Sri Lanka v England, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day

Herath takes 12 in Sri Lanka's victory

The Report by George Dobell

March 29, 2012

Comments: 318 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka 318 (M Jayawardene 180, Anderson 5-72) and 214 (P Jayawardene 61*, Swann 6-82) beat England 193 (Bell 52, Herath 6-74) and 264 (Trott 112, Herath 6-97, Randiv 4-74) by 75 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rangana Herath celebrates his twelfth wicket of the match, trapping Graeme Swann lbw , Sri Lanka v England, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day, March 29, 2012
Rangana Herath expertly exploited a turning surface and England's deficiencies against spin bowling © AFP
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Sri Lanka won their first home Test since the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan in July 2010 as they completed a 75-run victory over England in Galle. Sri Lanka had, until this game, played 17 Tests and won just one since Murali's retirement as the leading Test wicket-taker.

Having set England a mammoth 340 to win, Sri Lanka endured a few nervous moments as Jonathan Trott, in particular, batted with great fortitude. In the end, though, the target was too great and Sri Lanka held their nerve.

It was another spinner, Rangana Herath, who led Sri Lanka's victory charge; he took 12 wickets in the match and expertly exploited a turning surface and England's deficiencies against spin bowling.

It might be tempting, then, to claim that Sri Lanka have discovered a replacement for Murali. In truth, Sri Lanka are learning new ways to win. With Murali in the side, life was relatively easy; his excellence allowed Sri Lanka to mask other weaknesses. Those days have gone and may never return.

The Sri Lanka team still contains match-winners, though. Mahela Jayawardene's first-innings century - a magnificent innings - provided a welcome reminder of his genius, while Kumar Sangakkara remains one of the finest batsmen in world cricket.

Generally, however, they are now a team that require contributions from every individual.

Herath is a perfect example. He is a skilled performer, certainly. He bowls with pleasing flight, has all the traditional variations and has excellent control. His second-innings performance was his ninth five-wicket haul and left him the fifth Sri Lanka bowler to claim ten wickets in a Test.

But he is no Murali. Only three years ago he was plying his trade as a journeymen pro - and with modest success - in the North Staffordshire and South Cheshire League, while a spell as overseas player with Hampshire produced just ten first-class wickets at an average of 46.30.

In these conditions, however, he is a tough proposition. And, with the support of Suraj Ranjiv and two underrated seamers, he was able to apply pressure on a batting line-up lacking competence and confidence.

Herath was also supported by some outstanding fielding. The wicketkeeper, Prasanna Jayawardene, enjoyed an excellent came with bat and gloves. But, in a match that took many twists and turns, perhaps the defining moment came when Lahiru Thirimanne clung on to a desperately tough chance at short leg to end a fifth-wicket partnership that looked as if it could take England to a record-breaking victory.

Matt Prior and Trott added 81 runs. With the field pushed back, the pair were able to rotate the strike and accumulate without undue risk.

Then, however, Prior connected well with a sweep only to see Thirimanne, anticipating the path of the ball as he saw the batsman shape for the shot, react brilliantly to hold on after it struck him on the body. The dismissal precipitated a dramatic collapse as England lost their last six wickets for only 31 runs.

Defeat was cruel reward for Trott. Trott's century, a wonderful example of patience, technique and concentration, would, in many circumstances, have deserved to win a Test. As it was, however, he was unable to compensate for the failure of his colleagues.

Trott's seventh Test century sustained England's hopes of a remarkable win until the brink of tea but his dismissal, caught at leg slip as he attempted to turn an off break into the leg side, ended any realistic hopes the tourists may have had.

On the final day Trott helplessly watched on as Kevin Pietersen - now averaging just 12.50 on England's winter tours - was beaten in the flight and chipped to midwicket and Ian Bell missed a premeditated sweep. Samit Patel, trying to give himself room and hit through the off side, was another man to be superbly caught at the second attempt by Tillakaratne Dilshan at short extra cover, before Graeme Swann, attempting an ugly sweep, was leg before the two left-hand tailenders were soon mopped up by Randiv's off-spin.

The result sentenced England to their fourth successive Test defeat. For the No.1 rated team who, only a few months ago, were talking about setting a legacy, that is an acute embarrassment.

They need not look too far to see where they want wrong. They simply made too many mistakes. In dropping Mahela Jayawardene four times during the course of his match-defining century they were profligate beyond repair. Stuart Broad's no-ball to Prasanna Jayawardene - and the manner in which Sri Lanka's last two wickets were able to eke out more than 50 runs in each innings (65 in the first and 87 in the second) - were also costly.

Most pertinently, though, England's batsmen continue to struggle against spin bowling. To be bowled out within 47 overs on a blameless second day track was always likely to prove decisive. Andrew Strauss, Pietersen and Bell (despite his half-century in the first innings) are all in need of runs in Test cricket and it was telling that, even in their second innings, when England batted so much better, they lost all ten of their wickets to spin.

Perhaps, though, they can take just a little encouragement from certain aspects of this performance. England have never made more than 332 to win in the fourth innings of a Test but, set 340 here, there were moments when they threatened to go close. Yes, they fell short, but they at least showed some of the fight and fibre that was missing in the UAE.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (April 1, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas - You're right. I think also players and ex players when asked a direct question like "Can you set a benchmark/legacy like WI or Oz?" are going to say yes aren't they? If they say no then they're lacking ambition. Can and Will are 2 different words. I think even many pundits were saying things are in place for domination which isn't the same as "We will dominate" . I think you'll find most regular Eng posters on here have only ever bigged up our previous form in response to those who are trying to slate us at every point. Obviously you get some that just boast and gloat at every turn but you usually find they disappear when the chips are down.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (March 31, 2012, 21:17 GMT)

@JG, thanks for quoting me. And also, please note what George Dobell said in the article - "The result sentenced England to their fourth successive Test defeat. For the No.1 rated team who, only a few months ago, were talking about setting a legacy, that is an acute embarrassment". I'm really not sure who are those English players in the team who were talking about setting a legacy. The players were always humble enough to understand and acknowledge the hardwork that goes into winning their games. If I remember correctly, it was Botham and other SkySports crew that were making such tall claims, not the English team or any of its members.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 31, 2012, 19:26 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas on (March 31 2012, 16:41 PM GMT) I'm a bit past it to rock to be honest but thanks for the comms. I hate to stereotype cricket fans from a country and just wish that some of your fellow fans would let it go. Constructive comms from any country are always good to read even if I don't always agree with them. I do try to defend team England when I feel people write nonsense/untruths etc and will constructively argue with many (inc my fellow English fans) if I feel their suggestions are wrong for team England etc. But I am also one of our biggest critics. It's what it's all about. Occasionally I'll go on other country's threads but will always try to post an honest assessment and why whether it be a compliment or a criticism.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (March 31, 2012, 17:41 GMT)

@JG, IndnCrktfan, satish619chandar, Nutcutlet and Cpt.Meanster, you dudes rock. Pleasure to read your comments.

Posted by landl47 on (March 31, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

Congratulations to Sri Lanka, this win always looked likely after Mahela's great innings on days one and two. England will be very disappointed not to have batted better in the first innings and to have let Prasanna and the tail get so many runs in the second. Too many batsmen are still choosing the wrong shots to play- sweeping balls on the stumps and going back when they should be forward. Still, a very enjoyable and tense test to watch.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 31, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

@maddy20- I'm not sure what these people said and re Bres - if he said something , you don't know what might have been said to him by an Indian player which may have led him to say something... Regardless of this and whatever else might have been said by Eng fans after beating India in Eng , India beat Eng in the OD series 5-0 and your countrymen had a field day with your gloating comms on these boards. OK so that way payback if you want to be small minded , but we're still getting numerous nasty comms when we're not even playing you. I've looked at a few Indian threads when Ind were being thrashed by Oz or were knocked out of the 2 OD comps and even posted stuff on the odd one but constructive criticism and I've not seen these comms from Eng fans on your threads - certainly not the volume of comms. It's become so obsessive that I'm sure many Ind fans care more about Eng losing than Ind winning. How sad is that?

Posted by JG2704 on (March 31, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

@maddy20 on (March 30 2012, 11:53 AM GMT) - I'm not even an Oz fan but your comms are becoming obsessive. Bangladesh are a challenge for anyone in the OD/T20 games as they proved in the Asia cup but they are still very green as far as tests are concerned. Aus beat SL in SL just like Pak beat Eng in UAE , India beat Eng in ODIs in India and Eng beat Ind in Eng in tests - we can all come up with transitional phase , injuries excuses etc but not all of us do. And drawing a series 2-2 - is that being whipped? Please publish this time

Posted by JG2704 on (March 31, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

@Maddy20 - It seems that I am unable to respond to your comms but I'll try once more.Re Bres and what he allegedly said , if he did say this it's not great but there was probably plenty being aimed at him at points pre/during series.Isn't this "Payback" thing getting a little obsessive? I mean OK you have a go at us when you beat us in the ODIs but is that not enough.On occs when I have been on Indian threads I don't see all these English fans posting ill comms like we're still getting on our threads from Indian fans and it's not like India have been in better form than Eng. When we played Pak we hardly recd any such comms from them when they beat us and even on these SL threads we are getting more from the Ind fans than the victors themselves.Why not learn from people like your fellow country man satish619chandar who manages to write constructive criticism on our threads.BTW Aus being whipped by WI - Is that the 2-2 thrashing you're on about?

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

being a pakistani i congragulate to my SL fallows and am expecting gain a white wash for england,and do remember my SL friends now its due on you gys nothing less than white wash is acceptable.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 31, 2012, 9:50 GMT)

@satish619chandar Absolutely fair play to you for not jumping on the snipewagon. I do feel that many of your fellow country folk have developed a real obsession where they actually care more about England losing than their own team winning. I might not agree with all your views but I fully respect you as a person for not becoming one of the sheep. I know we have probably had some snipers during the Eng/India encounters but when I have been on Indian threads (sometimes I have posted criticism (constructive mind) , I have not seen the ill comms which we are still receiving on threads where team India are not involved - there have certainly not been the quantity.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 2:56 GMT)

After quite some time SL have won without any significant contribution from Sanga, what with him not keeping wickets too. Only time he got noticed was the first ball duck and the dropped catch. Hope he would come into his own in the second test and how it would be. Murali had Vaas at the other end and useful part timers like Sanath. Another Vaas is the need of the hour.

Posted by applethief on (March 31, 2012, 2:54 GMT)

@bobmartin 100% agree with you mate; happy as Larry to see England at the top of the table as they continue to lose match after match after match. That'll really show us what the rankings are all about.

Posted by jb633 on (March 31, 2012, 0:26 GMT)

@IndinCrktfan- you seem to be the most reasonable Indian fan I have heard and I agree completley with your analysis. I feel at the present time there is no clear "world leader" but that all teams can play well when it suits them. IMO the techniques of world batsmen have been adversley affected by T20 and there no longer appears the willingness to adapt, like Dravid, Hayden, Sachin and Kallis had a decade ago.

Posted by vdm1 on (March 30, 2012, 23:38 GMT)

England crumbled from a commanding position. Literally threw their wickets away as soon as the finish line was in sight. They will lose their ranking and be back to where they belong at number 5 before too long. Also Points system for ranking is madness. South Africa lose a point by winning a series, how is that possible?

