England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 4th day June 23, 2014

Mathews, Prasad set up Sri Lanka for famous win

322

England 365 and 57 for 5 (Root 8*, Prasad 4-15) need 293 more runs to beat Sri Lanka 257 and 457 (Mathews 160, Jayawardene 69, Plunkett 4-115)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 01:29
England were bad in every way

Sri Lanka have never won a Test series in England, but they are closing in on a magnificent achievement after their captain, Angelo Mathews, with a brilliant domineering hundred, followed by a scarcely credible spell from Dhammika Prasad consigned England to a day of untold gloom in the second Test at Headingley.

Prasad was the fifth Sri Lanka bowler used in an England second-innings innings which only amounted to 26.2 overs at the tail end of the fourth day, but he bustled in to such staggering effect that he demolished England with 4 for 15 in six overs, bowling the fuller Headingley length that a browbeaten England's attack had found quite beyond them. Headingley danced to his tune.

For England, defeat seems only a matter of time. A few balls have started going through the surface, the forecast is set fair for the final day and, even allowing for the time difference, they should still be celebrating in Colombo by sunset.

This will go down as one of the most treasured days in Sri Lanka cricket history. It was also an increasingly shambolic display by England. They looked weary with the ball and then blundered to 57 for 5, a target of 350 receding over the horizon, on the same slow, dry surface on which Sri Lanka had made 457.

Alastair Cook, a captain debilitated by a lack of runs and persistent doubts about his tactical acumen, was the first to fall, secure enough in reaching 16 then dragging a pull into his stumps off a bottom edge in Prasad's first over. But of equal concern to Cook was the feeble thought processes of the side he captains.

The day finished to the sound of excited Sri Lankan laughter as the nightwatchman, Liam Plunkett, poked a lavishly flighted delivery of devilish innocence from the left-arm spinner, Rangana Herath to extra cover. In the England dressing room, Cook must never have felt lonelier. It is not a knee jerk response to wonder if he should consider his position.

Prasad followed up his dismissal of Cook by unpicking Gary Ballance first ball with a late inswinger. The last ball of his third over accounted for Sam Robson, pushing hard outside off stump and nicking to Mahela Jayawardene at second slip. Then he started his fifth over by producing a nip-backer to knock back Ian Bell's off stump. Plunkett was dropped off Prasad by Jayawardene at slip; England successfully reviewed wrong decisions by Billy Bowden in successive Prasad overs. Sri Lanka's chatter became ever more animated. He must have felt unplayable.

All this was set up by Mathews. He played one of the great match-changing innings in Headingley's Test history: a career-best 160 from 249 balls, his fourth Test century, the last two made in successive Tests in this series. Sri Lanka were under pressure when he came to the crease at No. 6 on the fourth evening, only 68 ahead, but he summoned an innings of controlled power and fortitude, dropped only once, an awkward return catch to Plunkett on 87. Mathews eventually came to grief on 160, mistiming a full toss from James Anderson to Moeen Ali at midwicket.

Displaying measured power and a calculating mind, he ran the show much as he pleased. Alongside him throughout the afternoon Herath was unyielding. A stand of 149 in 36 overs left England bereft and it was only one run short of equalling the record in Tests on this ground when it was broken by a run-out with the final ball of the afternoon session. Mathews struck Moeen too firmly to mid-on, changed his mind on a single that would have brought up his 150 and Herath, stranded in mid-pitch, was run out by Joe Root's direct hit.

A stand of such magnitude was the last thing Cook must have anticipated when the rotund, amiable figure of Herath rolled out at No. 9, with Sri Lanka's lead 169. Cook engineered a tactical game of cat and mouse to keep Mathews off the strike. Instead, it merely empowered him as he won the tactical battle time and again. If it was time to thump the ball, he thumped it; time for a single, he contrived one. As Herath grew in confidence, England were trapped down a cul de sac. Mathews was even given an easy single to reach his hundred.

Mathews was both brave and innovative against Plunkett, who posed England's greatest threat, either hooking the short balls or making room to carve through the leg side. Tired offerings by the other pace bowlers were clattered back past them. Questions were asked why Anderson looked so discontented, whether Stuart Broad's knee was still ailing and why he did not bowl cutters, and why Chris Jordan did not take a wicket in the match when it seemed the conditions might have suited him. All sides can succumb on days like this but Mathews exposed England's shallowness of spirit.

England's quartet of quick bowlers increasingly felt the strain of back-to-back Tests in predominantly batting-friendly circumstances, an exhaustion deepened by the reluctance of Cook, to entrust responsibility to his sole spinner, Moeen, who remains unproven at the highest level.

Moeen, one over apart, did not appear until 45 minutes after lunch with Mathews' fourth Test hundred already safely parcelled up. Moeen still lacks variety, but he found a little turn, narrowly lost a review for lbw when Herath was 21 and might have had Herath caught at the wicket, slog sweeping, when Prior, moving cumbersomely, could not hold a difficult chance down the leg side. Even Herath played with freedom in the later stages, pulling Broad with delight to bring up the 100-run stand.

That England faced problems first became evident when they made unimpressive use of the second new ball, struggling to come to terms with the fact that the surface, by and large, was in a contented mood. Certainly the pitch was more contented than Anderson, who in theory should be a Headingley match-winner when the ball swings but who has never come entirely to terms with the ground. He bowled short and wide and when he did get one right - a perfect outswinger to Shaminda Eranga, umpire Bowden, who had a bad day, missed the nick.

The second new ball was seven overs old when Anderson finally found the right Headingley length and Jayawardene, on 79, drove at an outswinger and was caught behind. It is possible that this was the last Test innings in England for both Sangakkara and Jayawardene and, if so, it was an appealing statistical quirk to find that two exalted players finished the series locked together on 11,493 Test runs.

The breach finally made, England then dismissed Dinesh Chandimal and Prasad in successive balls. In a Test where catching opportunities have been regularly spurned, both fell to moments of good athleticism by two Yorkshire fielders: Chandimal hooking to Ballance at deep square-leg; Prasad uppercutting to Root, diving forward at third man to clutch the catch precariously in outstretched fingers. Sri Lanka had lost three wickets for nine runs in 16 balls, but Cook's belief that the end was nigh was slowly extinguished.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 24, 2014, 3:24 GMT

    England get a taste their own medicine. Superb rearguard batting by Mathews and Herath following Mahela & Sanga's effort to consolidate the innings. A brilliant piece of medium fast bowling by Prasad virtually put paid to England's chances of at least drawing the match. If all goes according to plan Sri Lanka should wrap up the match and record their first series win over England today.

  • on June 25, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    Wat an year for SRI LANKANS, first they beat Bangladesh in all the formats of the game and it was a clean sweep(test 1:0 ODI 3:0 t20 2:0 ), and they were the UNBEATEN CHAMPIONS IN ASIA CUP, Then they won ICC WORLD T20 championship. Following that they went to England and won both t20 and ODI series 1: 0 3: 2 respectively. Then it was the big one, the test series, they haven't won a test series in England before (they have won test series against England few times but in all those times they played in SL ) , and ALAS!! SL won the test series 1:0. AWESOME !!!!! Wat a year for the LIONS, WELDONE GUYS THIS IS A REWARD FOR WORKING HARD IN PAST FEW YEARS.

  • on June 24, 2014, 22:41 GMT

    Root should be out from test and.one day team.if England wants to.win matches.England selectors are one of worst selectors.hope they take wise decision.now

  • itsthewayuplay on June 24, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    Between the 'this is one the most lacklustre performances from an England side in many years' and 'one of THE great test innings' by Mathews is Eranga's refusal to walk after a clear edge and England wth no reviews left. A whole debate raged about the spirit of cricket when Broad refused to walk in the first test of the Ashes at Tent Bridge last year and the player himself hung out to dry in pretty much all quarters. IMO Sri Lanka's performance yesterday has been tainted by Eranga's gamesmanship.

  • neil99 on June 24, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    A draw is the worst possible result for the future of English cricket. I pray the weather does not set in, which invariably would trigger the head in sand attitude and belief that it wasn't all that bad. The whole England set up needs to understand they've been put to the sword on home turf by a team with a supposed "county attack". These performances are shambolic and wholly unacceptable. The perpetrators must be called to task and putting it quite simply, heads must roll..

  • VrrD on June 24, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    I say India would lose it.. just because they play away from home.. Also because they would play.. 1. Mahendra Singh Dhoni 2. Ravindra Jadeja 3. Rohit Sharma No team can win a test match with these players in their playing XI.

  • on June 24, 2014, 11:29 GMT

    Looking back at the score card, does anyone think it a bit odd that neither Root, nor Bell were given an over? Both can bowl a bit (though Bell hasn't for a while) and both have test wickets to their name.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 24, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    Eng won easily the first hour. They can hang around util lunch then launch the assultto win this test.

  • Cricketlover54 on June 24, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    England has the skills to beat any team in the world, what they dont have is the mental strength and the temperament. This game is still not over, Root/Prior/Ali hopefully show those aspects that were missing in this series and in the past & put out a good fight.

  • on June 24, 2014, 10:48 GMT

    @ ITJOBSUCKS - Well that's a baseless argument isn't it? I thought it was a foregone conclusion that if u don't play the opposition as much as another batsman, then u will not be scoring as many hundreds as the other batsman. Sangakkara averages 70 as a pure batsman mate. Let me put that into context for you mate, Sangakkara scored nearly 20 runs more than these greats when he bats.

  • on June 24, 2014, 3:24 GMT

    England get a taste their own medicine. Superb rearguard batting by Mathews and Herath following Mahela & Sanga's effort to consolidate the innings. A brilliant piece of medium fast bowling by Prasad virtually put paid to England's chances of at least drawing the match. If all goes according to plan Sri Lanka should wrap up the match and record their first series win over England today.

  • on June 25, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    Wat an year for SRI LANKANS, first they beat Bangladesh in all the formats of the game and it was a clean sweep(test 1:0 ODI 3:0 t20 2:0 ), and they were the UNBEATEN CHAMPIONS IN ASIA CUP, Then they won ICC WORLD T20 championship. Following that they went to England and won both t20 and ODI series 1: 0 3: 2 respectively. Then it was the big one, the test series, they haven't won a test series in England before (they have won test series against England few times but in all those times they played in SL ) , and ALAS!! SL won the test series 1:0. AWESOME !!!!! Wat a year for the LIONS, WELDONE GUYS THIS IS A REWARD FOR WORKING HARD IN PAST FEW YEARS.

  • on June 24, 2014, 22:41 GMT

    Root should be out from test and.one day team.if England wants to.win matches.England selectors are one of worst selectors.hope they take wise decision.now

  • itsthewayuplay on June 24, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    Between the 'this is one the most lacklustre performances from an England side in many years' and 'one of THE great test innings' by Mathews is Eranga's refusal to walk after a clear edge and England wth no reviews left. A whole debate raged about the spirit of cricket when Broad refused to walk in the first test of the Ashes at Tent Bridge last year and the player himself hung out to dry in pretty much all quarters. IMO Sri Lanka's performance yesterday has been tainted by Eranga's gamesmanship.

  • neil99 on June 24, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    A draw is the worst possible result for the future of English cricket. I pray the weather does not set in, which invariably would trigger the head in sand attitude and belief that it wasn't all that bad. The whole England set up needs to understand they've been put to the sword on home turf by a team with a supposed "county attack". These performances are shambolic and wholly unacceptable. The perpetrators must be called to task and putting it quite simply, heads must roll..

  • VrrD on June 24, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    I say India would lose it.. just because they play away from home.. Also because they would play.. 1. Mahendra Singh Dhoni 2. Ravindra Jadeja 3. Rohit Sharma No team can win a test match with these players in their playing XI.

  • on June 24, 2014, 11:29 GMT

    Looking back at the score card, does anyone think it a bit odd that neither Root, nor Bell were given an over? Both can bowl a bit (though Bell hasn't for a while) and both have test wickets to their name.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 24, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    Eng won easily the first hour. They can hang around util lunch then launch the assultto win this test.

  • Cricketlover54 on June 24, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    England has the skills to beat any team in the world, what they dont have is the mental strength and the temperament. This game is still not over, Root/Prior/Ali hopefully show those aspects that were missing in this series and in the past & put out a good fight.

  • on June 24, 2014, 10:48 GMT

    @ ITJOBSUCKS - Well that's a baseless argument isn't it? I thought it was a foregone conclusion that if u don't play the opposition as much as another batsman, then u will not be scoring as many hundreds as the other batsman. Sangakkara averages 70 as a pure batsman mate. Let me put that into context for you mate, Sangakkara scored nearly 20 runs more than these greats when he bats.

  • Stevros3 on June 24, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug I've not gone for wholesale changes, outside of Cook (who I'd like to give a chance batting without the captaincy) the team is the similar to the one that very nearly won at Lords and but for an inexplicable bit of captaincy where they decided not to bother trying to bowl the Sri Lankan captain out. Should be in a better position in this test.

    My two changes to the team add to the potency I feel of the bowling attack. Stokes is significatly quicker than Jordan, who I've only seen so far perform with the ball in ODI's. Kerrigan should have at least been able to tie the end up yesterday and cause problems for the batsmen in the second innings.

    Biggest reason (outside of a superb innings by Matthews) England are in this bad position in this match is lack of ideas as captaincy.

  • on June 24, 2014, 10:41 GMT

    Moeen has to prove a point, This is the perfect stage for him. go and prove yourself. Good Luck

  • woody3 on June 24, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    Watching the highlights was shocking. The field placings conceded all initiative, bowlers capable of 90 mph bowling at 75, heads down, short pitched wide bowling at headingley (admittedly highlights so you expect bad balls going for four but even so), fielding awful, keeper has become a 50 percenter. Is Onions injured? Surely his natural length was perfect for this wicket. Sad thing is the England batsmen got out to good balls on a wicket doing enough that the England approach during Mathews innings with the fielders back for so long become an exemplar of how not to captain a side.

  • Cricketlover54 on June 24, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    GRVJPR. Hahaha, "Sl batsman can only win on flat tracks" India are currently 0-11 I believe, failing in Eng, Aus, Nz, Sa. A pathetic team for a country with over a Billion people. Pathetic, there is no talent in your team. Its funny you're comparing IND with SL when SL is a tiny country with a huge talent, unlike Ind who are failures all over the world. Sanga has 9 Double Centuries, he averages 60 in Aus, over 40 in Eng, over 40 in NZ. His biggest weakness has been in Eng, he currently has the most runs in this series.

