the way they did.

"Our batting was below-par during the game, you can´t stay in the game (with this kind of batting)", Sri Lanka´s captain Dinesh Chandimal said.

Praises England for playing well. 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.

"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. He smashed his second century in Test cricket to press his case for the future matches.

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Sri Lanka, meanwhile, haven't been in good touch, losing a five-match Twenty20 worldwide series 4-0 to India and looking over-reliant on their top batter and captain Chamari Athapaththu.

It was eventually Jack Leach's left-arm spin which earned England the breakthrough when Silva could not connect with his sweep shot and was rammed on the front pad to be dismissed leg before wicket for 30.

Dhananjaya de Silva, after a confident start, was caught at first slip by Root off Stokes in the last over before lunch for 21.

Karunaratne had been given an early life by Ben Stokes at slip, England's best catcher grassing one off Moeen Ali, but did not cash in.

Having charged down the track to hit Leach for a boundary on the previous delivery, Mendis tried to repeat the feat and ended up holing out to Moeen.

Chandimal, suffering from a groin injury that kept him off the pitch all of Thursday, was skittled by Leach for 11.

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. The contributions of offspinner Akila Dananjaya came in for especial scrutiny - Dananjaya got only two wickets in the match, and conceded more than 4.7 runs per over.

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