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 23:18 GMT)

Perhaps England should check the availability of AB and Dale Steyn? AB plays well in subcontinent.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 23:07 GMT)

Congratulations to SL and commiserations to England.SL was playing like a champion and not like a team full of champions. SL does not have superstars but they fought like true lions. England is a very good team and I am sure they will find their true form soon. English fans are much nicer and calmer when compared with our Indian fans. It is nice to see that English and SL fans are not bashing at each other. Great. Good luck on Tuesday and may the best team win.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 30, 2012, 21:43 GMT)

@Nutcutlet on (March 30 2012, 07:46 AM GMT) Sorry bud , but I'd definitely stick with Patel. I honestly don't think Bopara would do any better with the bat and Patel did take a couple of wickets in the 1st inns and seemed to dry the runs up. Maybe he was underused as a bowler? I'd still drop Bell over KP personally but that's just me. If Broad is injured then they should bring Finn and Bres in IMO

Posted by JG2704 on (March 30, 2012, 21:41 GMT)

@jb633 on (March 30 2012, 13:25 PM GMT) To be fair I think that was a huge prob in UAE , but in SL our batsmen seem to have got forward a bit more. In the 2nd inns they seemed to find other ways of getting out.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 30, 2012, 21:41 GMT)

@rk_ks on (March 30 2012, 19:47 PM GMT) I know I'm not Bob and in another era I'd say no , but the fact is that when India lost 4-0 it was to a team (Eng) who were not far behind them. England are losing to teams who are some way back in the rankings. The thing is , the most likely teams to take over SA and Oz - SA are dropping too many matches (some through rain) and have drawn too many series over recent years. Does a team which has a record of 5 wins (3 of which came against WI,NZ and Bang) 4 draws (3 of which were at home) deserve it much more than Eng? Does a team who lost on their home soil to Eng 3-1 (just over 12 months ago) and drew at home to 8th place side NZ 4 months ago deserve it more?

Posted by GreenGoat on (March 30, 2012, 21:26 GMT)

most of this chatter regarding how deserving either Ind or Eng are to be no. 1 is misleading. teams get their rank based on many months (years) of performance and current performance is only a small part.. i.e.Eng/Ind rank 1 means they've been the best team overall in the last 3 years, adjusting for opposition strength and home/away status of games...

further, the ranking system does not capture the full complexity of the game (to do so would require more games than possible to schedule) so the ranking at best is an approximation.. u can be reasonably confident that if no. 1 plays a 5 test series in a neutral ground that is bowling neutral (i.e equal assistance to spin and pace) with no. 5 team, rank 1 will win majority of the games. however, u cant make the same prediction if no.1 was playing no. 3 or 2...

Posted by rk_ks on (March 30, 2012, 20:47 GMT)

@bobmartin - Do you think England deserve to be number one even after losing 4 matches. If a team is really number it should not lost 4 test matches in a row. Since India doesn't deserve to be number 1 after losing to England the ranking was dropped. I guess even after England losing 20 test matches in a row you still argue that "so what we are still number one". For you, ranking is the only thing that matters. It doesnt matter how the players are performing. Poor guys should feel happy by looking at the ranking chart.

Posted by GreenGoat on (March 30, 2012, 20:45 GMT)

@jb633 - u r exactly right abt playing spin. moment u sweep an in-line ball and miss, its lbw, esp with bowlers like herath who are low and dont spin so much... i guess the Eng top order know this, but execution is something that they have to perfect by practicing... anyway, the next match is at a more pace friendly wicket so Eng bowlers should get some assistance and Eng have a good chance of winning... ~SL fan

Posted by bobmartin on (March 30, 2012, 20:44 GMT)

@ foursandsixes... There is no point in trying to predict something which is not going to happen... In fact I wonder why any person would want to ask such a brainless question

Posted by balajik1968 on (March 30, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

Let us not knock England. The bowlers did well both in UAE and Sri Lanka. It was the batsmen who let them down big time. Off all the English batsmen, I thought Prior played best both in UAE and in SL, playing common sense cricket. He made good scores without scoring big. If at least 2 of the other batsmen had showed some consistency, England could have won just as easily. As much as Andy Flower can teach them to play spin, it is for the batsmen to go out and perform on the field of play. One final reason why England struggles in the subcontinent is because they possibly do not see beyond the Ashes. That's why Australia and South Africa have a better record in the subcontinent, because they are willing to adapt to the conditions.

Posted by iamsuperman on (March 30, 2012, 17:28 GMT)

England no.1 team? really??? ha ha ha..

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (March 30, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

We can all go back and forth taking shots at each other to no avail. As Indians we take the most of it but at the end of the day the reality is No one team can dominate in any form of the game and mostly in test cricket. I guess its time to take away the home field advantage and ICC should make it mandatory to all test playing nations to prepare all kinds of pitches to truly decide who the real #1 is in test cricket. If they can change rules in ODI's to favor batsmen why not do the same in test matches.

Posted by kandykolla on (March 30, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

Well done Sri Lanka and well played England . Looks like more people are happy of England`s defeat than the Sri Lankan`s victory !! As a Sri Lankan I feel it`s a great pleasure to host the England team and their loyal supporters in Sri Lanka and hope you guys enjoy the cricket,the weather and Sri Lanka. Don`t forget to go to the elephant orphanage !! Have a great time !!! Feel like home !!

Posted by foursandsixes on (March 30, 2012, 15:56 GMT)

@bobmartin: can you dare predict what will happen if this current Eng team were to visit Bangladesh right after the SL series to play 4 test matches? With B'desh batting looking better, they have 4 quality spinners, I would say a 0-4 thrashing of England by the "minnows". haha... please send them to B'desh, please please! hahaha

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 15:51 GMT)

So Eng, Aus, SA, WI, NZ can't play spin and the subcontinent teams cant play pace. Yes now and then you do get exceptions like Pak producing great fast bowlers and Ind succumbing to spin or SL getting mauled by pace away from home. Yet now and then these teams win away from the subcontinent. In fact much more than the "pace" teams winning here.

Posted by anindya_mozumdar on (March 30, 2012, 15:01 GMT)

Exceptional performance by England given the conditions. The most important thing is that they improve with every game - unlike subcontinent teams who NEVER learn to play in fast tracks.

Posted by jb633 on (March 30, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

Well done to SL, even as an England fan I can stomach losing to SL as I like their team and found the people when I toured there very hospitable. As for ENG i do agree that things need to change. I believe the problems stem for a lack of scoring options against spin, which is all related to footwork. Essentially watching the very best players of spin they get themselves into a position to score runs using the straight bat. Too many of the English players stay rooted to the crease which makes them a sitting duck, given the number of LBW's with the DRS. At the end of the day watch Jaywaredene, he will use the feet to get right forward and then back. This gives him the ability to scored all around the ground. Then if the bowlers go wider the cross bat shots become safwr. The sweep is a productive shot if the bowler is looking to bowl outside off, not on middle or mid/leg. Eng players need to develop more scoring options or the same will happen again and again

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

@Sir freddie flintoff Give me a break. Your side has been pathetic in the last 4 tests .And you say we are still number 1 . You think your team deserved that spot.

Posted by maddy20 on (March 30, 2012, 12:53 GMT)

@ Sharjeel Kahn Aus was whipped by a side ranked 8th in the ODI series. Test series is not gonna be a cakewalk either especially if Sarwan and Chanderpaul are picked. Also Aus have lost or drawn everything except the one series against an SL side that was in a transition phase. If they tour any Asian side they will surely lose. Even Bangladesh now have the players to challenge them!

Posted by mdiggity on (March 30, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

Whoever wins the AUS v SA series in Australia later this year will decide the number 1 team in the world

Posted by noufu123 on (March 30, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

Oh............poor englend....dont know how to play spin.....Ur not the best to get Test Ranking..Pitty on u English Cricketers....

Posted by i_witnessed_2011 on (March 30, 2012, 11:57 GMT)

I think its a high time that we all accept there is no absolute No.1 team currently. Earlier we had Aus or WI. But now no one team can claim supremacy that these two teams had. Lets accept that there are 3-4 team competing No.1 very hard for the No.1 spot. All these team are quite capable but they have many negetives due to which they can not sustain No.1 Spot. SA seems to be all round team. They are best suited to all conditions but they fail miserably in crucial times. Eng and Ind have shown their strength to the world before reaching No.1 but after reaching No1. spot, Their negetives are exposed. SL and Aus are rebuilding, So expet them to come back hard. Ranking is not only about team performance, its about scheduling international matches as well. So rather than arguing\justifying our teams blindly lets accept the fact and enjoy the greatness of test matches. :)

Posted by bobmartin on (March 30, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

To all those Indian supporters now gloating... England have lost 4 away tests yet are still number one (despite what some of you are saying or maybe wishing).. whereas India, after losing 4 away tests, dropped to number three in the rankings. Enough said. !!

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

I wonder where the hell are Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughn.....havnt heard anything about england losses...

Posted by Maccanui on (March 30, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

Maybe England still have too many englishmen in their team, perhaps that's the problem.

Posted by Hold_the_line on (March 30, 2012, 10:24 GMT)

To those still clinging to the ICC championship table points in denial, the pattern for Eng in tests reads this: LLLL.

Posted by Jabulani on (March 30, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

@bobmartin - and as for AUS they have no chance in the next 5 months to take the no.1 spot but can overtake ENG. Theoretically ENG can fall to 103 points putting them in in a tie for 5th with Sri Lanka, although this is unlikely. And the highest that AUS can climb is 2nd with 113 points.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 30, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

@PBs09 on (March 29 2012, 17:22 PM GMT) So in this 3 year period are you sure Eng didn't play SA away and Australia home and away? Was it not Australia who they played away at the end of 2010 beginning of 2011? India were also rightly number one. Maybe you ought to check your facts before you start coming out with all these theories. We played WI once in this unbeaten reign same as SA. Yes we played Ban twice but by beating Ban we get significantly fewer points because of their ranking. Also of all the 8 major sides , guess which one we haven't played during this time? I'll give you a clue - they are ranked 8/8. Please feel free to respond if you feel there are inaccuracies in my post.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 30, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

@CricketFundas on (March 29 2012, 17:28 PM GMT) - Yes I remember the 5-0 drubbing but we're not bringing the OD game into this debate are we? Otherwise we add Engs OD series 4-0 and T20 2-1 win vs Pak and Engs 1-0 T20 win vs India into the equation and things don't look AS bad statistically do they? As Pak went on to win the Asia cup I presume if I can go by your logic coupled with current form that we are better than any Asian side in OD cricket - no? Let's just concentrate on test cricket shall we?

Posted by JG2704 on (March 30, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

What a load of rubbish comms. Eng were terrible and their batting has been worse this year than in previous years. There are far too many junk comms to respond to them all. Eng still have a chance to draw the series which would mean them and SA will be level at the top. If we lose the next match then SA are top and rightly so having lost 2 series in a row. If we win we will be up there with them. And if we do win then we will have still only lost one test series in 3 years which isn't that bad for a side who are totally undeserving so. People say about SA,Aus and Pak should be number 1. On present form maybe but remember the rankings are done on a league type basis over 2 or 3 years and any honest fan of any of these sides will know of instances where they slipped up. I have done facts / figures on where the other teams have gone wrong but I'm not wasting my time when people have formed their opinions which are not factually or logically based.

Posted by bobmartin on (March 30, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

@Posted by Jabulani on (March 29 2012, 22:00 PM GMT) "@bobmartin - you need to check your sums again mate, you need to win the next game to stay level with SA. This loss has put England temporarily below SA." I believe that the ICC are still the current authority governing the rankings. I mention this simply because the last time I checked, just before I wrote that comment and again just before I writing this one, England are still Number 1 in the Official ICC Test Rankings, 1 point ahead of Sth Africa. and if they win the next test they will remain so. If they lose the next test then Sth Africa and maybe even Australia will overtake them in the table.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 8:57 GMT)

Congratulations to SL i am always on their side after PAK TEAM.They truly deserved this win .After this result interesting facts are revealed about no.1 test spot.If yu observe closely last year and half test matches it shows that SA is becoming no.1 and they should be no.1 soon but let me tell you not for very long and that has been shown from the fact against aussies in SA.They were unable to beat aussies in SA even after giving 310 target with best batting and bowling resources available.Pak cant become no.1 unless they find two or three quality batsman like yousaf and younas.Ind and Eng don deserve it as we know from their shown weaknesses.WI and NZ shudnt be discussed as they are too weak at d moment (No disrespect to them )SL after post murali era cant be no.1 either so logic leads me again to AUS .Observe their recent performances with not so threatening players .Won in SL,Drawn against SA & NZ,Won against IND and probably will in WI.They flourish in fast and spin conditions .