  • JG2704 on June 24, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    @wapuser on (June 24, 2014, 7:48 GMT) one difference is that the home unbeaten record is less than 2 years this time

    @Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on (June 24, 2014, 8:09 GMT) OK so why not give us a team (without KP in it as he's no longer available) that is significantly better than Stevros side. Try and write something constructive

  • JG2704 on June 24, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    @Arun Bose on (June 24, 2014, 8:11 GMT) But it's fine for Indian fans to downgrade SL? Why not balance it out and have a go at some of your own fans who are doing just that? Re England/India - there are reasons why Eng could win 5-0 and why India could win 5-0 - nothing would surprise me. England are obviously vulnerable at the moment and seem to be pretty clueless with their planning whereas India have struggled in recent years away from home. Just a few reasons why Eng could (not saying will) beat India.

    1 - England's recent record vs India 2 - India's recent record in tests away from home.

    I thought India were meant to beat India last time they toured and anyone who thought Eng would even get away with being whitewashed last time they toured India was deluded. I guess none of us including experts like your good self are that great at analyzing

  • old_chap on June 24, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    @ ITJOBSUCKS sri lanka may haven't won many matches like india though india have played test matches outside subcontinent almost twice as sri lanka did..but the interesting fact is india got beaten almost twice as sri lanka as well including that pathetic white wash

  • Nerav on June 24, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    Hearth made 48 while Mathews tried to avoid giving him the strike. Simply brilliant batting by Mathews, protecting Hearth, geting those singles in the 5th or final ball of the over. Not sure why though, some of the shots Hearth played were better that the top 5 English batsmen.

  • whoster on June 24, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    Firstly, Sri Lanka deserve enormous credit for playing some great cricket. Matthews was outstanding, and was well supported by the tail. Prasad was excellent with the ball, and bowled the perfect full length.

    As for England, this has been a dire performance both from the team and captain. Whilst Cook can't be blamed for such a poor bowling and fielding display, his tactics were again utterly predictable, and played a big part in allowing SL to dominate. Apart from using his attack poorly, Cook's decision to keep the field deep and allow Matthews an easy single to get to 100 was shocking. I've never seen this done in the Test arena, and that sums up just how clueless Cook has been.

    Cook has had time to become a more astute captain, but his time is surely up. We need him to start scoring runs again, and as he can't do that, there's no argument in his favour to continue as skipper.

    Something needs to be done - people aren't going to pay good money to watch such rubbish.

  • ITJOBSUCKS on June 24, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    @Dyland Don Paul Yes you are right...but you can check what the batsman has done against Aussies & Proteas(2nd best TEST team) as they were the BEST in 90's & 20's...SRT has 11 100's v/s AUS 7 100's v/s SA & Lara has scored 9 100's 4 100'sv/s SA...whereas the GREAT sanga has scored only 1 100 v/s AUS & 3 v/s SA out of 36 100's..that's SRT & Lara stands out among all the batsmen who have played in the last generation!!

  • Nerav on June 24, 2014, 10:05 GMT

    @Tommytuckersaffa - Thats is brilliant - With the imports the english team is awful. Their so called 'home grown' players are one dimensional blockers. Their bowling is monotonous. Granted if the ball is swinging around all over the place then they are a strong treat but as soon as the ball stops swinging they are lost.

  • anver777 on June 24, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    @itjobsucks my point is.... since gaining the test status, SL always get a stepmother treatment when comes to tests in Eng.... this series is certainly the most successful for SL & thrilling for most of cricket lovers when you see neutrally, so no doubt though its a 2 match series, its a far better one than 4/0 whitewash of Ind in 2011. People will judge the way Ind team gonna perform in the coming series !!!!

  • Sinhabahu on June 24, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    Just a couple of days ago, I was dreaming about a lead of 250-300 and saying that we shouldn't be too greedy. I can barely believe how well the boys have played. Mathews is blossoming into a potential great if he keeps up his form. His captaincy has seen us shed the tag of chokers earlier this year and the team is now on the verge of our greatest overseas Test series win. 2-14 has been a fantastic year for SL cricket so far!

  • ITJOBSUCKS on June 24, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    @ Herath-UK Do you really think SL played in early Summer ? I thought Test Matches were played in late June not in the EARLY May as you said!!!! We saw clearly how SL struggled in ODI's (in spite of winning the series) as it was played in late MAY!! I think WI have won both ODI & Test series in the 80's & early 90's!!

  • on June 24, 2014, 9:40 GMT

    @ITJOBSUCKS - The only batsman who has scored more than 10000 runs out of those batsman is Lara. Scoring against the minnow will not make the batsman any less of a batsman. So there is no argument there

  • BeCalmAndSupportEngland on June 24, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    @GRVJPR: ( Jaywerdene averages 12 overseas when his runs against zim, and bangladesh are not taken into account.) From where did you collect these stats? Please check this stats belongs to jayawardena or to M.S DHONI? I don't think dhoni has a 100 against good attack out side India. He is a real flat track bully. Don't worry about England cricket, We will beat over rated Indian team 5-0 for sure. Add to this Jayawardena, Sangakkaara are two legends, please do not insult them.

  • on June 24, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    Well played Sri Lanka. Really a sterling performance.Mathew is playing great cricket. You deserve the win.

  • ground-boy on June 24, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    Fortune favors the brave and smaller fraction. Sometimes retina not detecting the elephant in the living room, still some supporting that large have some who may feel sorry. In a complete less probable turnaround that is there in sample space, they can boast about talent even when productivity is nil and continue the same fragile in order traversal. May-sonic attempts seek just survival not redemption which is far away….robotics can't achieve that.

  • on June 24, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    @landofcricket- Yeah, England will never learn abt not to take their opposition lightly..THE ETERNAL RULE IN ANY SPORT... If you think England batsmen will come back to form playing Indian bowlers then I have to say you are a day dreamer, They said the same thing before this SL series and look what happened.. Dude, History is history.. Cricket isn't played on history books, It's played on the field.. England is in dire straits, Don't make it even tougher for them.. This so called weak bowling attack of India gonna destroy England batting order.. Anyone who's predicting for an India loss are simply not good enough to even watch cricket let alone analyzing it.. The perfect revenge is just a few days away.. Ind 4-0 Eng

  • TommytuckerSaffa on June 24, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    England need to get more South African players in their team ASAP. Petersen, Strauss, Trott, etc not playing anymore.

  • andrew-schulz on June 24, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    The writer of the featured comment needs to have pointed out to him that it is not SL's first series win over England. Only in England. Even there, they have won a one-off Test which is just as meritorious.

  • Herath-UK on June 24, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    @ITJOBSUCKS,thanks for reminding me if you thought so,that there have been victories in both ODI & Tests over England.But you missed my point sadly,were there teams who traveled EARLY summer,the first touring team,who achieved this feat?? India & Aus & SA usually travel in the summer for their records. There is a difference between Cheese & Chalk mate!

  • yohandf1984 on June 24, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    This game is not over yet . SL can not relax coz Moeen , Prior & Jordan , Broad , Root all can bat . they need to bowl tight lines and make things happen . lets hope for a moral boosting victory .

  • on June 24, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    Wow what an year for Srilanka! First they win a major ICC title after a long time and that too by defeating an Indian team that was bulldozing everything in its path! Then now this...a first away series win in England..beating England in England! Sanga and Mahela can now heave in relief as they fittingly have won and given SL all they can! But i seriously recommend them to stay on in the test scenario! Malinga must be ruing that the isnt part of this history making(for Srilanka i.e.) team. How I wish Dhoni could replicate this in England! Good going Srilanka! The bad thing for an ind fan is..England would now be real thirsty n angry for a win and with the experience gained from SL , it would be tough for England to lose 2 series in a row!But how i wish India could! Once again, tremendous year, congrats Srilanka!(@arun..there are always a few bad apples among indians too let alone srilankans!,ive got some gr8 sl friends though..chill :) )

  • raj1223 on June 24, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    @GRVJPR first, SL cant win out of subcont. then sl won the T20 & ODI in england. then, said SL cant win test. After draw the lords, said SL wont win in headingly face & bounce pitch. Now, today ENG in the edge of the defeat. then you said about flat track again. HAHA.....

  • andrew-schulz on June 24, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    What a brilliant stat! Once England inevitably succumb today, they will have lost more than they have won over the second half of their Test history. (Ie 154 wins to 155 losses over 474 Tests.). Despite the crowing of some correspondents when England have their rare success, they have overall been pathetic for many years. Lucky they are facing India next, they are certain to turn that Stat around. But for how long?

  • PeerieTrow on June 24, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    There is no doubt that this England performance is below par. However, had the catches been taken it would be a different state of affairs. The first three innings totals indicate a good contest, but the Sri Lankan bowling has blown the England top order away in the fourth innings. That should be taken as the difference. So please chaps and chapesses of the media, let's not detract from this sterling performance by the visitors to our shores by overegging the England flaws. After all, they're not news, are they? WELL PLAYED SRI LANKA! - but I'm still hoping for a 10th wicket partnership to save the day for England.

  • landofcricket on June 24, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    only good news for england is indian team is coming..5 test matches series is best to regain form and rankings...history shows that indian team always good for out of form team and players...

  • o-bomb on June 24, 2014, 8:26 GMT

    What disappointed me most form an England point of view was that as soon as we'd got into the tail we stopped trying to get Mathews out, even though the ball wa sonly 10 or 12 overs old at the time. I'm not trying to take anything away from Mathews - he batted superbly - but we made it far easier for him that it needed to be. I thought that was really poor tactics.

  • shamieshane on June 24, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    Not long back English fans and players were talking about Cook to bye pass Sachin's record of most test runs in career, things are absolutely opposite now. The same fans now asking Cook either to be retired or to be sacked. How funny it is!!!

  • Hatter_Mad on June 24, 2014, 8:21 GMT

    With Billy I this form perhaps the teams should get the number o reviews trebled.

  • on June 24, 2014, 8:20 GMT

    @GRVJPR: If you don't like sri lankan team why are you read this article. Why are you comment in here. Sangakkara is one of best batsmen in modern cricket history. Suchin also same. We cann't compare to these 2 legends. But i want to say some thing for you. Sanga has some thing which sachin haven't. A CENTURY at LORDS.

  • ITJOBSUCKS on June 24, 2014, 8:18 GMT

    @Dyland Don Paul There are so many great players who haven't scored heavily against minnows like Lara, Inzamam,Laxman, sehwag et al but surprisingly most of the srilankans have thrived mostly against minnows not against Aussies!!!!

  • on June 24, 2014, 8:11 GMT

    Srilankans fans must not downgrade India or think that India can't beat England.. All this performance that SL has shown in England is commendable and they deserve all the accolades and Indians are congratulating them whole heartedly but still some srilankan fans are criticising India for a series that hasn't started yet..Grow up guys.. Indians appreciate good cricket cz that's what sportsmanship is all about.. If anyone thinks that India can't win this series then they are simply making a fool out of themselves.. England will find it even tougher against India.. Remember SL still has to win a test match in India let alone a test series so don't be arrogant, Be polite and humble in your opinion after all Cricket is a gentlemens' game.. Anyway Congratulations Srilanka for this amazing feat, Hope our srilankan brothers win it today and make their country proud..

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on June 24, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    @Stevros3, you pick all the out of form players in your team? I agreed with the comment about Cook's captaincy but your team looks like the one getting hammered now, the one that is terrible.

  • md111 on June 24, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    The fact these guys are heading to do something the likes of Murali and Vaas couldn't speaks volumes for how they seem to operate as a team and also where England are off to

  • on June 24, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    good going lankan friends ! the best asian team by far

  • Bansam on June 24, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    This a match between Sri Lanka and England. So you can expect cricket fans to defend English loss or cheer a Sri Lankan victory. What I cannot understand is why Indian fans wants to argue that England is a weaker side than India. This has been an eye opener for the English and I am sure they will come back with a few changes may be KP too back in team and with better preparedness. The losing of all three series T20, One dayers and Test will definitely make them fight harder against India. I won't be surprised if England come on top and beat India to clinch series in all form of matches.

  • hasa555 on June 24, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    As a sri lankan I'm very happy with the team performance so far. This will be good warmups for upcoming south african series. It's tough one. Good luck boys.

  • on June 24, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Funny thing 2007 England unbeaten since 2001 at home peter Moore's sorted that out looks like he's doing them same again him nor Giles should be let near the England team

  • on June 24, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Die hard Indian cricket lover - Are you one of these die hard Indian fans who said SL will lose the test series 2-0 at the start? Well in any case we can do without your condescending comments. SL is a team who can beat any team in any country with or without your comments. England being weak or strong is not SL's fault. We are nevertheless happy for the win, the same way India will be if and when they win.

  • on June 24, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    If Indians think that the coming tour is going to be a walk in the park, then get ready for some disappointment. ENG will be coming back hard after loosing to SL, and if Indian is not careful there are going to be in the receiving end. SL came here as underdogs and are leaving as total winners across all formats, Now ENG are the underdogs and will be looking to come back at the expense of the Indians.

  • Stevros3 on June 24, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    I'm sorry but Cook's place as captain is untenable now, think he's clinging on to his spot in the side too. I think Bell should be made captain (seems pretty good at it when around for Warks). I think we need a proper spinner, the best on the circuit is Kerrigan (one bad match does not make you a bad player, otherwise Cook would be retired)

    Jordan has not shown enough (yet, there's still time for him) at test level, bring back your allrounder Stokes (just ahead of Woakes atm)

    Next test team: Cook, Robson, Ballance, Bell (c), Root, Stokes, Prior, Broad, Plunkett, Anderson, Kerrigan.

    Spares. Opener:Compton, Batsman:Taylor, Allrounder:Woakes, Spinner:Ali (reckon he could work as a second spinner in a team) Seamer:Jordan

  • on June 24, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    This win ( they will win) shows the true spirit of sportsmanship. The SL team has been besieged with problems such as non payment of dues, coach going away, tiff between selectors and seniors, etc, in recent times. Despite all the off field happenings, the team has played for the true love of the game and its country. Such selfless play has been behind the recent Sri Lanka landmark victory in a test in South Africa, this test and the T20 world cup. May this selfless breed of cricketers increase. May the administrators too realize that they are a rung below the cricketers who are on the field. Just imagine what would this Sri Lankan team have done had it not been for unnecessary interference, for not mistake of theirs?

  • on June 24, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    @Die_Hard_Indian_Cricket_Lover, let's see how India will go against his poor English team. ENG will win the series 1-0. then you can think about your team.

  • JG2704 on June 24, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    @GRVJPR on (June 24, 2014, 6:30 GMT) What an absolute load of rubbish from you. I have read the original comments from Prasad Madushanka Guruge 19:51 GMT and all he is doing is pointing out the facts and saying Sanga should be put up there with Sachin , Lara and Ponting. 2 points

    1 - He is not singling out Sachin - so how you can make out that it's bringing India into it is beyond me 2 - He is not saying Sanga is is better than the other players he mentioned 3- Re your points about it all being on flat tracks - he has already pointed out that Sanga averages over 50 outside the SC.