Posted by sri2001 on (March 30, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

First of all England got the team wrong. What is the use of playing Samit Patel when he is bowling only 9 overs in both the innings, and not scoring runs. England team should be Strauss, Cook, Bopara, Pieterson, Prior, Anderson,Swann, Trott, Finn, Panesar and Bresnan (if Broad is ruled for 2nd Test). Also England were negative in their approach by scoring at average rate of 2.25 per over.

Posted by ham1990 on (March 30, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

Pretty comfortable win in the end for SL...but it was far from their best cricket. Bowling needs more penetration from the seamers, and Batsman need to perform more consistently and convert starts into big scores. Likewise, England need to address this spin problem and make sure they convert their starts, because their bowling attack isn't putting a foot wrong at the moment. The second test should be very interesting...expect more fight from the Poms!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (March 30, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

@JG2704: I'm in total agreement. In the absence of a genuine all-rounder, there has to be five bowlers for Tests in SL & India, if not the UAE. When Broad & Bres are fit, both should play as they offer runs regularly. England needs to think out of the box for Colombo and see how Bopara can be fitted in. He is a specialist batsman who was picked as reserve-to-tour in case of injury or serious loss of form in the top 5. Strauss & Cook open (for better or worse, currently!); Trott is world class; Bell seems to be finding some form - at long last. Who is left? Team for Colombo: Strauss, Cook, Trott, Bell, Bopara, Prior, Bresnan, Swann, Anderson, Finn, Panesar. Dropping KP will enact a long-overdue message: resting on laurels doesn't give you an automatic right to a place. Patience generally needs to be shown with players fresh to the team (& that is why it's a shame for Samit here), but the exception proves the rule for this one. England needs a win - badly! Roll the dice - & win the toss!

Posted by maddy20 on (March 30, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

@bobmartin India held the no.1 test ranking for nearly two and half years! England are barely able to hold on to it for one year. If they don't win the last test then they would have held it for precisely 8 months. Come this December they will be probably downed to no.4 by India!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (March 30, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

@greengoat: I would have included SRT as an all-time great, but he has gone way past his best in the last two years; he's not currently performing and his greatness is now fading & being diminished by hanging on too long. Sanga - yes, agreed @ Capt. Meanster - see above re: SRT. Yes, it looks like Kholi is the next likely great from India, but he, like Philander, is in a probably/possibly category in my mind; with both it's too soon to call. He's a little hot-headed at the moment but that should pass with maturity. Jimmy is moving towards greatness because he is now performing effectively on foreign soil; a strong showing in India will secure his greatness IMO, as quick bowlers v seldom thrive in the subcontinent; how India must wish he was someone who could play for them! Kallis is always below the radar, but he's probably the best of all players currently. I wonder if he'll perform in Eng. this summer? His last tour here was v poor; it's the last piece in the jigsaw for him!

Posted by Charles_Fortune_Favours_the_Brave on (March 30, 2012, 8:06 GMT)

@ Rockky: Just FYI, South Africa hasn't lost an away test series in the sub continent in the last five attempts - we've beaten Pakistan and Bangladesh, and drawn twice with India and once with Pakistan. in the last five home series against sides from the sub continent, we've won four and drawn one.

That give us a record in the last ten such series of won six, drawn four, lost none - I'd say South Africa is relatively decent playing the sub continent sides, home or away. Well done to Sri Lanka on beating England, things really are looking up for them.

Can't wait for us to tour England in June - that's going to be an absolute corker of a series, with Philander, Steyn and Morkel all in sparkling form, and pitches that'll give them all the assistance they'll ever need!!

Posted by Amu7 on (March 30, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

Didn't think England was a great side.And for those who think all teams struggle away Aussies have not lost a series in SA from 69-70 and have won both series in lanka in 04 (3-0)and recently 1-0 a feat matched by no other team even India hasn't won a series in Sl since 93.Think Aussies would be no 2 by end of april and england would be tied on points with India after suffering another defeat at Colombo.Though playing against India in november shouldn't be much harder as the core nucleus of indian batting will be done away by then and India's spin attack is well a joke-From a guy in Mumbai:-)

Posted by anubhav31 on (March 30, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

one thing for sure, this victory unites indian and srilanks fan

Posted by ground-boy on (March 30, 2012, 7:19 GMT)

Herath's talant and Mahela's fortune gave Sri Lanka a long awaited home test victory inside 4 days. Local fans want to convert it to a series victory. Both Jayawardanas batted very well.Batting order and team selection have to be fine tuned.Youngsters fielding not up to the expectation. Well done SL.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (March 30, 2012, 7:06 GMT)

yeah, Fast track bully only!

Posted by stormy16 on (March 30, 2012, 6:53 GMT)

It was great game and the better side won! SL were 15/3 in the first 20 minutes of this game and later the same in the second innings and at one stage Eng looked like chasing 200 for a win. It was great fighting by SL that firstly got them in to a great position and then were able to bowl out Eng. I thought batsman from both sides playes poor shots in general to get out. Key moments were the two Jayawardena's knocks with the bottom order. I first suggested SL go in with 6/5 and leave out Prasanna and Eng play Samit but in hindsight Samit added little as a batsman which I think was a key factor and Prasanna made the difference in the 300+ target! Great win for SL who will hopefully have a change of fortunes from the last year but this bowling attack will be a major concern on a wicket with no assistance for spinners. Eng are back to the drawing board to salvage a win to avoid an embarrasing series loss. P Sara will offer them some pace and bounce if they are good enough.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

well england played really very well in the 2nd inings. If they had a bit of luck like jaywerdina. They surely would have achived the tottal. As russel arnold mention that too many soft dismisal were the real reason for england's loss. This srilankan bowling attack is not even club leveled so i expect england to hammere them in the 2nd game.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

Mahela made 180, that qualifies for the phrase "close to 200 runs", rather than just a "century"

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

Good win Sri Lanka. It is indeed a tribute to all spinners that it is not a dying art and captains have faith in them to produce results.Herath,Swann and Randiv have performed admirably in this match and we hope that other spinners Senanayake,Seekuge Prasanna & Mendis are also considered especially on placid pitches where fast bowlers have no assistance.Sri Lanka still needs to look at their opening combination with batsman who are technically correct and have the temperament to stay at the wicket and build a solid start.I strongly believe that Mahela & Upul Tharanga or Paranavithana may be good for this slot followed by Sanga,Thilan, Dilshan,Prasanna J or Chandimal with herath,randiv,mendis or senanayake,lakmal,welagedera or prasad as bowlers.However, the wise owls knows best to select the best combination for pitches of different nature.Galle probably has a record for providing pitches which do not last for 5 days.Anyway,great cricket from both teams.Good luck SL for the next test.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 5:47 GMT)

Brilliant stuff from Herath. Another great artist from the sub-continent. We are proud of you.

Posted by bhrangi on (March 30, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

for the first time i agree with bMike, in all his cricinfo comments his target is on INDIA. But this time i hav to agree that IND and ENG not fot for no-1 ofcourse no one is suit for that hot seat. @5sowmbats: most of us said u before dont fly high eng hav to tour in sl and pak look what happened., i think too much of advise on others team made u to hide somewhere, relax man come out. LOL

Posted by GreenGoat on (March 30, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

@nutcutlet - bit cheeky to not include a single Indian ur list of world-class players :) i did a simple cricinfo stats query of batsmen only, tests, last 5 years - and the guys with the best average of ppz who've scored over 3000 runs are 1.) sanga (avg 62) 2. Kallis (61) 3. AB De (61) 4. Sachin (57) - i would take these guys as the batting "greats". ppz like Clarke, Shewag, Cook, KP have also done really really well.

as a SL-an, based on ur definition, of good home and away performance, sanga is SL's best batsman cos Mahela has historically scored heavily in SL but not so much outside.

but that maybe changing now - maybe its mahela's time to live upto his natural raw talent which i think is only a tad below Sachin and Lara....

Posted by Desi_In_US on (March 30, 2012, 5:20 GMT)

OMG, what England lost 4th test in a row? Cannot be true. Wait there must be something funny about Herath's action or was it demon in the pitch. We should get Bob Willis to comment on this. I am sure he knows the truth behind the mighty England defeat...because Sri Lanka simply playing better cricket cannot be the answer :)

Posted by csowmi7 on (March 30, 2012, 5:18 GMT)

@nutcutlet Sachin Tendulkar average at home 56. Average away from home 55. Mahela Jayawardene average at home 57. Outside home 35. Kumar Sangakarra average at home 61. Average away from home 41.

Posted by dariuscorny on (March 30, 2012, 5:15 GMT)

i hv read many comments saying Eng cant play spin on slow low surface.they can survive well on seaming conditions.well i wud add a point that when Eng last played at home they faced the weakest bowling attack from India minus Zaheer,Umesh.they feasted upon this.prior to that they faced an Aussie atack which was worst first time in 50 yrs.i hv seen them struggling against decent bowling in their own conditions as well.they feast on oppositions weakness not they perform according to their strengths.....

Posted by csowmi7 on (March 30, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

Mr Swann What happened to "HISTORY IS THERE TO BE REWRITTEN". I suppose you're right though. I wonder what in the history of test cricket the record for losing the number 1 ranking the quickest is. Hard to beat 4 test matches I suppose. England going to be HISTORY after the SA series.

Posted by kriskini on (March 30, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

Can Any body tell me if any team has achieved all of these 3. 1). Holding #1 test rank for atleast one year. 2) T20 world cup atleast once. 3) ODI world cup atleast once.

Posted by muh189 on (March 30, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

as a sri lankan fan, sri lanka seems to be having a speedy recovery from what they were 6-12 months ago, but i wish we a could produce a fast bowler in the calibre of Vaas who could make the new ball count. thats the step that sri lanka has to make if they are to be consistent at the top level (specially when playing outside the sub-continent)...

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

there is a no team currently which we can call number 1. England is only good in fast, bouncy and swinging pitches. we have seen how bad they played against pakistan where ther was hardly and moment , swing and bounce. 4-0 is down one more to come and still more games are coming in india in end of 2012..

Posted by satish619chandar on (March 30, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

What a pity it is.. Though England bowlers did a good job, it is really a bad performance from their batters.. As on current trend, Cricket need to be divided into two tiers - One with slow pitches and other with fast pitches in order to produce a decent contest with both teams winning.. No team is winning in other conditions..

Posted by rockyyy on (March 30, 2012, 4:17 GMT)

south africa has not played much cricket as other teams have played!!! so we cannot call them as atrue no1 team!!!!! they shud travel out to sub continents !!! only if they win in sub continents they can be told as a no 1 side in the world!!! i donno why, wheneve south africa looks dead strong they loos cheaply!!! even they are not a perfect side!!!styen is the only world class bowler in theier team!!!! he is the one who can perform in subcontinents!!!!but they always lack some mix in their team!!!

Posted by rockyyy on (March 30, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

victory at the overseas is a rare thing!!!!! it will happen only if everything goes along with u!!!!! only great teams can achieve it! westindies of 60'to 80's and aussies of 2000's!!

Posted by murthydn16 on (March 30, 2012, 3:59 GMT)

So called number 1 team have been losing games on trot. England are lions at home and lambs abroad. Just like any other team in the world. So no one should go gung ho after beating any one at home just like england did few days ago. If one flys high sure to come down crashing.

Posted by ChandraPrince on (March 30, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

Sri Lanka's test victory over England in Galle was fantastic! It was a grand test cricket game with wonderful atmosphere. It was great to see as many as 7,000 British visitors enjoying themselves in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's new coach, Graham Ford's must be given credit for his vision, Sri Lanka team's tenacity and effort-- under the captaincy of Mahela Jayawardene was exhilarating to behold. Keep it up Sri Lanka!

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 3:37 GMT)

At the end of the day ifs and buts do not count. Catching is also part of the game and avoiding bowling no balls is also part of the game. Therefore, Sri Lanka who made less mistakes in a match full of errors in judgement are deserving winners. If at all there was a freakish dismissal it was Thilan's run out at the bowlers end off a hard hit straight drive by Mahela which touched Jimmy Anderson's fingers on the way to hit the stumps at non striker's end. But that too is Thilan's fault for backing up too far until he reached a point of no return. Prior's dismissal is a genuine catch, Thirimanne bravely moved in the direction ball was hit instead of ducking for cover and as a result was able to get his body behind the fierce hit and take the rebound as a catch. Sri Lanka is on the ascendancy in tests having won 2 out of 3 last test matches beating SA at their own back-yard the No. 1 to be team and England at home present No. 1.

Posted by here2rock on (March 30, 2012, 3:21 GMT)

England has no clue against ball spinnig with no pace! Horrible England, they should not be ranked number 1 when you only win at home or home like conditions!

Posted by getsetgopk on (March 30, 2012, 3:20 GMT)

Congratulations to Sri Lanka for spirited performance, they really needed this win, I guess removing Dilshan worked very well, SL cricket will do themselves justice if they keep him away from captaincy for as long as possible. England, well, dont look for too many reasons because there is just one reason and it is 'they cant play spin' period. Keep this set of batters for Aus, SA, ENG, and NZ and WI, for subcontinent you'll gona need a completely different set of batters. A Pak fan.

Posted by karthik_raja on (March 30, 2012, 2:57 GMT)

I am saying this since England's 4-0 win against Ind.. I repeat again.. England r really a good Test side.. Bt, not as gud as they seemed to b @ home against India..

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

Great team effort by Sri Lanka, England made a good fist of it too. i think we need Shaminda Eranga to play for Lakmal, we need penetration from fast bowlers as well

Posted by here2rock on (March 30, 2012, 2:23 GMT)

England is only good playing in their own backyard where you don't need to be a great bowler to take wickets. The ball either seam or swings by itself as long you have a reasonable amount of contorl. They are not good travellers when visiting sub continent teams.

Posted by Sinhaya on (March 30, 2012, 2:15 GMT)

@jonesy2, well if you say Australia hammered Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, well Sri Lanka beat you all 4 times in the recent CB series and Australia beat SL 3 times. Also remember that in the 3 games Sri Lanka lost in the CB series, they were by narrow margins. But when Sri Lanka beat Australia, 2 wins were emphatic! Remember Australia has it's share of weaknesses as shown by the 47 all out affair, lost to NZ in Hobart and failing to win the ODI series in Windies.

Posted by BlackArcher on (March 30, 2012, 2:12 GMT)

No.1 Test team in the world has lost 4 games in a row..all on spinning tracks..people were criticizing India for losing games but these guys are no better really..Can they be considered No.1 if they lose most games they play on pitches that assist spinners? I hardly think so.

Posted by vk6848 on (March 30, 2012, 1:53 GMT)

England fought so well; but luck stayed with SL, the Broad no-ball was unbelievable! the Bell LBW also was too much- there should be a limit to how far you can extrapolate (he was quarter of the way down the pitch). Sangakkara did nothing (but drop a key catch) but Jayawardena M proved me wrong- I have to admit there is still some mileage left in him. Jayawardena P got a God given chance, and made use of it. Like you say SL is doing well with contributions from many, not just 2-3 stars.Commissurations, England, from an SL fan.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 1:26 GMT)

england lost the match from their handsd

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 1:05 GMT)

England have never been good in the subcontinent. Batsmen always struggling, bowlers can't bowl teams out. 4 in a row now, looks like South Africa fancy their chances of knocking Eng off the no. 1 test ranking. The spin problems continue, first Warne, then Murali, now Ajmal and Herath.

Posted by chicko1983 on (March 30, 2012, 1:04 GMT)

In the last year, only Australia can really claim to be the best nation in the world. Won in the sub-continent, at home, bouncy pitches, swinging pitches, slow pitches etc. All with the worst Aussie team in the last 20 years. The rest of the world is still playing catch up to Australia.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 30, 2012, 0:51 GMT)

@Nutcutlet: Except the first portion of your comment, I will have to disagree with you on the rest. How dare you call Jimmy Anderson a great player ? also I strongly disagree Philander is great. Sure the man has talent and is an interesting prospect for SA in years to come. Mahela is one of the best so no arguments there. Regarding no Indian players being there, excuse me ! there is somebody by the name of Sachin Tendulkar still around ? also Virat Kohli is one for the future. India have loads of talent which you are obviously blind to. I suggest you come to India and have a look at our young talent in the domestic circuit.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 0:26 GMT)

We are making our own bad luck at the moment. We have been so close in all the 4 test we have lost. I think what made the differences in this test was the Fielding. We dropped Mahela in the first innings that would have saved 50 runs. We dropped prasanna in second inns that costs 20-30 runs. In comparison Thirammine makes an excellent catch to dismiss prior and trott gets done bey an astounding catch from dilshan.

The batting thought hard and with a bit more concentration and more luck they will do okay. Next test if we want to win we have a simple as it sounds not drop as many catches (esp mahela sanga dilshan but also whole team) And really back up our bowlers in the field. We can't get too upset by this just need to relax next time we're in the field

Posted by cricfan_aus on (March 30, 2012, 0:10 GMT)

Congratulations to srilanka for the win. I love this situation, no one team in this current time is not able to show domination across all formats. Eng gained No1 in test from Ind with a 4-0 win in the series but i give that credit to Ind it self as it was their mistakes that cost them. Ind could not handle the swing, fair enough. month later eng could not handle the flat pitches in the Odi, they were worst than WI. Meanwhile Aus been struggling to form a full side, once they did they could not balance the talent and experience. Pakistan and Srilanka did show a lot of talent and effort in lot of games but lost few matches in humiliating ways. Currently i believe SA is the only team that is a notch above the rest. have to wait and see what they could do on flat pitches next time.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2012, 0:01 GMT)

ECB headquarters in Cape Town must be frantically hunting for South Africans that can play spin !!!!!

Posted by Chris_P on (March 29, 2012, 23:55 GMT)

Well done to Sri Lanka. They took their chances and probably made far less mistakes that the English. The English will no doubt rue their 4 dropped catches off Mahela. In Australia, I can't recall them dropping anything, when you take catches, that's when you can mount pressure. While I always enjoy test cricket, I sort of hope the next test is drawn, mainly that it gives the Saffers the chance to take the #1 spot by beating England rather than England giving it up, as would be the case if they lose the 2nd test. I might be wrong, but chinks are looking likely to develop in this English side, although to give credit, they did make a good fist of the 2nd innings.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 29, 2012, 23:35 GMT)

@Pratchett on (March 29 2012, 17:20 PM GMT) Full respect to you sir. We've started getting a few SA fans giving it the large one after a 1-0 win over the mighty NZ. I must admit SA probably would have beaten NZ 3-0 were it not for rain and possibly Smith delaying his declaration too long in the last test. Then again I feel we would have beaten SL 3-0 last year had it not been for the weather. As an England fan I am obviously hugely disappointed with our batsmen's efforts. In 3 of the 4 tests our bowlers put is in decent positions where we either could or should have won. As a SA fan you no doubt will rue missed opportunities such SL winning a test in SA , Aus drawing level in SA. The SA/Eng series have always been hard fought/close affairs. Did you know that of the last 6 series, Eng have won 2 , SA have won 2 , 2 drawn. Test aggregate 8-8. Sets it all up nicely.

Posted by BravoBravo on (March 29, 2012, 23:35 GMT)

@IndnCrktfan : Keep wondering till ENG loose 8 mtaches in a row or get whitewashed twice in a row.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 29, 2012, 23:34 GMT)

@VillageBlacksmith I'm not anti Ian Bell - I just feel and have felt that this year he has by and large been really poor and I said before this game that I thought he should make way , purely because he was the only batsman who hadn't scored 50 even in the whole UAE tour and the warm up games here. To be fair , only Cook and Trott have performed at all in the tests - Strauss and KP have also been very poor. If it was only Bell who was underperforming and we were still winning matches then I'd not be calling for heads to roll. People say about how keeping with Cook paid off. The difference is that they could afford to do that because they were still winning games. Surely you have to change things - even if only temporarily now. I've always wanted a 5 man bowling attack but even if I didn't I'd have made the change after the 2nd Pak test.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 29, 2012, 23:34 GMT)

@Nutcutlet on (March 29 2012, 11:22 AM GMT) and how often and for how long have I said about the 5 pronged attack ? Agree re Broad but I think it was worth the risk and definitely would have been had they played the 3rd seamer. I'm not totally sure how fit Bres is so go in with Finn would be my suggestion. I know we'd be light on batting but that's been the case for the last 4 tests when we've played 6 batsmen. Obviously if Broad is unfit then Bres and Finn should both play IMO. I do feel there is favouritism to the batsmen. If our batsmen were setting targets of 300 to defend and our bowlers weren't getting the wickets do you or does any Eng fan think they'd last this long? If we do win the next test then we go level on points with SA , although I don't know if this means we stay top?

Posted by redneck on (March 29, 2012, 23:30 GMT)

4 test losses in a row, hand back the no.1 england you dont deserve it! no.1 teams should loose 4 tests in a year yet alone before march is finished!!! well done to sri lanaka though. mendis and randiv complement eachother quite bowling in the same team

Posted by Jabulani on (March 29, 2012, 23:00 GMT)

@bobmartin - you need to check your sums again mate, you need to win the next game to stay level with SA. This loss has put England temporarily below SA.

Posted by Jabulani on (March 29, 2012, 22:54 GMT)

@Ramesh Dharshana Perera - that tour was 6 years ago! Means nothing, if it did then one could argue that the Aussies are still no. 1 as they were still dominating teams back then. It is history...period.

Posted by kitten on (March 29, 2012, 22:49 GMT)

ARad on (March 29 2012, 17:30 PM GMT) 'Does someone remember a cricinfo poll where the current england team was one of the choices for the GREATEST TEST TEAM OF ALL TIME?' That was the name of a comedy show. I am sure this title of #1 is weighing very heavily on England's shoulders, and the strain is telling on them. It was OK to ridicule the Indian team when they were in England, but now they know what it is like when you are at the top, and everyone and their dog, is out to get you! Except for Australia and WI in their prime , and ofcourse India to a much lesser extent(India were #1 for nearly 20 months), other teams will find it very difficult to play in all conditions all over the world , and still win. SA, among the challengers seem to be the best equipped at this moment, to take on the mantle of best team. Will wait and see.

Posted by worldorder on (March 29, 2012, 22:07 GMT)

England were favourites to win - Swann.. oops..