    If he is factually incorrect there then please correct us all. Otherwise could you not find it within you to refrain from the sour/baseless comments about anyone who is not Indian?

  • Negative on June 24, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    @Die-Hard-India: India became a tough team after winning the series against Bangladesh?? well lets not speak, let the performance speak in England tour. Cook is going come hard on you guys as they know you aint that tough boy!!

  • on June 24, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    GRVJPR - Please follow the comments and see who got who involved. Well let's do a small comparison shall we, Bradman played in an era when the game was at a developing stage which means the England team could have been as good as one of their club teams. They say England is foreign conditions to Asian players and that they score heavily in these conditions because they have played in those conditions since they were small. Did Bradman face foreign conditions when he was playing? or did he play in conditions that he was used to since he was small?. Has he faced reverse swing, doosra and even a googly for that matter? Was their technology to show a batsman's weakness even to put him at risk against new bowlers who would go through this technology before they bowled to him for the first time?. The answer is no. So he went on and got an average of nearly hundred!!! PS : name one batting great that hasn't scored heavily against minnows?

  • AussieSam on June 24, 2014, 7:18 GMT

    Amazing knock from Matthews. Great to see him doing so well - I've always been a fan of his - and what a way to begin the team's new era with him as captain... beating Eng in England for the first time.

    I thought it was funny how yesterday everyone was talking about Sri Lanka's "long tail" and how England will have it easy. So much for that theory.

    As an Aussie it's hard to admit, but I feel sorry for Cook. He made some unbelievable tactical errors in this match though. Not bowling the spinner for so long (after he took two crucial wickets the day before as well!) was just madness. It was just so blatantly obvious that Matthews knew exactly what England's tactics were and was counteracting them perfectly, but it was like Cook was the only one who didn't realise it. I'm not one who subscribes to the theory that Warne's comments about Cook were malicious, but boy has he been vindicated with all the people calling for Cook's head now.

    On another note, why did Eng not pick Stokes?!?

  • Indian_Kari_Pakku on June 24, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    I don't understand why lankans are so happy about this? They haven't even won it yet. Even if they won wining a test match against this weak England team, what is there to celebrate?

    If you beat a tough team like India or Australia you would be over the moon. But I don't think you will ever be able to beat India or Australia in a test match in near future.

  • on June 24, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    @chandimasl : If India white-washes England, that cannot be called an upset. You can say, England upset India if they win the series or even manage to draw the series.. Pujara and Kohli are going to make merry against an un-imaginative captained side..

  • on June 24, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    it is a great achievement guys.specially for captain n head coach marvan. sorry about old coach who joined England (forgotten his name even ).it will be great if they can continue this for next few months until 2015 wc. need this concentration to be continued today n finish the good job

  • ITJOBSUCKS on June 24, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    @ Herath-UK Aus must have won both ODI & Tests @ the same time zillion times in Eng & if i'm not wrong Ind had also won both ODI & Test series in 1986-87 in ENG!!!

  • chandimasl on June 24, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    Thanks a lot for the Indian fans for wishing for wishing our team. Wish Indians will also make a huge upset for the English fans and the team.

    I do not like to see some of the Indian and Sl fans argue for no reasons. Because i love to see most of the Indian fans are wishing our team and most of the times Indian team also supporting our team. So please do not argue. We are brothers.

  • Blade-Runner on June 24, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    Mathews' innings is now regarded as one of best knocks in the history of Cricket. !!! He simply made the history yesterday n we were lucky enough to witness it. I will cherish the memories of this innings for ever.

    Whenever he comes to the crease, he makes tailenders look like top order batsmen. That's his talent to bat with tail and make the best outta them. He simply thrives under pressure. He certainly adds new dimension to the art of batting. Hats off to our fearless leader Angelo Davis Mathews !!!

  • ITJOBSUCKS on June 24, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    @anver777 Before losing 4-0, Ind drew the series in 2002 & won the series in 2007!!! So, check facts before posting some lies!!! It's rather surprising that SL has won mere 6 TEST matches outside SC(exl Zim) & looks like this will be the 7th!!

  • Poholiyadda on June 24, 2014, 6:51 GMT

    The so called glorified county attack was all over England yesterday. Sri Lanka are well on their way for the third test win in England, after 98 Oval and 06 Nottingham-shire wins.

  • Thinks on June 24, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    Sri Lanka is a minor; they are not in the big three probably even not included if any one going to select even a big seven. They lost the coach just before the match; A baller had problems about his action; they were criticized for Mankad. The final wicket in the last test match was considered as the walking wicket to the ground and everybody laughed at them!, English papers were waiting for a big defeat for Sri Lanka.

    Yes, that's all; everything is the history now! But the all the above factors created a solcied unity among their team and paved the way for the victory! That's what we should learn!

  • Herath-UK on June 24, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    Looking up in the morning, the UK skies are a bit overcast but the sun will shine for Lanka to make the maiden series win. David, was there any team touring early summer who achieved both ODI (&T20) & Test series win over England before?

  • on June 24, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    INDIA will also take a lot of confidence if SL win this test match (which i think they will)that ENGLAND can beaten on their own turf,just like INDIA won the 2007 series.

  • Gloryof96 on June 24, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    Does Eng want to preserve Cook the Batsman, pure class when in flow or does Eng want to preserve Cook the Captain? I think the former

    Then comes the million dollar question, who will Command next? Bell, Broad, Anderson, Prior or will ECB fall back on a backfired 80's plan and appoint another Chris Cowdrey like Captain?

    Anderson - may be Prior- not until he can perform to hold his place Broad - not unless he can learn to preserve the DRS Bell - looks the most obvious but either way, it will take another generation for Eng to come out of this slump like in the 80's Chris Cowdrey like player - ECB having daft guys like Clark and Downton, most probable

  • GRVJPR on June 24, 2014, 6:30 GMT

    @ Dyland Don Paul, I know its between Sri Lanka and England and its not me who is involving India, it's sri lankans and pakistanis who are unnecessary involving India in this discussion. Also Sangkara not better than Bradman. Bradman played on uncovered pitches which were not flat like colombo pitch. Also when you play limited teams they know you weakness and strengths. Bradman did well despite that. Also bradman didn't get to play against zimbabwe against which sangakara averages 160 which makes his overall average better than what it is.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on June 24, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    There isn't much to add really except that Moores appointment is already being exposed as the poor one it was and Cook must surely resign or be sacked. At the moment Cook contributes neither with bat nor as a captain and no side serious about winning test matches should tolerate that. It's harsh, he's a nice guy and has a great record but what does that count for in a tough international sport?

  • Kruns on June 24, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    Cmon Lankans you are on the way ..... WIN IT ....

    Need to try below for England to have a little bit of chance to do better in coming world CUP and Ashes ....

    1) Call KP back in the team respectfully as he deserves all the respect ofcourse KP needs to behave himself as well 2) Sack COOK from Captaincy and bring in a young one to lead , For ODI my choice would Morgan and Test my choice would be definately Broad or Bell. 3) Drop Prior and rope in Butler in test matches as well , i know Butler is a aggresive player and maynot be a hit at test matches but he is a match winner so giving him a chance would be worth and once he feels he belongs to this place no stopping him and he will prove to be a big match winner....

  • TheLightWithin on June 24, 2014, 6:19 GMT

    Impressed by Mathews. I was sceptical when he was chosen captain, but he has proven me wrong, and how! No better performance than when a captain leads from the front in unfamiliar conditions, especially for Asian teams. On the other hand it may be right to relieve Cook from the captaincy. Whatever positive energy he had given off after the remarkable victory in India has now gone. Cook is unable to think out of box. Time someone like Bell or Broad took over so that Cook can at least work on his batting. MSD will be licking his lips. Although its still a daunting task for a young and largely inexperienced Indian side, the late summer series coupled with the Sri Lankan performance and the condition of the Englishmen will give the Indians a lot of hope. All the best to Sri Lankan side from an Indian fan. Hope you get the much needed breakthrough victory on English soil.

  • on June 24, 2014, 6:16 GMT

    when the series started SL coach left team and joined England. mavan, kalpage and vaas lead the SL team wit there coaching skills. I think Sri Lanka cricket now have to believe coaching sprite from locals.

  • on June 24, 2014, 6:12 GMT

    @GRVJPR - Mate this is about England and Sri Lanka. Please keep your comments about the topic at hand. Couple of things to point out, if you watched the match you would have seen that Prasad was hitting 86mph when he was bowling. So were all the seamers except Mathews. Bradman only played against one opposition mostly and for his runs, but Sangakkara averages over 70 in the modern game as a pure batsman. This is nearly 20 runs more than the other greats being compared with him. In addition to that the SL batting line up is very good. Nearly five batsman average nearly 50 runs per innings.

  • SDeepalV on June 24, 2014, 6:11 GMT

    What ever happens today - Cook would point on Shane Warne for shattering Captains' mentality..... Oh.. Warnie... Whatever you are telling Straight forward - unlike your deliveries...

    Deepal V

  • avani on June 24, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Sri Lanka! What a team! Though Sri Lankan Cricket Board is not very rich, though there has always been some rifts between the board and the players, how this team from this tiny country performs on the ground is something very amazing! Credit must go to the selectors who are par excellence in recognizing and picking the talents. I always wondered how can such a small country can produce such world class players! The players, all of them put their 100% when they out in the middle, may it be bowling, fielding or batting. Even when every time a senior player retires they find perfect replacement for him. Kudos to Sri Llanka. From an Indian Fan.

  • old_chap on June 24, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    what i like about english spectators in test cricket is that they applaud the opposition where it deserves..hats off

  • anver777 on June 24, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    Last time IND lost 4/0 to ENG, they still got 5 test series this time...... SL after this "SUPER DUPER" Eng tour (the best so far)) deserves more tests in future !!!!

  • anver777 on June 24, 2014, 5:51 GMT

    A real captain's knock by Mathews, well supported by committed Herath !!! Prasad bowled superbly well & got SL back to winning position & unlucky he missed 5wkts last evening, but i'm sure he will get that today.... It will be a special moment for SL if they win today !!!!! GO SL GO !!!!

  • Upul7 on June 24, 2014, 5:48 GMT

    With a classic spell of fast cutters of Prasad, England will lose the match if the god of rain not helped them.

  • on June 24, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    This is a Test Match any thing can Happen to any team.SL Was Trying there best to draw the 2nd game.Excellent Batting From Sanga and Mahela as well superb partnership Between Mathew and Hearth Made the Foundation to claim the first ever Test Series victory in England.Yesterday I was Worried that Sl went to this match with one Spinner.Fortunately we got presad to destroy the England Batting.for the future games Selectors must include two Spinners to control the game.England also did well to restrict SL on there First Innings.Well done Srilanka.

  • mameen85 on June 24, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    Guys this is not the first test victory of SL in England. This is gonna be the first test series win in England

  • Prabhash1985 on June 24, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    Dhammika Prasad bowled 88 and 89 mph speeds (nearly 145kmph). Some commentators were saying we didn't have pace. Our boys had. But they didn't waste it.

  • on June 24, 2014, 5:44 GMT

    weather we win this or loose, never be late to speak behalf of your team.no doubt mahela and sanga are the legends.but what mahela did is right.like arjuna defends his team mates on late 90's.....hats off to you mahela.! yes words does hurt when those are true....

  • AS7777 on June 24, 2014, 5:44 GMT

    If anyone wants to have a hard fought test series call Sri Lanka. Match is not over yet but the way Sri Lanka played this tour ICC and big three needs to realize that Sri Lanka is a worthy opponent they do deserve a more than one or two test series by any means.

  • Prabhash1985 on June 24, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    What I admired most, was Sanga's funny celebration and appeal when the ball hit Garry Balance's pads. He was like imitating a bird or something. I think it was Mike Atherton who picked it. I didn't even see that. So nice to see. Of course English attack is a great one, no words. Especially Anderson and Broad. Respect for them as well. Well played Sri Lanka; they diluted this wonderful attack's acidity, and didn't want to give up. Great men are not born great, they grow great, it's true!

  • on June 24, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    To be honest Cook looked listless. Gone were his strategic approach that he adopted in first test, and instead he was looking for illumination that never came to him. Not having a specialist spinner the Poms are paying the price. Kevin Peterson must be over the moon because without him this side is as good as an associate team. Of course Lanka has to get 5 more wickets during the day. One more thing, getting out to the first ball through a bad stroke became a blessing in disguise. He would have seen how upset Mathews was and would have made a determination to make amends. All is well that ends well for Sri Lanka

  • GRVJPR on June 24, 2014, 5:39 GMT

    @ Prasad Madushanka Guruge , All on flat tracks. And please stop saying sangakara is better than bradman. Only sachin tendulkar is better than bradman. Sri lankan and pakistani batsmen are average at best. And poor bowling line ups.

  • GRVJPR on June 24, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    I don't like this sri lanka team. They can win only on flat track like we see in england. Sri kanka is plain lucky that england given them flat tracks so that matches don't get over in 2 days. Jaywerdene averages 12 overseas when his runs against zim, and bangladesh are not taken into account.

  • Rajiv007 on June 24, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    Best of Luck SriLanka!!!... form Indian fan.

  • aby_97 on June 24, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    INDIA has the better batting Line-up, No doubt. But Sri-Lanka have the maturity to bat well according to the conditions.They left majority of the balls outside off stump.Why Angelo Mathews scored 160 because after reaching the three figure mark, his maturity as a captain came in making it a big one.

    It will be tougher for India because all the players are coming back from the IPL extravaganza.So, their mental state would still be to attack.So the first two warm-up matches would be crucial.

    Kudos to the Sri-Lankan Team ! On their way to their first Win on English Soil !

  • AdhishS on June 24, 2014, 5:10 GMT

    What an amazing effort from SL, they surely deserve to win. A great knock by Mathews, he is turning out to be an excellent player for them and certainly a star for the years to come. I think people are getting too harsh on Cook. How does a player, who at the age of 29, has 25 test match hundreds and who till one and half year ago was scoring heavily, suddenly become a small player? I think captaincy is weighing heavily on him. He is not a decent enough captain in the first place, plus the whitewash in the Ashes has put more pressure on him. ECB should relieve him from captaincy and let him concentrate on his batting, he will def come back stronger sooner, coz he is good...

  • Rooohan on June 24, 2014, 5:10 GMT

    Imagine if Sri Lanka is like the Cricket Team - Sri Lanka. We would have easily been the Switzerland of Asia. This is he only tiny portion of the culture that work hard to win as a group.

  • mkchelvan on June 24, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    It's totally wrong to say that Sri Lanka have never won a test series in England. The reporter should know that England allowed one off test to Sri Lanka earlier and suffered humiliated defeat. In which Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravina de Silva scored double century and a century respectively. And top of it Muralitharan 7 & 9 wickets and winning the man of the match.... Please go through the history book.