Posted by Nutcutlet on (March 29, 2012, 21:23 GMT)

Looking at the bigger picture - my default position - I conclude that there is no truly outstanding side in world cricket at the moment. Almost any team in the top six can beat any of the others given home conditions. This is not an age to look for a great team; there just isn't one, but this does make the constant leapfrogging in Test rankings so fascinating. Next question: are there many great ( mean truly great, not just very good) cricketers around? Well, as you'd expect, there aren't many - perhaps five or six (and, btw, that doesn't include any Indan players, now that Dravid has gone). How can a player be defined as great? Well, in the light of the above, it's obvious, is't it? He is a player whose home record closely matches his record away - with both sets of figures being outstanding. I would like to see players' Test averages routinely split in this fashion. Then we can identify the very best. Trott is one such, and Mahela . Philander very easily could be...Jimmy's near..

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

Sri Lanka number one in the world! Give me a break!

Posted by lankavigi on (March 29, 2012, 20:48 GMT)

WELL PLAYED SL!!!! It's a good win. You can't blame the pitch, when sl tour england the same thing happens to them. Anyways good win, England are still undercooked. Am dissapointed with the top order. They must bring tharanga for thirrimane. (HAS ANYONE NOTICED THAT SL HAD PLAYED THREE WICKET-KEEPERS(SANGA, CHANDIMAL AND PRASANNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!))

Posted by Mitcher on (March 29, 2012, 20:38 GMT)

Really got to take issue with those using England's failure as proof that Aus/SA can't play on the subcontinent. A pretty average Australian team won its last trip there against Sri Lanka just a few months ago. In fact while the Aussies record in India isn't too flash, they have won 4/5 series in Sri Lanka (most involving murali). Where India haven't won there since the early '90s. So people, just remember: Just because you make these inane statements doesn't make them true.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 20:26 GMT)

Congratulations to Sri Lanka! I wish Sangakarra comes good in the series, he is my fav SL player. Poms prove they are as great a test side as any other except SA!

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

Great victory by Sri Lanka

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (March 29, 2012, 19:54 GMT)

Congrats to both teams in showing test is best. A match ebbed and flowed not knowing which way it was going until Trott was dismissed. All in all a great test match with two standout outstanding performances by Mahela Jayawardane and Jonathan Trott.

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (March 29, 2012, 19:43 GMT)

Great game and Congratulations to SL. Trott is a great player and I expect Bell to score a century or two in this series as he is by far the best paler of spin in Eng side.

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (March 29, 2012, 19:42 GMT)

4 tests lost by Eng in a row to spinners. Does this make them a Swing Track Bully or fast track bully? Just wondering.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 19:40 GMT)

Still Sri Lanka is missing Murali-The Legend but may be Herath will fill his absence in future....Congratulations to Sri Lanka....n Best of Luck for rest of matches....From Pakistan

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 19:38 GMT)

well pleased to see the so called no 1 are on the loosing side once again well Congrats from Pakistan You Srilankan Tigers

Posted by PrasadGunawardane on (March 29, 2012, 19:17 GMT)

@ Sayantan: Yes SL have a 3rd spinner available, but this combination is more than enough for next Test, since P.Sara Stadium provides less turn compared to Galle pitch. P.Sara is the best pace friendly pitch in the country. Hope it was a lot upset day for Graeme Swann than anybody else, as Sri Lankan victory even just before the end of 4th day; demolished all the wistful and non-logical statements made by Graeme Swann yesterday.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 19:15 GMT)

Sri Lankans were under prepared..if not they could have thrashed them lot easilly..For those who say SA is no 1..,Last time they toured Sri Lanka they lost tests 2-0 & ODIs 5-0

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 19:11 GMT)

Yeah. Herath is a classical leg spinner. But he has shown some cricketing mind to use his flight and some variations. Though the favorable conditions for spinning supported him well, we can't say that it is the only reason for 12 wicket hall in a test match like this. I personally believe Swann is better than Herath,but this match was all about Herath. He has shown some good sipirit. Congratz SL team, we are always watching........!

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 19:09 GMT)

England has struggled to play spin in the sub-continent even against Bangladesh. Sri Lanka is a repairing side after the departure of Murali. Colombo will determine England's fate. England has the batting and also bowling to out wit the Lankans. Whether they have the nerves will be seen in Colombo. Well played both teams. Greetings from Bangladesh.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 19:04 GMT)

Cyniket, you have compared Sri Lankan bowling line up to less than a county attack. If that is the case how do you explain the historic test win against SA in Durban? It was virtually the same bowling line up. Hearth took 9 in that match and Welagedara with 5 in the first innings ran through SA top order. Hearth is one of the most under-rated bowlers in the world. He is no match to Murali. But he has taken heaps of wickets since Murali's retirement. He will continue to improve and once he gets enough support from the other end he will be even more effective. I am glad in spite of very critical comments by many, Randiv was selected as the second spinner. Sachithra must have bowled well in ODIs. But test cricket is a totally different proposition. Randiv in the last tour by India in third test took 5 wickets in the 4th innings and if he had support from the other end would have bowled us to a series win. Congratulations to De Mel & Co. as well for picking the right combinations.

Posted by bobmartin on (March 29, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

Taking nothing away from Sri Lanka, who thoroughly deserved their victory, I'll just say this to all those commenters mocking least they attained the number1 test ranking...which is more than 6 other test teams, including Sri Lanka have done. So we can always say we've been there and still are... We've lost 4 in a row yet are still clinging to the mace. Sri Lanka have never been there and based on what I've seen, are not likely to in the foreseeable future. So bask in the glory boys... it may be short-lived.

Posted by randikaayya on (March 29, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

@Vijay Jeba Prakash: Get your facts straight. Obviously you haven't watched the match. Mahela was dropped in the 160s by Monty, there are only 2 drops the other so called drops were half chances at best. How dare you attribute the SL win to Monty-comedy!

Posted by Stark62 on (March 29, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

At least against Pak, they could make up the excuse of facing the best spinner and the best spin attack in the world but Herath!

Herath is quality but is he better than Rheman (Ajmal is the best spinner by far)?

Posted by ARad on (March 29, 2012, 18:30 GMT)

Does someone remember a cricinfo poll where the current england team was one of the choices for the GREATEST TEST TEAM OF ALL TIME?

Posted by CricketFundas on (March 29, 2012, 18:28 GMT)

Great performance by the SL. England played as expected i.e. most batsmem were clueless against spin. Now that's 4 test loses on the trot against the subcontinent teams. Club that with the 5-0 drubbing that the English got against India in the ODI series and it's clear that England are competitive only at home.

Hoping to see another whitewash in this series. SL should pound the English team to dust in the 2nd test as well.

Posted by PBs09 on (March 29, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

I don't know why such a big deal is being made on England not losing a series for 3 years. All they achieved within those years were two noteworthy series victories against any decent opposition. Moreover, it would appear that prior to them, India hadn't lost a series for 3 years as well and we all know that India's no:1 ranking was barely legitimate, based on a sound home record. At least, to be fair they played half decent opposition like the saffers and Australia on a regular basis unlike England who whetted their appetite feasting on lesser teams such as Bangladesh, Pakistan (of 2008-09) and the West Indies.

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (March 29, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

Please update the ICC Rankings!!!

Posted by foursandsixes on (March 29, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

Would be fantastic if we could send Eng to Bangladesh. Everyone always says that Bangladesh is a mediocre team - with their batting stabilizing now, it would be fun to see them beat England 3-0. They have some wonderful spinners, so please send England to the "minnows" ha ha :)

Posted by kitten on (March 29, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

Posted by Sanj747 on (March 29 2012, 11:15 AM GMT) 'Goes to show how meaningless the ICC test rankings are. Both Eng and Ind with their recent test performances have shown how both were not worthy of being number 1'. The only difference is that India held on to that status for nigh on 20 months, but England have started for a few months now, and haven't won a test yet as #1. They look in danger of losing their place at the top soon, if they don't improve. England, is a good outfit, but have really performed well in their own backyard only, and until and unless they learn to play spin, they will be an ordinary side. People jumped the gun too soon, and Botham and Hussein by going overboard with their praises, gave a false sense of achievement to the players, and they thought they were invincible. And unfortunately, have been brought down to earth with a bump. Let's hope the second test brings out a better performance from them.

Posted by Pratchett on (March 29, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

Whoever IS #1 DESERVES to be #1. England has done exceptionally well before their Asian blip. Surprise, surprise - they can't play spin. This will count for very little when South Africa's Tahir bowls at them on seaming wickets. England will loose their ranking, but they will reclaim it when playing SA. Their players ALWAYS lift their game against us. I must say, Eng doesn't deserve this kind of disrespect from opposition fans. I DO, of course, hope SA destroy them on their home patch! (but I'll secretly be putting money on Eng)

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 18:15 GMT)

Well done Sri Lanka. Its probably time for english men to learn how to bat in these coditions rather than having a go at bowlers action. lol

Posted by Sidd1987 on (March 29, 2012, 18:13 GMT)

What happened to Mendis?? If he is fit they should play him in the next match...would love to watch England getting decimated against quality spin!!!

Posted by adhib on (March 29, 2012, 18:13 GMT)

I'm really starting to believe that Rangana Herath is the key to tests now for SL. Also If it wasn't for P Jayawardena's 61, England might of been close to winning!

Posted by PBs09 on (March 29, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

4-0 to England. And the poms go marching on on on! It's on yer bike and back to London I'm afraid. Saffers whitewash, coming soon.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

After Pakistan, i always support Sri Lanka - Well played , I just can't wait when will you have SPL (Srilankan Premier League).

Posted by Dhumper on (March 29, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

Forget about the rankings..Pakistan and South Africa, both performing good away from home which matters in the last 2 years deserves top rankings and should fight for # 1, followed by Australia. Others need to improve.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

Congrats Srilanka. Love the fighting spirit

Posted by dariuscorny on (March 29, 2012, 18:00 GMT)

@Red Man please dont say Eng beating Eng,infact SL has one batsmen who equals the whole England team.his name is Sangakara.SL are far superior than Eng.dont u remember 10 wicket mauling SL handed Eng in WC QF

Posted by csowmi7 on (March 29, 2012, 17:56 GMT)

Why not replay the ashes in subcontinental conditions? Wonder who would win then?

Posted by csowmi7 on (March 29, 2012, 17:55 GMT)

@anuradha_d How can you call Samit Patel bits and pieces? Looking at his fitness he certainly seems like the complete package. :)

Posted by Stark62 on (March 29, 2012, 17:52 GMT)

Here is the break down of Asian teams: Pak= Strong bowling attack, weak batting- Ind= Weak bowling attack, strong batting- SL= A mix but batting line up and bowling attack not as good as Ind and Pak.

Ind don't need Ashwin, Ojha or even Chawla but Ramesh Pawar himself is enough to roll over this pathetic batting line up of Eng in spinning conditions.

Posted by dariuscorny on (March 29, 2012, 17:51 GMT)

Eng think they are the Aussie team from the past.somehow they started to win some matches here n there moreso over in their conditions against a depleted C side.made them them think so.they are a very ordinary side.

Posted by priceless1 on (March 29, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

Congrats, victory made possible by only 3 players ( Both Jayawardana's and Herath ) . except MJ and PJ no other batsmen from SL looked comfortable against the Eng Spinners which is quite a surprise ( and somewhat funny to see )because these are their home grounds

Posted by KingOwl on (March 29, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

It's a good time for cricket right now. No exceptional teams around - all are bunched together in the mediocre middle. Interesting to watch test cricket.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 17:41 GMT)

@All Indian fans remember you were hammered 4-0 in england and 4-0 in australia . If i were you i would keep quiet.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

Any team doesn't deserves to be no.1 , any team can beat any team. I think SA just ahead, not by much. They are also vulnerable to loose to few games and underperform as they r the biggest chokers. ENG really don't deserve no. 1 spot. Therese no perfect team nor a no.1 team.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

@Jonesy2 i hope your team can back up what you oz fans are saying .I Hope you remember 47 all out.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 17:29 GMT)

Sri Lanka could finally prove that without Murali they can win test matches. Well played Sri Lanka.