  • Mantrimani on June 24, 2014, 4:59 GMT

    Cook should be sacked straightaway and a new Captain appointed because he has neither clue to his batting now nor Captaincy. Like Shane Warne said at a certain stage he should have closed the innings on 4th day of 1st Test and gone for a win but did not and paid the price as SL forced a draw. I knew from the beginning England were losing from the first day when they put SL to bat. Anyway it is a foregone conclusion SL are winning this match unless raingods come to the rescue of England. England is a mediocre team with mediocre players,Captain and Selectors and I do not think the situation is going to improve in this Century!!!!!!!!!

  • Udendra on June 24, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    Now if SL wins this, it will be a real "white-wash". Winning the T20, ODIs and Tests.

  • Kadmin on June 24, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    It's bit farcical to SL fans to jump in the band wagon early. There is still a lot of cricket left. Guys, keep your emotions checked, the game hasn't finished yet. They say cricket is a funny game. Miracles could happen like we did in Melbourne. Who knows ENG could come back from the hole they have dug in. I will be eagerly glued to the TV for today's actions. SL fans please behave like gentlemen, only a single rotten tomato could spoil the broth.

  • csr11 on June 24, 2014, 4:46 GMT

    What an innings from Angelo. Sri Lankan Cricket should look forward to some good days with him at the helm. There is no way england can draw it from here, even with Prior - too difficult

  • on June 24, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    am an indian and happy for srilanka win.. they earned it.. till wt20, I did not take srilanka so serious but boy they made a strong statement. winning all the 3 cups in England in great achievement. congrats. as for indian chances, am not too sure that india will win. but srilanka showed a way for us.. may be this will bring some confidence to india. let us wait and see what dhoni and co will do next month... al d best india and congrats srilanka...

  • Ms.Cricket on June 24, 2014, 4:33 GMT

    England will never learn their lesson and keep finding a way to blame Peitersen for defeats. KP was the reason England won so many since 2005. How could they persist with Cook as captain despite Cook leading them to a 0-5 whitewash is a sign of arrogance and delusion from ECB.

  • Realistic_cri_fan on June 24, 2014, 4:24 GMT

    What a shocking batting by England!!On a flat pitch where a tailender almost got a fifty,England should be 80-0.Poor batiing by Cook and Bell.But credit goes to Prasad. England's never ending pain continuous.

  • class9ryan on June 24, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    Fascinating stuff from Mathews, Jayawardene at times I think just forgets that this isn't the SSC ( Colombo ) and should have played that kind of a false stroke with the new ball 6-7 overs old. He deserved a ton but thats the way game goes. Now hoping that Sri Lanka win it tomorrow and don't get carried away. Not a bad news for India at all.

  • Viratkohlirocks on June 24, 2014, 4:13 GMT

    England fans, dont worry about Cook. This five test series agains India will easily let him get back into dominating form

  • on June 24, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    As much I am a fan of Indian batting, people saying that India has the better batting lineup than Sri Lanka in tests is not quite accurate. Sangakkara - Best test batsman in the world at the moment, and in record-equalling form... His world record partnership partner, Jayawardene, both averaging over 50. Then you have Angelo Mathews, averaging over 70 since becoming captain, then you Chandimal contributing quite well in his career so far. Then remember that Sri Lanka plays as a unit, not as a sequence of individuals. Lets look at India, their opening partnership, like SriLanka's is sub-par, and is inexperienced overseas, Dhawan's debut knock in India, while superb - requires backing up. Pujara - amazing player, and easily their best at the moment - here's hoping he does well in England. Rahane, low number of tests, assuming he plays at 4 or 5, great player, lets see how he goes in England(and later Australia). Rohit Sharma - great to watch, didn't succeed in SA - lets watch and see..

  • Aditha on June 24, 2014, 4:09 GMT

    Hats off to Mathews..He's gonna be a great captain..and good to see him getting more runs and wickets as well...poor cricket by England..disappointing show...expected more from them..way to go SL..

  • sanshe1238 on June 24, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    Mathews YOU ARE THE MAN... who can dig that? what an amazing innings. Sri lanka flying high and Cook and company looks so sorry. Well ECB got a lot to think about. Is Cook doing a good job? answer is NO. does he have the capability of turning things around? Answer Hell NO. The plan of action is simple, remove him from the captaincy. He need to be moved out may be dropped. What has he done since Ashes? Nothing......India is going to school England in the coming season too. Cook please give it up, you are a shame to England cricket......RIP Mr Cook you are done and there is no way out.

  • on June 24, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    this is an exceptional stuff from team. what a partnership by herath n angi. for sure if no run out it would go until herath's s century.hats off guys. it is great to see prasad is well in. he shows why we need full bowlers as eranga shwon in first innings .this is the best by sri lankan for me . no star bowlers like vass, malinga murali. just some average bowlers as some says is doing the job. well done guys. may be a day to celebrate more than world cup win once complete the win today .

  • on June 24, 2014, 4:01 GMT

    Tomorrow all depend on Matt Prior and Root partnership. Jordon too can contribute to save the match and trun into a possible win if they keep the run rate above 4 during pre-lunch session. For Sri Lanka, Rangana Herath will be the key if match will go beyond lunch break. For England best form defence will be attack. For Sri Lanka best way to a memorable win will be attacking field and appropriate bowling change.

  • on June 24, 2014, 4:01 GMT

    Mathews proved his role as a captain. With his achievement, Thirimanne's failure to cope in fast track is not to be forgotten. Its simply, he is over confident.

  • buddhikapm on June 24, 2014, 4:00 GMT

    lankans doing a grt job..doesn't mean that Indians will have a easy time ..lankans having grt talent than current indian team..see wht will happen

  • TennisBounce on June 24, 2014, 3:56 GMT

    This series could be the revelation for A.Mathews as a captain and as a batting all rounder. Good luck SL for first win in Eng (Indian Here). Apart from Sanga and Mahela no youngster taking the batting responsibility from the old champs. Thats one weakness. If Prasad could keep his fitness it'd be good for SL.

    As for us Indians, this is good as well with Eng low on confidence, S.Broad limping and J.Anderson not finding the length, Cook struggling.

  • lancia71 on June 24, 2014, 3:50 GMT

    SL hasn't won the match yet but seems a clear winner on the sledging game. I don't think England expected SL to come so hard at them. With India's strong batting line up, England summer is going to be another disaster. We need India to trash Cook and co. SL fan here.

  • on June 24, 2014, 3:49 GMT

    Prasad bowled well and with lot of hostilities too. But when you add momentum to the inning to the team even a mediocre bowler like Ishant will get wings and Prasad is lot better than Ishant. Game, was set by Mathews. This man is growing in reputation and as someone already said he has started to play a role like Steve Waugh for SL. We Indians find it little difficult to praise SL for their cricketing achievements, but lads you have earned it and earned it well. I have also seen fellow Indians saying that SL success will rub on us when we start next month, but we forget that we are led by as pathetic captain (in tests, brilliant in ODIs & T20) as ever seen. Dhoni and Cook are more & less similar and even it is 5 tests series I expect it to be drab. Again congrats to SL for brilliant performance, keep it up guys.

  • ground-boy on June 24, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    As predicted favourites are well placed. Mathew's men displayed that they can bully anybody on any track. Has a Sri Lankan ever achieved a century and five wickets in a test match? Angi has the opportunity. It's going to be icing on the cake with kevum,kokis,kesel and kiribath plus nuts on the pudding................

  • on June 24, 2014, 3:44 GMT

    It is negative Sign from Thirimana & Chandimal's performance, who looked to take role of Sanga & Mahela, there is no need hurry for both's retirement. it is a Engineered innings from Mathews and good supporting tail endear role from Herath after 168 lead mahela's wicket, Mathews growing as Steve waugh.

  • on June 24, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    more than SL, happy for India going forward, we have much better batting than SL, and also got more variety in bowling although may be as experienced as SL.Considering the poor form of Eng Captain and the team, Good days ahead for India... Good luck...

  • on June 24, 2014, 3:25 GMT

    Well played SL lions.... Let's make it a memorable tour of our history....!!! I'm pretty sure that our brothers in India will also do the same against these guys who think they are the owners of cricket!!!

  • Rawanaa on June 24, 2014, 3:20 GMT

    We didnt win the match yet & have to take 5 wickets. What if root scores 200 as he did once & 100 from prior ? ( Dreaming) So far prasad has done the job & i feel Eranga will count their stumps today. Most of the foreign fans told Srilanka cant win test series in England. I've welcome them to watch today's first session.. They will have the proper answer.. Haters told lot about Srilankan cricket.. Now what ?? we proved them their every single word is wrong. It is not the new era of England but it is the new era of SRILANKA. If lakmal wasn't injured england wont passed 250 in their 1st innings. This victory would be great because we faced lot of obstructions from every corner.

  • John_Geo on June 24, 2014, 3:17 GMT

    It is quite likely that SL will wrap-up the test series today making it a clean sweep (unless the weather intervenes).

    While appreciating a great job done by captain Angelo and the players (which was a complete team performance), we must also give at least a little credit to the coaching staff (Athapattu, Vaas etc.) too. This also highlights how little the impact foreign coaches are making on teams. It seems SL hasn't lost anything by losing Paul Farbrace. I do not know whether it is a coincidence or fact.

    So much so for the big 3 too! England dearly miss the presence of KP. Keep your pride aside Eng and include him for the serirs against India or you will be in for a tough summer.

  • Sexysteven on June 24, 2014, 3:16 GMT

    If England lose this game and series they have only themselves to blame for being to negative sure u there are times to be defensive but with the new ball isn't one of those times cook is never going to change his defensive and negative approach so if England are going to progress he has to step down from being captain congrats to Sri Lanka they have played the better and exciting positive cricket and deserve to win this match if that happens

  • Master_Mihil on June 24, 2014, 3:14 GMT

    Told you Sri lanka would be fired up after those incidents. Do not test the Sri lankan lion. Our seamers can do same as you in seaming conditions. And we do best in termoil, Agony and Pressure.

  • on June 24, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    One of the best knocks ever in test cricket you will see, and one of the best comebacks on foreign soil ever by Sri Lanka !

  • OneEyedAussie on June 24, 2014, 3:03 GMT

    Questions have to be asked when a team loses after having a significant first innings lead, especially when playing at home. I didn't watch the game, but from what I read Cook struggled again. Doesn't sound like he got too much assistance from Anderson and Broad either. Don't get me wrong, guys like Mathews and Haddin are servicable batsmen, but they shouldn't be able to dominate in the manner that they have.

  • cricket_ahan on June 24, 2014, 3:01 GMT

    Regardless of whether or not Sri Lanka win this game, surely serious doubts must be cast over Alistair Cook's ability to captain this England side. As was blatantly evident during the Ashes, he is tactically bereft and has virtually no ability to adapt when his often-predictable plans against opposition seem to fall squarely on their face. Case in point is the frequent handing over of singles to get lower-order batsmen on strike. Mathews played amazingly well for his 160, but every batsman, set or not, feels pressure when wickets fall at the other end, and Cook has rarely taken advantage of this. With all that said, Sri Lanka have applied themselves exceptionally well, and hats off to them for what could be an historic victory.

  • ms2000 on June 24, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    Well done Sri Lanka. Dhamika Prasad reminded me of the West Indies bowlers in the late 80's He was unplayable. The English batsmen looked a schoolboy team. Proud of you Sri Lanka for such a great performance by all of you. This is the answer for all the sledging by theEnglish team whom we thought was Gentlemen in Cricket until they proved us wrong. Next is India and we as Sri Lankans will support India all the way for a whitewash. Good luck India! We did it and now its your turn

  • Jay_candid on June 24, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    I appreciate the SL team for this fantastic effort.. By afternoon today they will wrap up this test match .. They already won T20 and ODI series.. What a year for srilanka.. They are on a roll for sure.. But the real issue starts when Sanga/Mahela retires, still they do bulk of the scoring and youngsters are not proving their worth. When India had their legends, all were slowly fading...so we were used to losing even with the legends.. So we don't see much diff even when they are losing now without them.. Now what can India do?? Eng is beaten and bruised.. Can they add salt to the injury?? or will they be the medicine to the injury?? I have a hope that India would do better than 2011.. but not sure whether they can win the series..

  • SKC412 on June 24, 2014, 2:57 GMT

    English fans, cheer up.... There is light at the end of the tunnel... (Its only a matter of few weeks before India series starts...) Watch out for the performances of this same team against India.... :))))

  • Chennai_Cricket on June 24, 2014, 2:48 GMT

    M.ali is not a good batsman, he is not looks like international batsman and root also don't have consistency. This england going to struggle in next series also.

  • landofcricket on June 24, 2014, 2:48 GMT

    congrats SL from india, ENG FANS DO NOT WORRY. generally out of form team will become form team after they played with indian team,so good news for eng is india is coming ...it will be great chance for eng batemen to score runs against ordinary bowling of indian team and regain form..

  • on June 24, 2014, 2:43 GMT

    Boys.. It is not finished yet, so shall we wait few more hours to celebrate? After all test cricket is all about patience. Sri Lanka definitely trampled England.. Prasad you Beauty ! Lions , please do it quickly if not within the first session, can't wait to see a Sri Lankan Test series win in England. (After all those Spirit talks , booing crowds , it would be a sweet revenge).

  • ajith0813 on June 24, 2014, 2:33 GMT

    Well played SL even one batsman short from the beginning. That was Thirimanne.

  • Yuosufahmed on June 24, 2014, 2:20 GMT

    @LAKingsFan: Sorry bro. Ind is not Lanka or Pak. You ind are very mediocre and home tigers. Even got humiliated from No. 6 NZ. You don't have good fast bowlers. Even after Kumble and Bhajji, you don't have good spinners. Ashwin and Jadeja are not world class. Batsmen can play only in flat tracks in Ind. You better try to draw the series.

  • SDeepalV on June 24, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    I was amazed to see wonderful days test cricket. Thanks boys for the entertainment and hopefully bring home the Investec cup, thrashing so called one of a big three. According to Nasser Hussain - SL are old fashioned cricketers and who cares as long as they defeat the modern... Hope SL would not relax the grip and try to uproot root and Prior (who is most devastating in situations like this) and wrap it up.. Anticipate another gathering for celebration at Galle face...Cheers...

    DeepalV

  • on June 24, 2014, 2:00 GMT

    The pitch is dying and becoming a freeway!!!!!!!!!! :-P

  • michael.senthil on June 24, 2014, 2:00 GMT

    as an australian, with a sri lankan background, i can only laugh at the poms- but well done to the lankans, they've played really well- and sanga and mahela deserve this.

  • on June 24, 2014, 1:59 GMT

    Cooks who generally can't stand the heat in the kitchen, and often get irritated with fire Warne signals, can't rustle up any decent fare, irrespective of how many and how good the helpers and support staff you provide them. If I am the owner of such a high-dine outfit, whose reputation needs to be protected, I will certainly replace the cook, a least before the next heavy tourist arrivals!:-)

  • Indian_Kari_Pakku on June 24, 2014, 1:50 GMT

    Lankans' are lucky because all the umpire decisions went in their favour. Otherwise at the end of 4th day England could already won the match.

    India will beat this new England side with no Kevin Peterson by a very large margin. I highly doubt even England could manage to draw 1 or 2 games. Good Luck India!!!

  • Mervo on June 24, 2014, 1:34 GMT

    Brilliant SL! Matthews should have been the Man of the Match in the first test. AS Richie Benaud said in the past, "SL is never done until Matthews is out". England with all their imported players showed a lack of ability with the ball and no team commitment in their second dig. This will devastate them.

  • on June 24, 2014, 1:33 GMT

    Probably the best period our cricket enjoying. T 20 champions, Asia Champions, T 20 and one day series victory in England and now closing for a test series victory in England. Delighted to hear Mark Nicholas comment that Angelo is only second to Great Don Bradman as a Captain.

  • on June 24, 2014, 1:09 GMT

    This game is not over yet,England will not. Go.down easily, but well played srilanka

  • EdwinD on June 24, 2014, 1:06 GMT

    The only Englishman who has come out of the mess of English cricket over the last 3 months looking well is Kevin Pietersen - it was a petty call to terminate his services, and the calls for his return will surely become louder.

  • on June 24, 2014, 1:04 GMT

    Clinical performance from all round SL team. Hats off to Mathews for holding the batting and setting up the foundation and to #Prasad for following it up with the blistering bowling stint! Set the record straight in England boys, certainly deserve the Test Series!

  • dunger.bob on June 24, 2014, 0:51 GMT

    I've seen Herath do that before. The little bloke has a way of looking completely useless yet turns out to be highly effective. He sort of slips under the radar and before you know it he's chewed up 50 balls and getting a good partnership going. He's a far better cricketer than most give him credit for.

    @ Dark Man X : You're pretty much the only optimistic Eng. supporter on this thread. That's the spirit mate. Never, ever, say die. That's exactly how SL wrestled this match away from you and now it's time for England to show they've got the kahuna's to do it as well.

  • on June 24, 2014, 0:42 GMT

    First the unforgettable beating that they gave Bangladesh on their home soil, Then an unbeaten run in the Asia Cup , The t20 World Cup , Thrashed the England ODI Team and Now nearing in on a Test series victory on English soil. This really could be the year of the Sri Lankans

  • on June 24, 2014, 0:42 GMT

    Every team game involves a heavy doze of "confidence-levels" induced by the then-and-there results.

    So is foot-ball, as we saw over the last few days, with many big teams; Portugal being a classic example. So is cricket.

    England team, the current one, is heavily inflicted with that syndrome. When things go right, their confidence level soars up and they play like lions. But, when things go wrong, the confidence level of the entire team have a free fall. Starting with the Captain's body language. Yesterday, one could clearly see that when the 4th innings target started approaching 300.

    Great teams lead by great captains play with the same intensity and calmness (intensity & calmness together sound like an oxymoron; but it is a true phenomenon). And, Cook & Co is a bit short on that. It's a good team; but have miles to go before they can even attempt to become a great team.

  • sudaththa on June 24, 2014, 0:20 GMT

    Well done Mathewes.. Good luck Srilankans!!

  • on June 24, 2014, 0:07 GMT

    Well well..don't start counting chickens just yet. It's test Cricket and feel there's one more twist and turn. It's not over till it's over. Jordan, Ali ,Prior, Broad with Root. Jordan and Ali needs something special to keep their places. If Root and Ali gets thru the 1st hour there's still life in this test.

  • JustIPL on June 23, 2014, 23:58 GMT

    Wonderful SL you are the best side of Asia. No doubt. you won asia cup, t20 worldcup and now heading for test series win in England establishing supermacy in all three formats.

  • sana1 on June 23, 2014, 23:50 GMT

    Congrats for sri lanka winning this match...But one thing sri lanka really need find off spinning batting all rounder.

  • NBZ1 on June 23, 2014, 23:47 GMT

    Amazing performance from SL. One of the great captain's knocks from Matthews, and everyone else has been superb as well. SL fans should be very proud.

    By the way, I have to say I am annoyed by a small section of Indian fans going "This means India will beat England 3-0" "If even SL can do this to Eng, what about India?" "Thank U SL for paving the way for India to destroy the English in their home ground!" We could do without that condescending attitude thank you very much. SL is a good Test team that's in brilliant form, so show some appreciation and be humble enough to admit that India, just like SL, will also have to play really well to win in England (not saying it's not possible).

  • The_bowlers_Holding on June 23, 2014, 23:43 GMT

    Well how to grab defeat from the hands of victory, credit must got to SL but...hapless bowling this morning, followed by uninspired new ball and then weak batting. Cook does not strike me as a natural leader, he bites his finger nails and exudes no confidence in his team, England need an aggressive technically minded leader, and the loss of Cook as a credible opener puts pressure on the very young middle order. Not a knee jerk reaction but maybe the inevitable defeat will speed up the process, because if we lose to India believe me they will be harping on about it for 20 years! New captain would probably best be Broad in the absence of an obvious choice or Bell.

  • kc69 on June 23, 2014, 23:37 GMT

    After Sanga SL cricket has good replacement called Angelo Mathew.Spare a thought for Herath for his contribution in the partnership with Angelo.

  • on June 23, 2014, 23:20 GMT

    " I wanted SL to win so that India cud have a psychological edge over England and there's no reason that India can't replicate what SL did today."

    Sorry bud dream on. Put your greenbacks on India doing what they do best - playing out of sorts batsmen back into form.

  • jackthelad on June 23, 2014, 23:17 GMT

    Great effort by Sri Lanka, with what can only be called a so-so bowling attack; and, yes, it's time for Cook to step down. A man with a fantastic record simply as a batsman, he's been a poor captain and his batting has gone to pieces.Don't know who the replacement would be - maybe Anderson? - but it's time Cook gave it up.

  • dsig3 on June 23, 2014, 23:01 GMT

    Whats going on over in England? Losing 5 nil to Aus in our home patch is something, but losing to a team like Sri Lanka at home is terrible. I would rather lose to NZ than lose a home test match to Sri Lanka. These Lankans have not come close to beating Aus at home in a test. Looking for a big performance from Root and Ali tomorrow but its a terrible position to be in.

  • Herath-UK on June 23, 2014, 22:50 GMT

    It was a blessing Root made Herath run out it seems now.If not Mathews would have been going for more runs,even a double century,thus would not have had time to get 5 wickets out & England probably then could have saved the game tomorrow.

  • CM1000 on June 23, 2014, 22:49 GMT

    Very well played indeed by Sri Lanka, but England were very poor. Cook should stop his ridiculous complaints about Shane Warne's advice and start listening to it. His tactics in SL's second innings today were far too conservative once again, and his bowlers look like they don't respect his captaincy or his tactics.

  • MH19 on June 23, 2014, 22:47 GMT

    What an awesome performance my country fellows dominating the test coming from behind and also having a deficit of 100 runs.Mathews & Herath partnership fostered any hopes for us and i must realy thank Chaminda Vaas for bringing a bowling attack which i have never seen especaiily the fastman and also having Lakmal injured.Mathews Captains innings and Rangana can bat i woke up with hope thinking for a surprise and you have given it to me when i woke up and hope to see the victory today.

  • CAJOSEPH on June 23, 2014, 22:44 GMT

    Well played Lanka ... Well played... This tour has been a true transformation journey. No one has ever questioned ur limited overs skills but in test cricket playing away from home there was nothing to look forward to. Its all changed now. Thanks to some class from Sanga and superb performance from the captain. Great show guys... U deserve a huge applause. .

  • mrmonty on June 23, 2014, 22:42 GMT

    Drop Cook and get KP back.

  • on June 23, 2014, 22:40 GMT

    Anyone who regularly watches the IPL [and I do, as it's the only free-to-air cricket you can watch in England] would have known that Angelo Mathews was a juggernaut heading in our direction. But the ECB grandees clearly don't watch the IPL, which probably says it all. England side for next Test:

    1. Compton (capt.) 2. Robson 3. James Vince 4. Alex Hales 5. Bell 6. Gary Ballance 7. Moeen Ali 8. Jos Buttler [wkt.] 9. Tom Smith [Lancashire] 10. Broad 11. Plunkett.

  • GrindAR on June 23, 2014, 22:27 GMT

    Prasad's reaction to Cook dragging the ball into stumps.... outstanding!!!

  • on June 23, 2014, 22:27 GMT

    England is at their worst on a bad day and becomes mediocre on a good day.The Aussies will fight on a bad day and will go for the kill on a good day.

  • Greatest_Game on June 23, 2014, 22:20 GMT

    @ entryholedia observes "However after England are beaten (by Sri Lanka) the Indians in the latter half of the summer could fare better than they did in '2011.

    With all due respect, it would be hard for India to fare worse than they did in 2011!

  • GrindAR on June 23, 2014, 22:13 GMT

    I would say Herath deserved a Fifity. Mathews will feel guilty of running him out at that stage. Regardless ~150 partnership for the 8th wicket at >4.1 rpo sums up how Herath is a lynch pin for SL. He did not give a chance to eng fielders/bowlers, and played beatiful shots a top order would play. Mathews need to cleanup the rest very quickly.. using his wide range of bowling attack options, as himself had a big hand in eng 1st innings.

  • on June 23, 2014, 22:10 GMT

    Guys stil game is not finish. Dont take easy now. Think next session is da deficult one. Take it hard and play. All da best Lions.

  • JG2704 on June 23, 2014, 22:08 GMT

    Well done and congrats SL. This match seems to be a tail of 2 captains. One insipid and one dimensional and the other inspirational and imaginative. I said before the start of today's play that both teams could find positives from the match situation. SL because they had fought back so well and Eng because they were 2 wickets away from a very shaky tail. Well the shaky tail wasn't so shaky today and although (thankfully) I didn't see much of it - leaving after Eng made back to back breakthroughs - it seems that our bowlers ran out of ideas and Eng had one plan which wasn't working and stuck with it. Then the batsmen did what they usually do when under the cosh. On hindsight you wonder if Cook's defensive captaincy in the 1st test set this up?

  • MarinManiac on June 23, 2014, 22:07 GMT

    Well played, Sri Lanka. Hats off to you. As for England -- well the signs were there. A team that saves a Test tends to win the next one. And when you win the toss, against just about any team but a rank minnow and in the presence of REALLY overcast, swinging conditions, bat first. And when you axe your best player just so you can get a failed head coach back, and team him up with a captain that can't score and has the tactical skills of a mallet, this is the result. England deserves to be thrashed. I'm cheering for Australia from now on. My repatriation is not only legal and official, it's now complete.

  • Sir_Francis on June 23, 2014, 22:04 GMT

    Love Test cricket. Wish I'd stayed up to listen to this. Went to bed at lunch break. Big mistake.

  • on June 23, 2014, 21:55 GMT

    Two tests is not a series.

  • on June 23, 2014, 21:53 GMT

    I said karma would not allow England to win as they are in the Big Three (and I'm a kiwi not a Sri Lankan)...I predicted a win to Sri Lanka when they were ten-to-one.... and you did not print my two comments at all cricinfo? Two days later what has happened and who is almost certain now to win and go 1-0 up in this series? Who is in the big 3 and has no neutral fans and thus will always be up against it even when favourites and at home?

  • GrindAR on June 23, 2014, 21:51 GMT

    India can learn from the SL bowling and fielding setup. They just played their fundamentals very right.... good enough to trouble eng lineup. It shd've been 6 wickets down, Joe Root's gloved ball did not pickup the heat to produced the tracing. Would say very good review of the day.

  • __PK on June 23, 2014, 21:47 GMT

    No, ramz30380, this is not the team Australia beat 5-0. This is a whole new team. The team that Australia beat 5-0 was the one that beat India on their home turf.

  • lionspaw on June 23, 2014, 21:45 GMT

    Sad to see almost no comments from English fans. Fans should back their teams up not only when they are wining but also when their loosing.Calm down Sri lankan fans!!! We did not win it yet. Save your best for tomorrow.

  • on June 23, 2014, 21:42 GMT

    Angelo Mathews, admirably, leads by example and has his team on the verge of a well-deserving victory. On the other hand, the England captain continues to fail with the bat and as captain.

    And if this trend continues, one has to wonder whether he is the right man at the helm! His captaincy, unquestionably, is lackluster and weak. I reckon that Ian Bell is a good replacement candidate.

  • creekeetman on June 23, 2014, 21:40 GMT

    great inns by Mathews. has set up a series win. England have paid for a poor declaration in the first test and failure to play a real spinner in this one.

  • yorkshirematt on June 23, 2014, 21:34 GMT

    Well I made a comment yesterday about England resembling WI and NZ, which caused some consternation among their supporters. I now accept this comparison was unfair and instead England resemble Bangladesh or Zimbabwe. How long before we reach rock bottom again? When the Yorkies don't bail them out they're clueless

  • neil99 on June 23, 2014, 21:19 GMT

    An appalling performance - when we all thought it couldn't get much worse than the Ashes debacle, the malaise runs much deeper. The inexperienced have generally faired well, and even the recalled Plunkett chalked up 9 wickets. However, the common denominator here is Alastair Cook and the senior players who escaped the winter axe. Anderson's bowling was inexcusable - surely he can't be tired already at this point of the season? Bell failed again, a sight becoming all too common - his poor run almost rivals Cooks; Prior's dropped catch in the first innings epitomises England's lazy attitude and lack of concentration. Cook's captaincy has received much bad press and rightly so. His tactics and negative attitude are bewildering. Those heralding a new dawn with the coming of Peter Moores need to think again, as tomorrow looks like a clean sweep for the Sri Lankans across all formats against England this summer. There can be no more chances. Heads must roll. Cook is to go and serious thought

  • on June 23, 2014, 21:17 GMT

    A very poor display overall for England, that looked a lot different earlier in the day. Sri Lanka will almost certainly win this Test, due to magnificent performances from all their top players.

  • on June 23, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    The England performance reflects the troubled mind of their leader perfectly. He was shot through by the time he left Australia and, as is very evident from his batting, has got no better in the intervening months. Sachin Tendulkar was not a captain even though he was a great man and I think it is clear by now that Cook's chance of salvation is to say 'no' to his obvious over-ambition in order to give back to the team his runs they now miss.

  • on June 23, 2014, 21:06 GMT

    What is Kimber saying about having a dig at Plunkett? If it were not for him having a proper go, something that would never occur to Anderson nor Broad to do, than SL would have declared at 7 for 500 after Herath bought up his maiden ton.