Posted by Beertjie on (March 29, 2012, 17:25 GMT)

Well done Sri Lanka: victories over the two top test sides despite not getting paid properly - that speaks volumes for what cricket means there. When I wrote a few months ago that SA is the real number1, there were the usual snide comments, both from the uninformed who used the chokers tag (only justifiable in WCs!) and from the England supporters who couldn't stop lauding their pace attack, Swann, etc. Well, we'll see in a few months who the true number 1 is. Better prepare some dustbowls in London in July, if they hope to compete, because they'll be outgunned by the quality Saffa pace attack! There won't be any place to hide then - full glare of the media turned upon them in their own back yards. Full marks for your comments, @spiritwithin - I can't put it better!

Posted by Engr.Ikramullah on (March 29, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

Well Played Sri-Lanka!! I think, England batsmen's mind is damaged by Ajmal in UAE, thats why they are not playing spin well at all.. I Think, At this time, it will be difficult for England to beat even Bangladesh with the kind of batting they are doing against spinners because they also have got quite good spin bowlers in the likes of Razzak, Shakib especially.

Posted by drdani on (March 29, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

well done sl !! eng once again surrendering to spin...thanks God herath was wearing short-sleeves !! :)

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 17:09 GMT)

Does SL have a 3rd spinner? If so they should play the 3rd spinner also in the next test. Watching ENG batting against spin is just priceless. You can almost feel their anguish.

Posted by bobmartin on (March 29, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

It's not worth any England supporter... of which I am one... making any excuses.. The bowling attack must be devastated.. 4 test matches they have got England into a decent position.. and 4 times the batting has thrown it away. They look like startled rabbits caught in a cars headlights. As a unit, the batters should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves..Not only have they let the bowlers, their team mates, down and all the England fans who spent hard-earned cash travelling to support them, but they've let down the whole nation as well.. The problem is what can they do to turn it around when there's only one other batter (Bopara) in the squad. Two-nil to Sri Lanka looks a distinct possibility.

Posted by IshaqMalik on (March 29, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

Congrats SL. A good game, England played well in the second innings, but they couldn't get over the damage done in the first. Well done both teams. from Pak

Posted by drnaveed on (March 29, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

now ,it is 4 out of 4 (defeats)for England.Last time ,saeed ajmal and abdul rehman played on their nerves, this time it is herath and randiv.although they lost 3-0 to Pak,but they didnt really accepted it, tried to go into other irrelevant things like the bowling action of saeed ajmal.this time, they may look for some other excuses.the fact is simple,"they dont know how to play on spinning wickets at all".mind you, india is really waiting for their visit to there homeland.last year all the things went good for strauss,this year, so far, every thing going the other way for him,including his batting form.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 16:42 GMT)

Congrts Lankans,well far as england is concern..more HUMILIATIONS awaits in INDIA.

Posted by Desihungama on (March 29, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

Congrats Sri Lanka! Your friends from Pak. Go Lions.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

Congratulation Sri Lanka...

Posted by on (March 29, 2012, 16:31 GMT)

Well now that England seems to be struggling while handling their crown, it appears that the day isn't far when South Africa, the legitimate owners, will claim it. It isn't a mere co-incidence that the English are seen trailing behind their own achievement in the past. Already we've seen the SA getting close to the #1 spot: they've had it had they beaten NZs a 3-0. Finally, the days have come when the English ought to realize that their title is hangs lose about them like 'a giant's robes upon a dwarfish thief'!! (quoted from Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth')

Posted by GreenGoat on (March 29, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

great game - had me worried for a bit but we pulled through... some comments here seem to indicate that Eng would have won if not for the no-ball dismissal and two dropped catches - PLZZZ - dropping catches or no balls are not SL's or umpire's fault.. and u can never say that if "if mahela was caught on 90 - it would have been closer" - cos if even one event is changed everything changes and the test could have played out in a completely different manner (chaos theory)... all we can say is that of the two teams, SL was better in this test over 4 days, so in a majority of the possible outcomes, SL would have won...

Eng fans should not be too worried, their spinners were good and troubled then SL batsmen... after the hurrying to their demise in the first innings, they didnt play bad in the second innings..

second match will be a lot closer than the first and Eng have a good chance to level the series - not saying they are favorites but well, i'd give them 30%

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (March 29, 2012, 16:25 GMT)

Ha ha we are STILL the World Number One! We are STILL holders of back-to-back Ashes. We are going to smash Lanka in the second test, and stay at no. 1 for the next 20 years!

Posted by PakistanZindabaadAlways on (March 29, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

Many Cograts to Team SL !! Very well done...

Posted by KarachiKid on (March 29, 2012, 16:17 GMT)

Prior to this I thought that Herath was only capable of tormenting Pakistani batsmen...not much of a qualification as these days, all Pakistani batsmen, barring possibly Younus, are bread and butter for bowlers around the world. Great job Sri Lankans !!! All the best.

Posted by LOVEONLYCRICKET on (March 29, 2012, 16:05 GMT)

England won only 1 test out of their last 22 test matches in asia (not include bangladesh). hmmmmm.... Beefy, Vaughan and Nasseer please say something about this stat. Does england deserve to be No 1 team wihtout winning in Asia?

Posted by danishsyed88 on (March 29, 2012, 16:02 GMT)

Hmm.. England seriously need to add another batsman in the lineup. Get Patel out and bring in Bopara. This Herath doesn't even bowl the doosra and still they find playing him difficult. That should be really frustrating

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 15:55 GMT)

England DROP PIETERSEN FOR GOOD NOW! Maybe play heim in ODI's but if he wants to go "T20 freelance"then just let him go. He's been a liability in all but a couple of games now for 3 or 4 years. England are worse now against spin than they were 5 or 6 years ago. They won in Sri Lanka when Murali was playing, they won the Ashes when Warne was playing. Now they are PATHETIC against spin. Don't blame the bowlers. Strauss should retire before the summer starts and Bell is another Hick. A great 18 months as a highlight to an otherwise woeful career. Patel is not a test cricketer full stop

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

Normal poor English batting on a spinning pitch. 250 was always going to be the max batting last. But you could say the bowling and the fielding lost it, especially Monty who is a decent bowler but very poor cricketer at that level. Actually he would be a poor fielder in decent club cricket.

Posted by S305 on (March 29, 2012, 15:48 GMT)

Great Test match! Could have gone either way. This is what test cricket should be, and not one where both teams score 500 towards a draw.

The great Australian team of 1999-2006 or so could win on any surface, at home or away. This is the level of clinical, emotionless cricket that Sri Lanka should try to achieve.

Posted by azmaftab on (March 29, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

What a performance from the lankan lions! Really good to see you up and about! I'd expect you guys to white wash the poms as well! Will be cheering for your success as you are my favourite team after Pakistan! A Pakistani fan!

Posted by Lord.emsworth on (March 29, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

Good article. Fair to both sides. Trott could well be the next consistent! The catches Dilshan took also helped turn the tide. Dilshan can hold his place in the team by just his fielding. SL's top order sans MJ & Samaraweera were terrible. Sangakarra, Thirimanne and Dilshan can well take some batting lessons from the SL tail who hung on with Prassana to extend the SL lead. Just a word on Sangakarra whom you mentioned. He rarely scores in the VIP first innings in Tests. It costs!

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

Huge contributions from Mahela and Rangana but lets not forget the invaluable contribution made by Prasanna Jayawardena. 61 not out on his come-back, coupled with not conceding a singe bye in either English innings - on a track where the ball turned appreciably.

Posted by vertical on (March 29, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

I think england played really well.The difference was the lower order ! In seaming conditions broad,bresnan,swann and prior contribute heavily as was against India and Australia. At the top of the order Strauss is not contributing and the number 7 Patel does not look Test quality to me.If panesar can replicate his form from the practice games and english batsmen play a little better they definitely can win the next test.Was the third test dropped because of the ipl??

Posted by JaferChohan on (March 29, 2012, 15:27 GMT)

That match was excellent.I think that Herath really was awesome and really deserved it.

Posted by kesy777 on (March 29, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

No. 1 side in the world. lol.. South Africa is the true No. 1 side.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

Good job lankans.. hope Eng will bounce back in second test and level the series..

Posted by Ksaminda on (March 29, 2012, 15:21 GMT)

If you need to be the No 1 test team in the world you need to play more and more home tests... :D its same 4 all..........this was a great test it had the meaning of "TEST" great win lions keep it up.....we r with our lions forever

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 15:21 GMT)

Now watch England drop Patel and bring in Bopara,Bell has done enough to be retained for nother 10 tests that is exclusive to him and some others,Patel,Bopara and Patel are different cases.

Posted by yorkslanka on (March 29, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

Well played to Sri Lanka on beating the #1 test team and also well done to England for getting so close( i beleive that this is the highest second innings run chase- correct me if i am wrong?) I am really please that our average bowling attack over performed and won this match...Herath spent enough time in Murali's shadow and he deseves the success he gets...there seems to be a lot of "fans" from other countries rejoicing at England's loss on here, all i can say was remember what the majority of those fans were saying about SL las t month so not really valid( everyone is entiltled to their opinion though)...come on Sri Lanka, lets go for the 2-0...good luck...

Posted by nilb on (March 29, 2012, 15:19 GMT)

English will be careful next time not to bowl no balls at Prasanna Jayawardena :)

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 15:18 GMT)

well played lAnka!!!really nice to see u back on track...... well,bell and trott looks to be in form. ask them to have another series against PAKISTAN.......xD Cheers!!!

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (March 29, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

All you can say about rankings is that they merely reflect who has played who and where. Top six teams are not really very different in ability. Asian teams struggle in England, aus, and SA and vice versa. It would be good to play a third game on this tour, especially under the gaze of the Buddha in Kandy. I cannot think why this is a two game series. The duels between batsmen and slow bowlers on show are pricelss.

Posted by cleanfox on (March 29, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

England are tired,jaded and unmotivated,If I was a selector I would get rid of the non performers and train some promising youngsters, England must realize cricket these days is a business and an investment and non performing assets must go.Hardwork and keen personnel will always yield good results. Look at SA long range training and planning is reaping the success they deserve.

Posted by Mathu. on (March 29, 2012, 15:09 GMT)

England were better in their second inning and still I don't believe SL has got a potential bowling attack to win a test match (except a place like Gall) who else took wickets in SL side other than Herath & Randiv. Fast bowlers are below par. If this is SL home grounds they should perform far better compare to England play at home. Anyway, even in past without Murali we hardly manage to draw a test and even now with no Herath it is the same old story. SL pace attack is in the same place or can say worse than the time Vass were in. Also fielders should learn from Dilshan how to be alive in the ground and attack the opponent at every time than be so lethargic with laid back attitude. finally if not Prasanna's superb 60 N/out England could have grab this match easily dispite Mahela's great inning of 180. Someone should teach most of SL players how to be more aggressive and energetic before opponent dominate them in both Bat or ball. Good luck SL team for the next match.

Posted by ramshkrish on (March 29, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

Thats it...!!!!.. I am very very happy about this result.. England, you realize the same pain that india had when we toured you last year.. Hope your No.1 ranking will go away without a win..:-):-):-).. Now its time for aussies defeat.. Better be prepared for that.. What ever team that humiliate INDIA will get the same result..:-)..

Posted by Extraz on (March 29, 2012, 15:07 GMT)

great win for Sril lanka...England on their way to another whitewash,Best wishes to sril lanka.from Pakistan

Posted by Nish_US on (March 29, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

All the England fans...

As always, the same daunting question keeps haunting again..

"Your prediction on ENG vs SL test series and the one later ENG vs IND in the sub-continent".