    I really do not understand how Broad and Anderson are two of the first 4 names on the team sheet for every match, seemingly inked permanently into the side until they feel like moving on. Match after match they trot in and bowl like county pro's, going through their paces, bowling that back of a length safe stuff, god forbid they get driven for a boundary! When they do they shake their heads, scowl and pull their length back further still until they become absolutely no threat at all. England seriously need to put these blokes on notice or just let them go altogether. Look at the way Aus have dropped the likes of Hilfenhaus and Siddle... Moores needs to think long and hard about what he wants, county pro's or guys with passion.

  • NIPPY_89 on June 23, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    Im a lankan fan but I will wait to comment about how well Sri Lanka have done untill the test match is over. England will come with a defensive attitiude. We still need to take the wickets. Hope the rains stays away. If Sri Lanka win it will be a famous victory indeed.

  • Juiceoftheapple on June 23, 2014, 20:49 GMT

    Well done Sri Lanka, as an England fan i can only wish you congratulations, to beat England in June in England, still with 5 of our Number 1 ranked test team is pretty awesome, and must rank up there with the world cup wins, I dont say that in anyway arrogantly, it is just a fact, these are our stadiums, our best fast bowlers, conditions our players were brought up with, and Headingly being one of the very hardest for overseas teams. Well done and richly deserved. As for us, Swann's loss is casting a long shadow. We need variety in our bowling when the battering ram doesnt work, and in all honesty I have no idea which spinner can replace Swann. Although the answer, like Australia, is probably right under our nose. aka Lyon & Monty.

  • Selfishkar on June 23, 2014, 20:49 GMT

    Sri Lanka have already proved they are better Test side than India which was whitewashed 0-4. An Sangakara is better Test player than Sachin Tendulkar.

  • landl47 on June 23, 2014, 20:48 GMT

    Great play by Mathews, well supported by Jayawardene and Herath, and then a brilliant spell by Prasad when it looked as though Cook and Robson might see out the day. Time enough for the inquest on England- today was Sri Lanka's day and they should rejoice in their success. Well done.

  • Herath-UK on June 23, 2014, 20:42 GMT

    Now looking back at the Mankading incident showed that Mathews is made of steel not to be fooled around anymore. A great leader in making.

  • on June 23, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    Why does the article say Sri Lanka never won a test series in England? I believe there were 2 One Match Series that Sri Lanka won in the past

  • Herath-UK on June 23, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    Sri Lanka showed its true grit by turning round a hapless position to a winning one in true champion fashion. Their bowlers were superior to the highly acclaimed English four pacies & what a spectacle was to see Prasad's deliveries on the so called docile pitch. Mathew's was a master piece on a Headingly pitch for the history. Come on Lanka do the demolition Tomorrow.

  • on June 23, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    I knew from the first day that we are going to seal the series, Congratulations Lions fot brightening the pearl of the Indian ocean.

  • Pindia on June 23, 2014, 20:23 GMT

    Brilliant from Sri Lanka. Looks like Matthews got the last word over Cooky...

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 23, 2014, 20:19 GMT

    Now it looks like a draw.

  • on June 23, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    You know what, there is nothing to say but well done SL, really, really well done. Mathews' innings is one for the ages, tremendous. Wonderful support from Herath. Prasad bowled excellently, right length for the pitch. As for us...just terrible. No heart, no clue, no idea. I'm dumbstruck by how bad we've been in the second half of this match, but let that not distract from how excellently SL have played. Hats off.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 23, 2014, 20:01 GMT

    Match and series winning knock by Mathews - very well done. Quote that summarises this performance by England for me came from Simon Hughes: "England simply bowling for run-outs!"

    There was also a funny tweet during the IPL that springs to mind: how Sri Lanka see this pitch while batting: iii__________iii

    how England see this pitch while batting: iii_/\_/\_/\_/\_iii

    Happy days for Sri Lanka; dejection and worrying signs for England. Live it up Sri Lankans - thoroughly deserved and awesome performances today (and throughout the series).

  • GeemanSL on June 23, 2014, 19:59 GMT

    Quite the performance by SL team. Unfortunately the Indian battalion is around to extrapolate this result to Eng vs India series. Take note that last time SL played against Eng, they lost 1-0. The lost was due to the dramatic collapse on the last day, however, a lost is a lost. India on the other hand was humiliated by Eng with a whitewash. SL has always done better than Ind in fast, bouncy pitches. So please dont derive any further conclusions from this victory and think India will have a walk in the park Eng will bounce back and india will have a tough time beating Eng.

  • Greatest_Game on June 23, 2014, 19:58 GMT

    I apologize to all for my misjudgment when, in the 3rd day report posts, I expressed a lack of optimism about Eng's 2nd innings. I clearly erred suggesting Cook would "pitch in with a scratchy 17" as he cunningly scratched his way to 16 instead. I thought Bell would "deliver a beautifully executed cameo," but it would be overly optimistic to describe his 26 ball boundary-less clean bowled fumbling, with more thick edges than a pack of sausages, as beautifully executed, or a cameo.

    I thought it "would be up to the "new guys again," but Ballance's Golden Quack, & Robson's determination to edge a ball a full foot outside off, only got Eng "up to" their delicately exposed neck!

    Eng fans can take hope that I'm wrong that "Root has had his one big knock for the series," & that "Prior can't survive close calls on 0 every innings," as only a brilliant rearguard "Faffing" from them, Moeen Ali & Eng's long tail will stop this from being not a 3 Lions, but a deserved "Lankan Lions" victory!

  • Sudhir65 on June 23, 2014, 19:56 GMT

    If I were a England fan, I would not get too down about this pending defeat. Dhoni's men are around the corner.

  • 12thUmpire on June 23, 2014, 19:56 GMT

    The last time India toured, many were disappointed it was not a 5 match series! Finally a non-Ashes 5 match this Summer!

  • on June 23, 2014, 19:51 GMT

    kumar sangakkara Fastest to 8000, 9000, 10000, 11000, and 12000 test runs. He has the 2nd most number of double centuries (only Don Bradman has more). He has a triple century to his name. He averages 70+ after giving up wicketkeeping and averages 50+ outside the subcontinent. He has now 7 consecutive 50's (record). Yet, some people say he is still not comparable to Tendulkar, Ponting, and Lara? If that's not being biased, I don't know what is

  • Nathan_123 on June 23, 2014, 19:51 GMT

    What a bunch of hardcore gutsy cricketers. What amazes me is the fact how aggressive Srilakan bowlers have been in this series. Culmination of hostile short balls followed by swinging pitched up balls, simply English guys didn't have a clue. The funny part was England thought they could dismantle Srilakan by hostile short pitch bowling. What surprise them was how well Srilankans handled the short stuff and counterattacked. This is a huge humiliation for the English team and their followers. Srilankan gave taste of their own medicine in their own back yard. I must give credit to how Chaminda Vass has moulded this bunch of young fast bowlers.

  • dabbadubba on June 23, 2014, 19:51 GMT

    dont worry england players.. India series is around the corner.. indians are very beneficial, each and every out of form english batsmen will touch gold in that series with double tons and triples... just hang on cook.

  • on June 23, 2014, 19:47 GMT

    congrats to srilanlka.! on verge of an well deserved win. That makes both odi and test series win within grasp. Good news for Indians as they will be playing a low morale team.(and of course ...they are well known for gifting matches!!)

  • CricFanKrish on June 23, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    I just can't wait for tomorrow! At 57/5, England is surely staring down the barrel. But, let us not celebrate too soon. Sri Lanka denied England victory in the first test by batting a whole day out. If a couple of batsmen get stuck, they could still save the test. Go Sri Lanka go! Grab it by the scruff of the neck and go home victorious! Prove to them that they can steal your coach but not what you have learnt.

  • Nutcutlet on June 23, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    The first thing to be said is to congratulate Angelo Mathews and his side on putting themselves on the cusp of a famous and well deserved Test and series win. The cricket he and his side have played has been thoroughly professional, aggressive, focused and relentless. Batting on this morning, SL added 243 for the last six wickets and a precarious lead of just over 100 was built up to 349. Wonderful counter-attacking cricket from AM and Herath, which Prasad in particular has capitalized on with some help from limp Eng batting. For England, this is a continuing nightmare that began in Aus. Cook is talismanic, esp. with a young and inexperienced side. They look to him for inspiration as captain & opening bat. He has to lead from the front but he has been plagued with his own daemons and his captaincy matches his batting. Neither is a functioning facet of his game. He must consider stepping down and convalescing in county cricket. We've seen enough. He's a good man now totally lost.

  • on June 23, 2014, 19:33 GMT

    What Sri Lankan team has shown today is, u do not need 6 foot 8 bowlers/95 miles bowlers to win tests. if swing does not do the trick cutters definitely will. The lack of height is always advantageous to bowlers because they can HIT the stumps. Finally very well played Mathews. SL cricket is in fine hands. Well played SL.

  • on June 23, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    ECB has made the biggest blunder of the century, by keeping Cook on as Captain, and reappointing Moores as coach. With India arriving next month, and probably also winning a series against England, calls for Cook to be replaced as skipper will be sung, but with KP exiled, by whom?

  • on June 23, 2014, 19:25 GMT

    Well done Lions, I knew from the first day the match is for us.

  • on June 23, 2014, 19:25 GMT

    Well done Lions, I knew from the first day the match is for us.

  • golfallday on June 23, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    This will be a phenomenal win, once its done and dusted. Amazing how the England team looked so frustrated, like they could not believe the Sri Lankan had the audacity to pull this off. Well done boys.

  • on June 23, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    One way England can relax; because next matches against India. England bowlers will get enough wickets, no need to wait for five days for result and also from poor form Cook and many batsman can come back. England can win matches easily, spectators will forget this defeats.

  • VillageBlacksmith on June 23, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    well played SL… Time for Cook to have some time off, if not for his sake then for the sake of the paying public.. Time also for Bell to go, as a senior bat he has failed dismally for too long and just simply is not the guy to build a side around… bell made a big noise pre series about senior bats stepping up… well they haven't … he hasn't … so take a long break bell… the new guys are actually being held back by these senior players and they will only learn defeat from them … time for a total clear out.. rest cook for a while and jettison bell at last for good, he has nothing and no fight to offer… there are plenty of new bats knocking on the door, best to get them in now before the old failing stagers dampen the new… Knowing Eng tho they will keep doing the same old thing and expect a different result… madness… Farbrace certainly made the wrong decision! there will be more lows until changes are made… did moores mention ''brave new era'' ?? Certainly is for SL !!

  • minhaz11638 on June 23, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    @LaKingsFan.even SL!!!??? Okay wait and see what team India can do.

  • 12thUmpire on June 23, 2014, 19:14 GMT

    Wonder when things were not going his way, Anderson's expressions were watched by Lang! If so, what might the latter say? ...

  • FRpunk on June 23, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    @ Ashan Nilanga Gamage Thanks a Lot mate for Wishing our Country . But i am afraid india Won`t Win it . a Series victory in england especially after the 4-0 drubbing last time around and plus a humiliating Defeat at home , we would love to see india beat england . but that won`t be easy .

    anyways Good Luck to Srilanka , If they do Win this Test , its gonna be Historic .

  • anupkeni on June 23, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    Can Dhoni play the kind of innings Mathews played today in alien conditions. I doubt very much.

  • CricketingStargazer on June 23, 2014, 19:11 GMT

    What can you say? England were woeful. Sri Lanka were superb. It is hard to believe that Alistair Cook will not announce his resignation as captain tomorrow. England missed their chance, in part due to a timid declaration at Lords and, today, the tactics were defeatist. 6 defeats in 7 Tests and consecutive series lost is not a record to be proud of.

    The one, small justification was that the England bowlers each sent down between 45 and 50 overs in the Lords Test, had 3 days rest and then bowled first here, so were understandably beginning to tire in the 2nd innings. In retrospect, it would have been better to bat first and give the attack some more rest.

    72% of all chases of 350+ in Test history have ended in defeat and only 8 have ended successfully, so anyone who thought that England had any real chance was just kidding him/herself. Once the lead went past 250 and England had effectively given up trying to take wickets, the result was sadly inevitable.

  • Kavum on June 23, 2014, 19:09 GMT

    Counting our unhatched chicks are we, dear SL fans? Root is still there and with Moeen, Jordan and the inestimable Prior to come in, Broad to play a aggressive knock and Jim Anderson to block a a few while (hopefully) Root hits the winning runs would be the best outcome and advert for long-form cricket. That said, Prasad, Rangana and the 3 other medium pacers will have to work hard and not lose their marbles through overconfidence. The match is firmly tilted in SL's favour but there are still 5 wickets to get and SL should not forget their shambolic showing against the lower order of England at Lord's. It should all make for an interesting day at Leeds. May the gutsier team win and may test cricket ultimately triumph against all the odds.

  • crickketlover on June 23, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    I am a cricket fan from India. I am sure entire India is rooting for SL to win the test match/series tomorrow. I have become a big fan of SL captain. What an innings! Please India team - learn from SL how to beat England in a test series.

  • on June 23, 2014, 19:06 GMT

    So what is the excuse now for England's performance? The experienced Anderson and Broad should go back to county and gain some more experience in how to tackle these situations against a nation who learnt cricket from the mighty English. The truth of the matter is talk the talk is England's way of convincing the world and walk the walk is the Srilankan's mentality to let the world witness what they are made of.

  • sunny1307 on June 23, 2014, 19:06 GMT

    Anderson should be made the Captain so that Cook can concentrate on his batting. Anderson is the only surviving player from the Hussain, Stewart era. He deserves to be the captain in Tests atleast. Also he will be the greatest ever English fast since he needs only 26 more wickets to Sir Ian Botham.

  • woody3 on June 23, 2014, 18:58 GMT

    Abject performance by England. Tactically inept, disinterested and nieve. How Cook is still in charge is beyond belief and what Moore is doing back with England is mystifying. Worst day of cricket by England I can remember, even worse than the winter.

  • dns07 on June 23, 2014, 18:57 GMT

    PROUD OF OUR BOYS, cant ask anything better!

  • KingPower on June 23, 2014, 18:57 GMT

    We have clearly seen the emergence of the Greatest Sri Lankan Captain of them all - Angelo Mathews! Go SinghaPower!

  • Twenny-Twenny-Knight on June 23, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    Congratulations SL; you've shown a very sorry England how to do it and a well deserved first series win awaits tomorrow.

    In the meantime Cook should step down and return to Essex for the remainder of the English season to rediscover his form, so that he can be reselected on merit as an opener only; his captaincy has proved a mistake, sadly for all English cricket fans.

    But, will he do the right thing? If not then Moores will already be under scrutiny - so early, what a surprise!