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 15:01 GMT)

Currently South Africa is the only team which can score runs anywhere in the world! let it be spin, bounce, swing anything they seem to be good compared to others. It wil only be a matter of time they become No1. As far as England is concerned if they don't find solutions their woes wil continue as they play India next!!!

Posted by Idol on (March 29, 2012, 15:01 GMT)

It remains to be seen if the media in general are honest to themselves and call the bluff of teams like England, Australia and SA who are no better in the sub continent than India has been off late overseas. At least, India had an extended run of good overseas wins and draws to become No.1. What has Englad done after beating an injury ravaged India? Lost to Pakistan on flat Gulf pitches ( whitewashed in fact) and now poised to get whitewashed by a Lankan team with two rookie spinners. No.1 in England is more like it

Posted by bhushanB on (March 29, 2012, 15:00 GMT)

Do you know me..? Last thing I remember is that I've used phrases like "Real Deal", "Verge of Greatness" and "one of the best England teams"...

Posted by XXXXXX on (July 25 2011, 21:37 PM GMT) I've been following England in Test match cricket for over 40 years now and I've seen a lot of ups and, probably, a few too many downs. But this England are the real deal. This England team are hard to beat. Like the great teams - once they get ahead, they cane the opposition. Great teams have great bowlers, period. Just at the moment England have the complete bowling unit; any one of those bowlers can, and has, run through quality batting line ups. England destroyed India in this Test match just as they destroyed Australia in The Ashes. This England team are on the verge of greatness - one of the best England Test teams I've seen in my lifetime.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 15:00 GMT)

Irresponsible batting by England. To go from 5 for 250 to 264 all out is disgraceful. Surely with time on hand another and 5 wickets 100 runs was gettable.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (March 29, 2012, 14:59 GMT)


Posted by jonesy2 on (March 29, 2012, 14:59 GMT)

losing 4 on the trot to pakistan and sri lanka no less, no disrespect to sri lanka and pakistan, i guess they are better cricket sides than england but i spose they always have been. i wish i could see ian bothams face. to cap it off not only are england a worse side than pakistan and sri lanka they are by far the worst and most hilarious fielding side.

Posted by jonesy2 on (March 29, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

all seriousness, this is embarrassing. australia hammered sri lanka in sri lanka, hammered a far better indian team than the one that played in england, taking the ashes back is going to be like taking candy from a baby. anyway thats neither here nore there but has there. strauss, pieterson, bell, broad, surely their respective times are up, the thing is there is no one to replace them.

Posted by playitstraight on (March 29, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

Congrats Sri Lanka! You guys truly deserved to win! You've got a lot of supporters backing you to win the 2nd test and dethrone England from the #1 ranking! They do not deserve to after losing 4 tests in a row. Btw, Kumar Sangakkara has been removed from the no.1 ranking by Michael Clarke. Well done Pup!

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:54 GMT)

I've never seen such inept batting, and considering the Dubai debacle, that's saying something...How someone like Herath can take 12 odd wickets in a test match cricket is beyond me....If he was playing in my local League then he'd be carted out of the ground game after game....Losing their final 6 wickets for a paltry 31 runs is dreadful and now we've become the laughing stock of world cricket yet again....Where do England go from here?...I really don't know...the big problem is that we've a 4 match test series in India in a few months, and our so called batsmen are simply not good enough on slow tracks, yet if we make wholesale changes this summer then we'll be humiliated by the West Indies & South Africa....

Posted by AdrianVanDenStael on (March 29, 2012, 14:53 GMT)

@Vijay Jeba Prakash: actually Panesar did not drop Jayawardene till he got to 147. It was Anderson who drop him in the 90s, and that was a much harder chance.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:49 GMT)

Sri Lankans arejust like Phoenix. we hava a hidden strength, that is why Ausi's are afraid of SL..

Posted by spiritwithin on (March 29, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

where r all those who talks of poor techniques by asian batsman in fast bouncy pitches??infact same can be said about non-subcontinental teams in subcontinents,everybody gives excuses when a subcontinent team does well at home but if its that easy y other teams struggles so much here..

Posted by roger_harps on (March 29, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

Breaking News....Gramme Swann has asked ICC to ban spin friendly wickets..and now is practicing Pace Bowling as he has said that spin friendly wickets are not real test wickets as english batting cannot play spin

Posted by zico123 on (March 29, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

all the best Srilanka to complete 2-0 whitewash against England, they don't deserve no. 1 ranking either

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 29, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

Well played Sri Lanka! England lost the match in a few key moments and one of them was going into the first day a seamer light. I can't help thinking that Tim Bresnan would have got as many runs as Samit Patel and would have helped to limit the Sri Lankan first innings to around 200. However, that said, losing the last 5 wickets for 26 was, to put it mildly, embarassing/ England should have won easily from their position shortly before Tea.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

I'm embarrassed to be English today.....nuff said

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 29, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

I wonder what Andy Flower has to say after this defeat. So much for all the PLANNING. It doesn't matter at the end of the day, you still got to perform and win. England are posing as the no.1 side. Let them pose because the true no.1 contenders are still out at large. England were on cloud 9 following a good summer's show against an aging Indian team. There was talk of comparisons with the former WI and Australian teams. Where are those people now ? where are some of my English friends hiding ? wait, there's more to come. England will lose the no.1 tag shortly and normal service will return following the next test in Colombo. Oh and India won't be a cake walk either. Testing times ahead indeed.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

Frankly i can hit myself with a hammer . I was expecting a new era in cricket with england winning the ashes then whitewashing India. But well i am proved wrong by the normal service of england cricket.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (March 29, 2012, 14:40 GMT)


Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

Well this is a hugely dissappointing result to a, let's be honest, substandard side with an average bowling lineup. The Eng batsmen need to take a hard look at themselves as they gifted their wickets to spinners who are probably no better than the likes of Doherty, Beer and Mishra (bowlers Eng batsmen have smashed around the park with ease). Unfortunately, it was a case of England beating England.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:38 GMT)

well done sri lanka.

best wishes from India.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

The margin of defeat is almost the difference in the scores of Mahela Jayawardane and Trott

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:34 GMT)

That easy drop catch of Mahela by Monty when he was at 90s costed the game for English

Posted by maddy20 on (March 29, 2012, 14:34 GMT)

Green trop bullies can't play on turning tracks and call them dust bowls! Wonder what English media and players say now. After they are white washed by SL ,they will repeat this horrendous batting in India too. Where are the Boycotts, Bresnans and Vaughans now?

Posted by therock9211 on (March 29, 2012, 14:34 GMT)


Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

lot of arrogant comments from oz and indian fans . Lets just hope their team can back it up.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:31 GMT)


Posted by Andrew_Aung on (March 29, 2012, 14:30 GMT)

I think England got to the top because 1. the two great spinners of the erra, Murali and Warne retired who could turn on any wickets; 2. Until UAE they were playing in wickets that are condusive to pace attacks. England were never good at playing spin. Now that they have started playing on spinning tracks recently, in UAE and now in Srilanka, their batting techniques against spin bowling is exposed.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

Congratulations Sri Lanka!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by cool2cool on (March 29, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

Hopefully they will not blame the DRS and umpiring.....

Posted by applethief on (March 29, 2012, 14:23 GMT)

Wasn't long ago people were giving another #1 ranked side flak for losing 4 away tests on the trot. Shame, England, shame.

Posted by ha72 on (March 29, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

well played SL you deserve this victory but i think situation could have been different if Swan, Broad and Patel scored 20 runs each which they are capable of last three tests England's lower order played really well,any way it was a great cricket match, i am sure England would bounced back in coming matches

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

Great match. As for England, four losses in a row. Tsk, tsk. Only four more to go.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

english team is going to look for excuse like we can't play in sub-continetal , food was not perfect , Herath action is suspiscious , KP is in fatigue condion , Pitch is substandard so on.lets see what other excuse they find ?

Posted by screamingeagle on (March 29, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

England is a great team, they are leading the cricket world to the next decade as champins. The nucleus of a strong test side is there. We only need to improve on the one day scheme of things. Spin is not an issue. We are acclimatised. Blah blah blah... Long story short, you guys are just as bad as the others when it comes to travelling. At least the other teams had more dignity as No.1s. They did not lose so badly so soon.As someone remarked in these forums, a recruitment in SA or the like is in the offing.

Posted by sasidharbiet on (March 29, 2012, 14:13 GMT)

Spinners have done work for srilanka. Once again world NO.1 Team failed in other country pitches.Now srilanka team is happy with lead 1-0.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (March 29, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

Very sad that we cannot knuckle down to grasp the initiative once and for all. i think of the 4 tests lost this winter, 3 have been gifted to the opposition. Basically we let them off the hook a few times and were duly punished. Hard luck on the guys who did well, and well played to SL. At the end of the day it is important not to give a sucker an even break, which we did on the first and third days, quite generously. Also complaints about spinning wickets are redundant. They are just part of the whole Lankan package and whingeing ain't the solution. Good to see Trott playing well again.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

The writer as many other writers (both local and foreign) has forgotten that Thilan Samaraweera is a match winner. Sri Lanka in post Murali era won only 2 matches. The test win in Durban is more significant against South Africa as that was against one of best pace attacks in the world + top quality batting line up and it was an overseas win. That match was won due the efforts of Thilan scoring 102 and 43 and Rangana Hearth taking wickets and a second innings hundred by Sangakkara plus a five wicket haul by Chanaka Welagedara which started the battiing collapse in South Africa first innings. It is advisable those who write columns in cricinfo and other media study a bit more of Sri Lanka test cricket, at least the recent history.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

Great win SL. This shows that the game is a team game and individual performance do matter, but you need all to chip in. Play hard and make it 2 - 0. Sara Oval, should be a dry wicket, Spin . Spin and More Spin SL

Posted by satanswish on (March 29, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

Very Poor show by England!! Hope they don't taste second consecutive whitewash series again.

Posted by bhrangi on (March 29, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

Congrats srilanks and their spinners.,., battle between the spinners and SL won it,.,., It seems no team is fit for No-1 ranking in test.,England batsmen will learn to play spin. atleast INDIA proved something in the past, but ENG batsmen yet to prove that they can play spin ;-)

Posted by Sinhabahu on (March 29, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

Good stuff, boys. So much for the wiseacres who predicted England to "blank SL by 2-0 or worse."

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

ha ha ha... fake world no1... I think u should play tests only in england or green pitches if you wanna remain in that no1 spot.... cant see any greatness in this team.. its only the media think they are the best... as I remember Sri Lanka manage to take all the games to 5th day and we only failed in one session which cost us the first match... but here... no words... Lol Now england media will start complaining about the pitch.. just like they start accusing dilshan about some no1knows actress...

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 13:49 GMT)

Same old England, Cant play spin in Sub continent(orDubai) cant even play against it when the spin is negligble. Yet the same players are selected , What is the England batting coach Mr Gooch doing about it,?.Next winter in India the same players will be selected because they will have a good summer in England , But that's only hiding the problem.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

For all those guys who crowed about India losing Tests abroad......Please note all those who are fed on bouncy true wickets are completely at sea when it comes to subcontinent wickets....All teams now are champions only at home! At least now the zealots have to start looking at things in proper perspective!

Posted by Romenevans on (March 29, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

Ahem Ahem! So 4th in a row now? Green top bullies i tell you....! Enough said.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 29, 2012, 13:46 GMT)

Well, they kept us interested for a while but eventually the almost inevitable collapse came and SL completed a deserved win. I do think that England lost this game as much as SL won it but, regardless, were outplayed. Even with the dropped catches and the no-ball, they still really only needed one more batsman to stand up and make a decent knock, but it wasn't to be. Very disappointing. Again, well done SL.