    New thinking required all round...

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    go lions ......u brilliant...

  • ksquared on June 23, 2014, 18:46 GMT

    For all of Sangas brilliance I think the man of the series has to be Mathews he has been exceptional mainly with the bat but as he showed in the 1st innings given the conditions with the ball as well. His captaincy has improved quite a bit since that debacle in Sharjah. The bowling has been superb especially Eranga and Pradeep with experience I see big things for them in the future.

  • armchairjohnny on June 23, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    Don't know why people are bringing India into this discussion. Sri Lanka are a different class in all forms of the game. India could only dream of a performance like this against England in a test, and I say this as an India fan!

    Congrats to SL on a fabulous fightback!

  • rizwan1981 on June 23, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    If KP is not brought back the Indians are going to beat the English 5-0 . The Indian batsman will also find it easier when the Sun is out in late Summer and the Indian Spinners will get more purchase out of the pitch as a result of the dry pitches.

  • Nmiduna on June 23, 2014, 18:39 GMT

    and how 'experts' predicted that pitch is doing a lot and SL will be bowled out for 100! GREAT RESPONSE!

  • rizwan1981 on June 23, 2014, 18:37 GMT

    Proud to be a SRI LANKAN - Mathews was a fantastic knock but credit should go to Silva ( in the first test ) Sanga and Mahela - Its a lot easier to bat at # 6 than at the top of the order .

    The brains trust should consider promoting Thirimanne to # 3 and Sanga at # 4 , Mahela at #5 . Even the great Kallis and Ponting dropped down from #3 to # 4 as their reflexes and eye sight were weakened as they got older.

    Its time to groom BAHNUKA RAJAPAKSHA and recall Tharanga if Thirimanne can't handle the pressure.Tharanga can bat # 3

  • the_blue_android on June 23, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    I think Indians will score 700 + on these pitches against these trundlers. Problem is they don't have bowlers as good as Lankans!

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    1st series victory?? I think Sri Lanka has already achieved a series victory against England in England in 1998. Sri Lanka won the only test match of the series by 10 wickets. Correct me if I'm wrong.

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    If srilanka wins the series Pakistan will move up to No 3 spot in test match rankings.

  • KazukoOhtha on June 23, 2014, 18:33 GMT

    A fitting farewell to Sanga and Jayawardena from SL team. They also can retire with dignity while still they keep the head highin the test arena. It is great to see SL cricket leadership is in capable hands of Mathew. Unlike Cook, Mathews lead from the front, both with the bat and ball. If unthinkable happens tomorrow, SL will be the winners of the entire series of all three formats. They played with all the disadvantages including the head coach deserting to the other camp. Well done SL!

    PS. I just wonder what has happened to all those Indian fans who were posting here predictions how SL going to be ground to dust in Tests. It is your turn now to show us what your team is made of, when the Ind tour in Eng begins next.

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:33 GMT

    England captain refused to use spinner Mohin Ali....it cost him to lose this Test. Former captain Micheal Vaun once refused to give Ravi Bapora the bowling when Ravi played as a bowler in his first Test.

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    @Dark Man x. Your clutching at straws hey as getting pretty desperate I see! Root is lucky to still be there , Sri Lanka will have your sorry mob cleaned up by lunch time or within the first hour. India will be licking their lips ha ha

  • amilag on June 23, 2014, 18:29 GMT

    Great Lions! You are true lions! What a turn around! SL had the talent and it was matter of time! This team is getting to a shape and it would be very difficult to beat them now onward!

    Series win in Test in England, Icing on cake after wining T20 and One days!

    Well done Sri Lanka! A little tiny Island in Indian Ocean beating kings, big 3 in Cricket!

  • LAKINGSFAN on June 23, 2014, 18:26 GMT

    If even SL can do this to Eng, what about India?

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:26 GMT

    India vs England result should be 3-0 .good luck India..best wishes from SL Fan..he he shame....where is the spirit mr.cook @joe roots reaction against decision.

  • S.Anand on June 23, 2014, 18:26 GMT

    Excellent play by Sri Lankans. Hats off to Angelo Mathews.

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:24 GMT

    Well our boys you do Sri Lanka proud. Despite all the flack, dirty talk you got from some England players you are teaching the masters who invented cricket how to play their own game. Angelo we knew you are one of our best young cricketers and captains. Captain Cool. Dammika the time and effort you spent in UK has paid dividends. We are so pleased to see you all battling the weather and keeping the flag flying. You are true LIONS.

  • ramz30380 on June 23, 2014, 18:24 GMT

    I am sure KP will be ROFL on seeing this English innings!

    The Lankan Lions are giving a very fair tribute to their two stalwarts Mahela & Sanga who deserve to be part of a series winning squad in England soil.

    Mathews, wht a launch as a captain - 2 back to back hundreds in 2 test matches on English soil - truly en route to greatness!

    On hindsight - so it was this team tht the Aussies won 5-0 against! Plz boys thts nothing to feel proud abt!!

    Thank U SL for paving the way for India to destroy the English in their home ground!

    We are def not talking abt Karnataka when we say tht Binny & Prasad bowled 2 exceptional spells in world cricket in the past week!

    Well Done SL, wrap it up tomorrow and enjoy the spoils!

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:20 GMT

    Really impressive performance from SL! What a partnership that was b/w Herath & Anjelo.. Particularly Herath's knock was very impressive, Anjelo played a captain's knock and blasted English bowlers all around the park and after that Dhammika Prasad bowled emaculate line and length with pace and swing to dismantle England's vulnerable batting order.. I loved SL's grit and determination today..BTW I am an Indian fan and I will not downgrade this fantastic performance by SL.. It's was just superb.. I hope India's taking notes from this test match on how to rattle England in all departments.. I wanted SL to win so that India cud have a psychological edge over England and there's no reason that India can't replicate what SL did today.. An all round performance.. Take the remaining five wickets tomorrow and win it.. All the best Srilanka and congratulations for winning the first test series in England.. Hats off!

  • SLMaster on June 23, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    Well played SL....to be fair for Dimuth ... he played better than Cook....

    Awesome innings from Mathews....and he bowled well too.

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:17 GMT

    England are clearly not at their best here, but enough of that, let us praise Mathews, Herath and Prasad, for today was their day, the greatest day's test cricket I've ever seen from Sri Lanka, simply, everything they did turned to gold.

    You cannot say too much in praise of Matthews, for mine he is becoming a Steve Waugh like figure for the Lankans, so full of determination, such a sound thinker, so canny in his cricket is he that he may surpass all but the brilliant best of Sangakkarra and Jayawardene in terms of what he delivers for Sri Lankan cricket. In Angelo they have a fine leader for many years to come.

  • entryholedia on June 23, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    Exceptional fightback by this new look Sri Lankan side!!! Classy Sangakkara , Mahela & the brilliant Angelo Mathews et al batting out England . Just consider the fact that they are without Malinga & Kulesekhara , yet the attack of Nuan Pradeep ( He is superb bith with his bowling & his flying hair !!!), Earanga and the superb Dhammika Prasad , Angelo Mathews ( 5 seamers ) . This with the world class & dangerously spinning Guile of Rangana Herath - Clearly a heavenly God Gifted bowling attack . That England are out of sorts playing against this attack is no surprise ! Cm'on Sri Lanka just wipe out the remaining 5 tommorrow & win a famous Victory . My heart goes out to this superb team . I can bet you India simply cannot match this attack . However after England are beaten the Indians in the latter half of the summer could fare better than they did in '2011

  • cric1965 on June 23, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    That is the difference between Kulasekara and Dhammika Prasad. Prasad bowling with maximum 88 mph with 85 mph average cannot be compare with Kulasekara who has 75 mph. Also Vithanage should have given chance instead of out of form Thirimanna.

    Cricket fans can select the team better than team management without any bias

    Give Dhammika tomorrow morning more overs to bowl. Now he is in full confidence will rip English batting without any mercy.

    Mathew can try his luck with bowling also.

    Need win first serious in England.

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    this game is not over yet! root can guide england home. he needs somebody to be at the other end.

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    this sri lanakan team is amaing. I feel captain cool is back in mathews's shoes he is getting support from all the players... every one is really hungry for win.. look at sanga and mahela celebrate each and every wicket... what ever happens tom this team is having dream run... beat bangladesh in all formats of cricket clean sweep in asia cup world champs in t20 beat england in t20s beat england in one day series in england on the blink of defeating england in test series in eng for the first time....feel this run will continue in the 50 overs wc in aus... thats how we would say good bye to the world greatest two buddies... we r proud of our team

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:12 GMT

    tasty.............I love the sweet of victory

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:12 GMT

    Well played Sri Lanka..! series wins in all 3 formats against at England on the line..!

  • Prabhash1985 on June 23, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    I personally think Cook is not captaining material at all. Put Bell or Anderson as captain, and England will be fine.

  • RandyOZ on June 23, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    Just when you think England cannot get any worse, the pathetic Captain Cook and his team of journeymen go and put in an insipid performance like that. You almost have to feel sorry for them (although on second thoughts not really). The new regime, which included stooping so low as to hire a rejected Aussie opener, is about to lose at home to Sri Lanka. While admittedly the tourists have played well, this team of poms are still feeling the aftershocks of the worst defeat in Ashes history.

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    If SL won this match It will be a Series White wash.... T20 1-0, ODI 3-2 hope Test 1-0

    Love you Lions....

  • Asitha on June 23, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    Why Englishmen tell as this going to be famous Victory??? I am wonder this heading... All most all the time T20 one day & test Sri Lanka team more than ahead from England team. Why ECB not give five test matches to Sri Lanka? We hunger on matches... Well Done Sri Lanka team... Asitha From Sri Lanka

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:04 GMT

    You guys shows what big three are I always with you when our team are not playing this team is nothing with out KP, good luck tomorrow in Sha ALLAH you are going to win the match and the series

  • on June 23, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    Sri Lanka deserve the test series ........wow what a knocked by Mathews, brilliant, brilliant both bat and bowl.

  • Prabhash1985 on June 23, 2014, 18:02 GMT

    This is what we were talking about! Play positive cricket, don't go to the saving mode, rather keep on fighting as to win. Cook always wanted Sri Lanka to go to saving mode, and it's great that Sri Lanka was fighting, and they really fought like lions! They are lions, and they will hunt you down! Well done Sri Lanka. All the obstacles happened and made happen to Sri Lanka, have made them stronger. If an assistant coach talks as if a heavy roller can take the game away from Sri Lanka who left Sri Lanka, it's good that he left Sri Lanka as the head coach, because such off-the-field drama will weaken you, for instance England lead by Cook. Great men are not born, they grow great - said Mario Puzo in Godfather.

  • YsaKaru on June 23, 2014, 17:59 GMT

    WOW!!!!! Our lankan boys played exceptionally well.... GOOD LUCK BOYS!!

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    When Mathews made his debut I knew it that he had it in him to become a genuine all rounder in tests .His bowling has hardly been good in tests but it seems to be improving and IMO he is the most reliable SL batsman right now . Mathews should keep in mind that his abilities with the ball are very important if SL has to win.Hope he can get a four for even in second innings or better a six for that could give him his first ten wicket haul in tests.

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:53 GMT

    well done by SL.out of no where after last 3 days they came back strongly in 2nd innings. well played by Mathews. England are no more strong in early summer. wickets are a but easier. they have now more reason to regret what happened in 1st test and late declaration. it will be near to impossible to save it from this position. all credit goes to SL. they came back strongly. 1st took last few wickets of england and then good batting effort.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on June 23, 2014, 17:51 GMT

    Root needs to be fined for dissent against the umpire. Bad sportsmanship. Just amazing cricket from the Lankan Lions. Incredible stuff.

  • BlakeHoulihan on June 23, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    Pietersen will be happy. You know he will be. I don't blame him.

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    Indians may now thinking that this will be an easy series for them. but Indians cannot do what Sri Lankans did. they will definitely uplift English cricket.

  • Yevghenny on June 23, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    incredible day for Sri Lanka. England....dear oh dear, what's happened?

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    At long last Sri Lanka are winning outside the subcontinent. After several trips they had recently won a test in South Africa. This England win should bode well for the Indian team's trip to England later on. If Sri Lanka can win, the rookie Indian batting line up that has done well in both South Africa and New Zealand, can do one better.

  • Harlequin. on June 23, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    GrumpiusMaximus, completely agree. A good batsman, a solid chap, but an awful captain. The number of tactical errors in this match was astounding. Bowling first, heavy roller, long spells by the bowlers in heat, deep point, Moeen coming on once batsmen are set, bowling back of a length.

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:42 GMT

    When lord's test drawn, When SL batsmans scoring well there, they said lord's is flat track. Leed's will be favourites for England they said. when SL all out below 260 in first inning, they said england will win this match with an inning, When herath & angelo batting briliantly, they said leed's pitch dying, ok now SL fast bowers bowling well and already england lost 5 wickets, now leed's pitch alive again?

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:41 GMT

    Sri Lanka strikes back...This is called "Revolution"

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    Sri Lanka would thrash England if they get a 5 test series. More we play in England the better we get in the conditions. What a brilliant knock by Mathews on a juicy surface with uneven bounce. Great stuff from Sri Lanka.And what a time to be a hero Dammika Prasad. Brilliant comeback !

  • Prabhash1985 on June 23, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    Well done Sri Lanka! Awesome! What else to ask for! Beauty!

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    Hats off Srilanka what a cme back hope Bois do the rest. And to be honest put KP back in the side to win matches otherwise the result is infront of ye ECB

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    Sri Lanka back on track. Mathews with bat now Prasad with the ball. WoW. Wish for a great victory.

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    It would in the best interest of English cricket if England loses this test. To have any chance of us regaining the Ashes next year England needs a real shake up, starting from the captain Cook and finding some test class spinner.

  • Bangla30 on June 23, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    Imagine if Sri Lanka played Prasad at lords!

  • CodandChips on June 23, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    This probable defeat is so annoying mainly because of the manner of it.

    We should have scored a lot more in the first innings. Ballance and Robson were let down.

    Then Sri Lanka, while they batted excellently, should have scored a lot less. Cook's poor captaincy combined with dropped catches from Jordan and co have helped Sri Lanka score a lot more than they should have.

    Now Prasad is tearing us apart. Fair play to Sri Lanka.

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    Imagine how Cook would have played if England were batting today....he would have batted on and on until tomorrow. Matthews made sure his team were in a position to bowl today and his positivity has been rewarded with wickets as England crumble. There is only one winner now. Alastair Cook has failed again and it's time to go before the India series. His poor form and negative captaincy count heavily against England.

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    thanks vinodzz for comment realy worry abt holding way of comment untill this moment i cnt belive was he played for wi for other english sub continenss, after the dismisl of mathew no body came to wished him this the way of cooks factory made

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:09 GMT

    From India - Best of Luck SriLanka for this match. Great job done.

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    @Bala Nbm, All batsmen wait for Indian user friendly bowling..........U forgot Kallis, de Kock, & of course McCullum.......All out of form batsmen prey for Indian tours

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    Only Cook's Calamitous XI could balls up such a dominant position..SL 257 all out, and Eng at one stage were 311/3, now they're 50/3 getting skittled by an average medium pacer who had a test match career bowling average of over 60 before this innings!....the mind truly boggles!!

  • GrumpiusMaximus on June 23, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    Well played Sri Lanka. England have put down some ordinary bowling but batting is an art and Matthews in particular has been absolutely superb.

    I write this as England are 3 down in reply for the fourth innings.

    I'm a huge fan of Cook, as an individual and as a player. Today was a final straw for me for cook as a captain. He is an outstanding batsman and his record is unquestionable - even if it has been exceptionally shaky for the last year.

    Not bringing on a spinner earlier when Matthews and Herath were well set is - frankly - worrying. When two batsmen have a routine, you have to disrupt it. It doesn't matter what you do because anything is better than doing nothing - even if it fails, it's runs that would eventually be scored anyway. Try an unorthodox field, bring on a medium-pace trundler; it doesn't matter. The fact that Mooen is a half-decent bowler helps, too.

    Matthews has demonstrated this by bowling himself at points where it matters.

    Well played Sri Lanka.

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    What a match Mathews is having. 4 wickets and 160!!

  • on June 23, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    Absolutely fantastic performance by SL's. They are on a roll, Asia cup, WCT20 and now winning against England in England. Both test match they have shown some great fight. One can only question why this series is just a 2 match series. Why not 3? They could have chucked of 1 match out of Eng-Ind series easily. Can India win the series against England?

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on June 23, 2014, 16:58 GMT

    Wow!!!England is hopeless at the moment...Well done srilanka..whatever the outcome of this match u already shown lot of character...SRILANKA-A small island with lot of heart..

  • CodandChips on June 23, 2014, 16:58 GMT

    I assume Ben Stokes will get a go vs India. Perhaps he'll take Moeen Ali's place, and a front-line seamer will come in for Jordan or Plunkett. I've just checked the Durham scorecard and am pleasantly surprised to see he took 7 wickets today.

    Personally I would rotate the bowlers over the series, but England won't. They never do.

    If Cook is dropped or banned, I'd like Adam Lyth to get a go. He has certainly played well this season for Yorkshire.

    I'd also get Simon Kerrigan in. He is the best English spinner in county cricket. His debut was atrocious but he deserves another go. You probably wouldn't drop a batsman after a king pair on debut. And if Cook is dropped perhaps he'll have a captain in Bell who inspires more confidence in him. And he'll be with his county coach. And when he bowled Watson had already started his onslaught. Give the boy a chance.

  • Briangg on June 23, 2014, 16:54 GMT

    It really is time for Cook to admit that he is not up to the mark as an international captain. We need him back as a world class opener, something he has not done for a while. Decisions in both tests in this series (but particularly in this test) demonstrate that its time for a change of leader

  • CodandChips on June 23, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    Sri Lanka are playing brilliantly. Excellent effort. Sri Lanka would do very well to lose this game.

    Mathews in particular deserves a pat on the back. He has shown his class this series. He has batted well and led his troops well, and even bowled well first innings. Especially considering that this is being done in the face of adversity.

    Cook is a real concern for me. I am a great fan of his but even my bias is being tested. Perhaps he should be dropped for a bit. I know that would leave our batting line-up even more horribly inexperienced, but I think it might have to be done. Though it may be a forced change if he gets banned for slow overrate.

    The signs have generally been encouraging this series as an England fan. All 4 seamers have had their moments, though have struggled at other times. Ballance, Robson, Root, Bell and Prior have scored some runs. Other than Cook, the only big concern will be Ali. He has struggled with both bat and ball. His place is certainly under threat

  • LAKINGSFAN on June 23, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    Just one session at a time. SL bowling is not that penetrating. Don't make mistakes as you did in 1st innings. Go England Go.

  • vinodzz on June 23, 2014, 16:30 GMT

    A small island... but bigggg passion for cricket... the silent ambassadors of cricket... you guys are the best in ASIA when compared to the resources we have; brilliant batsmen, bowlers, allrounders, captains...omg. We respect n envy you Srilankan cricket team... n whatta player he is..MATHEWS, fantastic spirited allrounder i have seen after FLINTOFF....

  • on June 23, 2014, 16:18 GMT

    I think cook is eagerly waiting for Indian series where he can find his form.Indians having the habit of doing like this eg.Ponting,Clarke,Salman butt,

  • sweetspot on June 23, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    Awesome Angelo!!! Way to go, Lankans! Lovely to see any subcontinent team doing well in England!

    England bowlers tired because of back to back Tests? How many have they played now? Twenty? What are they going to do against India, playing 5?

    I predict SL win because subcontinent bowlers must relish the relatively cooler temperatures and will go flat out.

  • Rilsrinsh on June 23, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    England with this kind of bowling attack, we indians can surely dream for 4-0 Whitewash

  • barneydog on June 23, 2014, 15:31 GMT

    As a local league umpire, I trust that Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson will be fined for their dissent during the later stages of the Sri Lankan innings. Their bad examples will only exacerbate the growing problem of questioning decisions at lower levels of the game. Yes, it must have been frustrating seeing the initiative slip away and the chances of an England win evaporating and, yes, Billy Bowden made a shocking decision in turning down a caught behind, but that is no excuse. After all, England had been their own worst enemy through unimaginative captaincy (why not give Plunkett the new ball after his first innings' heroics, rather than relying on the jaded regular openers, and why wait so long to introduce Moeen?), poor, wasteful field settings and wastage of their reviews. England's petulant body-language must have been a great tonic to SL and will be a major contributory factor if they go on to win. Peter Moores has a lot of work ahead of him.

  • on June 23, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    Though I'm Indian,proud that sub continent team doing well in English conditions.Take a bow Mathews .As a Indian we are searching for a player like yu for the past 20 yrs..But searching still going on. .

  • landl47 on June 23, 2014, 15:05 GMT

    At this point it's not so much Sri Lanka's resistance but when Sri Lanka will declare. All credit to Mathews and Herath, but that was about as bad a session as England has had since the Pakistan tour in 2012.

    I've been a defender of Cook, but in this innings all the problems- lack of initiative, bad field placings, wrong people bowling at the wrong time, no clear plans for different situations, poor communication- have resurfaced. If the ECB don't ask him to step down, perhaps he should think about doing so himself.

  • Bansam on June 23, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    When Moin bowled to Herath, England had to face the bitter pill of DRS because their guy Reiffel was only the third umpire and Shepherd was the onfield umpire. England will have tough time in chasing the huge deficit on the last day of the game.

  • BradmanBestEver on June 23, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    England's attack is below well par - no spinner and 4 "serviceable" trundlers.... The next few Ashes results? No worries mate

  • on June 23, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    really if malinga there, SL already won. don't blame to chandi but surely Thiri disapoint us, I am still wondering why selecters didn't bring Sachi for squard, Thisara & Menda also!!

  • on June 23, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    only way to brake that partnership is a runout well played rangana and mathews

  • on June 23, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    we are sofning england for india..

  • Cricsnake on June 23, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    Angelo Mathews has been outstanding today. Brilliant innings. One of the best innings I have ever seen by SL batsman in the modern days on such a fast track. Mathews is maturing day by day. When he got the captaincy of SL people criticized him as he should not be in the test team. But now he has proved that captaincy made him perfect. It was a Match of Mathews with both ball & bat. A very impressive 150. Herath provide perfect support, played like a front-line batsmen in difficult times. I saw confidence & courage in his eyes. Well done SL. Much better than we expected at the beginning of day & with wickets fall in a row. Better answer for the Good Comeback with 318 lead now. Hope we could set 350+ target for Eng. for the 4th day.

  • Gloryof96 on June 23, 2014, 14:51 GMT

    It's sad what Cook is doing .....

    He has a spinner who he has no confidence in, mind you who took 2 crucial wickets yesterday and if he doesn't bowl this inexperienced spinner how else can he gain experience, it bewilders me!

    The problem always for SL, no quality pair of pace bowlers, we had long ago guys like ALF De Mel, Romesh Ratnayake, VB John, S Ahangama, K Amalean but due to age and lack of test those day, they all fell by the way side. Vass is the exception, he made it count

    If Mattews had 1 of England' bowlers with him (e.g. Anderson), I guarantee you SL would have won this series 2-0

  • on June 23, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    Feel for Herath..Mathews a bit greedy there..but what a knock he is playing. Another truly class batsman from Sri Lanka !

  • on June 23, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    if chandimal and thirimana was not there we could have another 2 spinners..... if malinga was there we already won the match

  • on June 23, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    pitch seems like a batting paradise. england can easily hunt down 318 in no time!

  • on June 23, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    Move Hearth up the batting order before Thirumane and chandimal. What a class player is Matthews !!!!

  • Prabhash1985 on June 23, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    Hats off to Herath! You did 4 times than what we expected you. Pity that you couldn't get the 50, though; waited to see it so eagerly. Hats off!

  • on June 23, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    people saying that this is a runaway pitch. .. we'll see when eng are battling to save the match!

  • on June 23, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    England in trouble. Deep, deep trouble. Well done, SL. Though still anything can happen.

  • ladycricfan on June 23, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    I heard that Herath bats like Muralitharan. But his batting looks more like Ashwin than Murali. Carry on SL. Get a win and win the series.

  • NP_NY on June 23, 2014, 14:10 GMT

    The pitch must be a runway if Herath can bat this many balls and score 30 odd. Looks like a perfect batting track.

  • St.John on June 23, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    I retract my earlier scathing comments on the SL tail. Hearth has got his tail up!

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 23, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    SL needs another 100. If tail wags little bit more for another 30 overs, POMS is gone. My money is still with POMS.

  • Prabhash1985 on June 23, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    This is awesome! One of the greatest achievements for Sri Lanka, that is, Herath supporting Mathews to build an enough lead. Well done Sri Lanka! Hope you will continue your good work.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on June 23, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    I knew Mathews was a good player, but the last couple of years he has gotten better and better. Troubling signs for England. Clearly Cook's captaincy is costing them as is his lack of runs. Ali has been picked to be a spinner but had little opportunity. Robson and Balance look like good long term England players. If Root ever becomes consistent, that's signs of a good middle order for a long time for England. Jimmy Anderson wont be around for too much longer, maybe 2 years. Broad will have to carry this bowling lineup. Finn has to be persisted with. Still surprised he wasn't tried in the ashes tour of Australia with his pace and bounce. His county season has been solid. Surely there is a decent spinner out there, maybe not Swann quality, but can hold his spot based on his bowling. And wicketkeeper looks another big questionStokes if he can get fit looks another long termer for the Poms. Cook, Robson, Balance, Bell, Root, Stokes, ? Keeper, Jordan, Broad, ? Spinner, Finn next ashes.

  • rajcan on June 23, 2014, 13:24 GMT

    SL should have included batting all rounder Thissara Perera. He is not a slogger, he emerged as a very good batsman in school days and of course he is, but he has been used as slogger. He won several matches for SL, in ODI and in T20s. He played long innings in ODIs, and is a good bowler too.

    Instead of having Thirimane, one dimensional player, Thissara would have been a good contribution to the team. I am sure, Thissara would not have failed continuously in 4 innings and I am sure, he would have sent few balls over the rope and damage moral of some English bowlers.

    It is a good example of Sl wasting talents and putting non-performes in playing XI and ask them to produce.

  • on June 23, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    Mathew Showing Some Serious Temperament here. Very handy with Bat as well Bowl. Hes Been Fully Capable to Lead Lankans for Upcoming Cricketing Career

  • 2nd_Slip on June 23, 2014, 12:47 GMT

    A lead of 250 constitutes a game anything less than that England should stroll to victory

  • on June 23, 2014, 12:27 GMT

    If mathews takes it to over 250. They will have a slight chance, if not its England then.

  • on June 23, 2014, 12:27 GMT

    If mathews takes it to over 250. They will have a slight chance, if not its England then.

  • 2nd_Slip on June 23, 2014, 12:47 GMT

    A lead of 250 constitutes a game anything less than that England should stroll to victory

  • on June 23, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    Mathew Showing Some Serious Temperament here. Very handy with Bat as well Bowl. Hes Been Fully Capable to Lead Lankans for Upcoming Cricketing Career

  • rajcan on June 23, 2014, 13:24 GMT

    SL should have included batting all rounder Thissara Perera. He is not a slogger, he emerged as a very good batsman in school days and of course he is, but he has been used as slogger. He won several matches for SL, in ODI and in T20s. He played long innings in ODIs, and is a good bowler too.

    Instead of having Thirimane, one dimensional player, Thissara would have been a good contribution to the team. I am sure, Thissara would not have failed continuously in 4 innings and I am sure, he would have sent few balls over the rope and damage moral of some English bowlers.

    It is a good example of Sl wasting talents and putting non-performes in playing XI and ask them to produce.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on June 23, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    I knew Mathews was a good player, but the last couple of years he has gotten better and better. Troubling signs for England. Clearly Cook's captaincy is costing them as is his lack of runs. Ali has been picked to be a spinner but had little opportunity. Robson and Balance look like good long term England players. If Root ever becomes consistent, that's signs of a good middle order for a long time for England. Jimmy Anderson wont be around for too much longer, maybe 2 years. Broad will have to carry this bowling lineup. Finn has to be persisted with. Still surprised he wasn't tried in the ashes tour of Australia with his pace and bounce. His county season has been solid. Surely there is a decent spinner out there, maybe not Swann quality, but can hold his spot based on his bowling. And wicketkeeper looks another big questionStokes if he can get fit looks another long termer for the Poms. Cook, Robson, Balance, Bell, Root, Stokes, ? Keeper, Jordan, Broad, ? Spinner, Finn next ashes.

  • Prabhash1985 on June 23, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    This is awesome! One of the greatest achievements for Sri Lanka, that is, Herath supporting Mathews to build an enough lead. Well done Sri Lanka! Hope you will continue your good work.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 23, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    SL needs another 100. If tail wags little bit more for another 30 overs, POMS is gone. My money is still with POMS.

  • St.John on June 23, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    I retract my earlier scathing comments on the SL tail. Hearth has got his tail up!

  • NP_NY on June 23, 2014, 14:10 GMT

    The pitch must be a runway if Herath can bat this many balls and score 30 odd. Looks like a perfect batting track.

  • ladycricfan on June 23, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    I heard that Herath bats like Muralitharan. But his batting looks more like Ashwin than Murali. Carry on SL. Get a win and win the series.