Posted by Randika1989 on (March 29, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

Comoooooooooooon Lions you are the No 1 in the world

Posted by cool2cool on (March 29, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

The no.1 team with the best batting line-up and the bowling attack for all the conditions has now lost 4 test matches in a row on the pitches which they call as flat-tracks. If they do not win the next match, SA deservingly would become the no 1 in test rankings.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 13:39 GMT)

proof read it again please

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

well played SL . U diserved it. :D

Posted by doctornikki on (March 29, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

well done herath..a pakistani fan

Posted by Kays789 on (March 29, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

too much seems to be made of the missed chances off mahela. in truth it was only the last two chances that monty dropped that can be called legitimate chances. the first two were extremely difficult and you see 'chances' like that going down 99 out of 100 times in cricket. and he didnt even score much after the last two drops so this idea that england couldve won had it not been for that is just wishful thinking more than anything.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 13:32 GMT)

What happened to world's greatest test team? Few months ago English were boasting a lot about their accomplishments. As much as subcontinent team cannot play seam and swing, English cannot play spin. So, what's the difference?

Posted by Philip_Gnana on (March 29, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

What a difference the captaincy makes. Indeed a team effort when you take in to account the superb fielding. Well done Sri Lankaaaa. Well done Mahela and the team. A much needed win for all the Sri Lankan cricket fans. One down another to go. How about another "brown wash"? England were number one by ability and performance until the UAE series. Now, it looks as though they are there just due to numbers and technicalities. Sri Lanka sure do need another good fast bowler in their ranks. Dilshan, ably played a very good role in keeping the third spin option, and did he not do well too?. Mahela the master captain marshalling his troops well. What a breath of fresh air for all of us. Well done, Well done and Well done again. Philip Gnana, Surrey

Posted by SHAKIB_IS_CLASS on (March 29, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

Swing Pitch bullies failed again in a Flat track. They do not deserve to be No:1

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (March 29, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

A long haul of defeats for the so called no. 1 side. The last chance for winning anything in the subcontinent is Colombo as visit to india wont be so pleasent anyways.

Posted by shovwar on (March 29, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

Losing 4 tests in a row cannot be the character of no1 test side....Look at SA they travel and they win! SA played the least no of tests in the top 6 and yet so many points. SA are the most consistent test side..they truly deserve to be no1 not England.

Posted by vvsquare on (March 29, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

it doesnt matter if u r no 1 or perform outside ur comfort zone needs class....& trott's was a valiant effort bt in vain....test cricket at its best!!! gr8 going sri lanka

Posted by NALINWIJ on (March 29, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

Great win by sri Lanka and great captaincy by Mahela to realise that the old bowl was not helping anyone and keeping it tight till the new ball arrived.The match was one hell of a scrap and SL did well to eke out those runs by the tail. Mahela's batting stood above everyone else in the match and his record at Galle looks freakish and Herath"s bowling was great and was complemented by great catches by Dilshan and Thirimanne. England may have scored the highest 4th innings chase at Galle but they have to go back home and face Sth Africa for the test crown [Tough task against Sth. African seamers].In 12 months 2 countries have crashed from the top- India due to pace overseas and England due to spin overseas.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

Another game, another dire batting performance. I'm sure a lot will be said about the dropped catches and no-balls. But make no mistake its was the batting unit particularly in the first inning that lost us the match, as they did every match in the UAE.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

well done Sri Lanka....u deserve it...

Posted by cyniket on (March 29, 2012, 13:22 GMT)

this defeat should concern england enormously. It puts the pakistan series into perspective. The sri lankan bowling attack is barely county standard, yet england managed to give away 20 wickets, for less than 500, on a very flat wicket.

as for sri lanka, their problems remain the same; good, but ageing, batting order; utterly horrendous bowling attack. Don't kid yourselves about herath, no other team will give their wickets away so generously to mediocre left arm spin.

Posted by SnowSnake on (March 29, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

Seems England's #1 ranking is gone now. Even if England wins the 2nd test, most likely it will be equal or lower than SA's 116 points because it is drawing series to lower rank SL. A loss means it is definitely over. England would follow India's example of losing 2 consecutive whitewash series losses in away conditions. Congratulations to SL BTW. Although I am reluctant to read too much into any team that wins at home. It seems, in recent times, most test teams have mastered home conditions.

Posted by BalkrishnaSapre on (March 29, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

though england have lost 4 in a row, they have fought well.. not like indians in eng and aus..

Posted by Mervo on (March 29, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

At least the South Africans Trott and Prior did well. Pity the English-born players can't manage the same concentration.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 13:13 GMT)


Posted by Simoc on (March 29, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

This is not good for the worlds number one side. Herath was obviously great but the difference in the sides was the 180 from SL captain Jayawardene. And England kept dropping him. Great win to SL but Englands status is in freefall with their gutless batsmens approach to opposition spinners given that they have two world class spinners in their line-up and are meek against opposition with lesser spinners.

Posted by Hodra99 on (March 29, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

The last 4 tests England have played has seen a return to normal team in the world?? Even the most one eyed England supporter couldn't say it now.

Posted by Vasilev on (March 29, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

After having got whitewashed in UAE, this is expected from England. It's going to be very tough for them to come back since this is a two match series. They have had a very good preparation(even better than the home side) having reached SriLanka about a month before. They only have themselves to blame. This is what is called "lack of competance".

Posted by TheIndiaRockers on (March 29, 2012, 13:05 GMT)

Good fighting effort from ENG. However we all know home team is going dominent the series. Come on eng we want to see fight back & level the series. We are waiting for the 2nd test. All the best to both the teams. Excellent performance from Herath excellent keep continue the same work atleast u can come near to the class act murali...

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 29, 2012, 13:05 GMT)

Congratulations SL and Rangana Herath !!! wonderful performance. England have yet again failed overseas in conditions that challenge them. Even their no.1 ranking is in danger now if they fail to win the second test at Colombo. You see, it's all rosy when you play well at home. The real test begins when you tour away in alien conditions. India found that out already. England should be prepared to follow suit. While a very good test side, they are no where near being the true no.1s. Good luck for the second test both teams.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

Guess who is no 1 team...

Posted by chad_reid on (March 29, 2012, 13:04 GMT)


Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 13:03 GMT)

Dear Andy Flower. Bring your boys on to India. They may regain their form, luck, and success. Our (India's) boys had been in a very charitable mood in test matches for more than a year. Hopefully, they will be hospitable, when you come over to visit us. After all, "Adithi Devo Bhava" -- (Your Guest is like Your God) is the slogan of the Indian Tourism Dept. So, bring them on!

Posted by satish619chandar on (March 29, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

Great game of cricket.. Much needed win for SL.. Kudos to England for fighting well.. As a Indian fan, i know how much application it needs to do well in adverse conditions but surely England is giving its best.. If they can continue bowl thee same way and improve the batting, they can surely win some too..Please ICC don't stop subcontinent from producing spinning wickets and ruin such good games of cricket anymore..

Posted by Scube on (March 29, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

5Wombats, can you pls kindly come out from under the sofa and enlighten us about the legacy being set by your favourite "Rest of the world" team for becoming the first # 1 team to lose the first test after becoming # 1, first two tests after becoming # 1, first three tests after becoming # 1, first four tests after becoming # 1 and continuing this legacy with 4 more to go! Sad they won't be # 1 after just one more, but still it'll be a record that takes some beating!!

Posted by isildur_elendilson on (March 29, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

England, go back home, practice on ur home pitches

Posted by Yasi_Gee on (March 29, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

Well done Sri Lanka and congratulations to Mahela & the boys. Going forward SL still need world class bowlers to win test matches both home & away. Especially SL's fast bowling attack is weak and need to find a swing bowler like Vass who can take wickets at any condition. Also, hopefully they'll give enough opportunities to Randiv to develop as a good test bowler. Finally, SL need to prepare well for the second test as England will come at them really hard.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

Great win for Sri Lanka.Mahela proves that he can handle the pressure as most captains could not .And field placement was marvelous.This is all about captaincy with intellect.Rangana hearth proves his way with Randiv. So murali will be happy not Vass as still Sri Lanka do not have regualr match winners like Vaasi in that department.But Welagedara has the potential.I would like to see Malinga again for tests. l i think the second innings score of England is the highest in Galle. England has positives as well for match on P'sara.

Posted by stone-mason on (March 29, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

Well, well, well... Is this England's way of ensuring the mid-year test series with us SAFFAS will not be for the#1 spot but rather for them to acknowledge SA as the already #1. Opportunity presented itself for Eng to make it even tougher for SA to wedge the mace from them, but hey thenks for the open hand. Let no one say we stole it from you...

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

Congratulations South Africa. Your boys made an extremely sincere (valiant, but unsuccessful) attempt to get England a record breaking win in SriLanka. They provided 210 of the 264 runs in the fourth innings! Great show.

Posted by pularika on (March 29, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

Really compelling test cricket, primarily because both teams were fallible and made many mistakes. There has been a lot of scrutiny on the English batsmen but the form and attitude of the Sri Lankan Batsman was equally (if not more) worrying. Irresponsible play from Dilshan, Thirimanne, Sangakkara and Chandimal in both innings.

Love Herath - underrated - and continues to be underrated by the media despite many sterling performances. I think that serves him well though, underestimate him at your own risk!

My favourite moment was Swann succumbing to the pressure and playing a rank bad shot on the stroke of tea, after shooting his mouth off (again) last evening and claiming that England were favourites to win. He is entertaining when he speaks, more so when he then has to eat his own words - so Swann, please keep it up!

One criticism about the reporting - the match report almost reads as if England are the only team playing. Cricinfo should do better to represent both sides equally.

Posted by truthhh on (March 29, 2012, 12:55 GMT)

well done boys,proud to be a srilankan!!!!so in the next match Chamara Silva must be given a chance,otherwise it would be very unfair because dilshan,Lahiru Thirimanne,sanga are not in good form&our fast blowing attack must be changed bez we are going t play in colombo,it;s time to call a new fast blower!!anyway good luck srilanka

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

Well done Rangana.You just proved that hard work and intelligence make a spinner who certainly will be world class. Murali had a harder time. He was the best of the best.Mahela you always lead them upfront.You laid the groundwork for our victory, and victories are hard to come by.Iam sure SL will do better in Colombo.Great job Guys. Tilak

Posted by Maduka43 on (March 29, 2012, 12:53 GMT)

It was good game. Best wishes to second one.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

What English Media will say now??? I guess " Hearth bowling action is illegal as he is not using his right hand"

Posted by NeoTheSaviour on (March 29, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

No 1. Team in the world.. LOL.. Joke Big Joke.. Only Australians were worthy enough to hold that titles. Even though they lost to India (while they were on their Peak) in India, But not without a fight. It needed life time best from few of Indian players to beat them.. But Eng today, they lost to mediocre team. As if that was not enough that mediocre team and also under-performed in this test and still defeated the No 1. Time to go to new New No-1. SA its your turn to prove yourself. But I really doubt their mental aspect, somehow they don't know how to be win big matches. In all I guess 1 year down the line Aus will again be world No 1.

Posted by KingOwl on (March 29, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

Well played, Mr. Trott. What would England do without all the South Africans in the team!

Posted by keshanadams on (March 29, 2012, 12:45 GMT)

Those days have gone and may never return

Posted by Ameega on (March 29, 2012, 12:45 GMT)

Really great game. Three batters shined despite of the bowling dominance, Mahela, Trotty and PJ. Thanks both teams for producing a great contest, which oscillated both ways. Nobody can say English are bad in facing spinners, if so SL too. The real difference between two teams in this game was, 9th and 10th wicket partnerships in two second innings. SL pair contributed in collecting some 80 odd runs and two Englishmen (Monty and Anderson) survived in the middle for just 5 runs.

Posted by rocknrola on (March 29, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

Why do England need Panesar. They have Anderson, Swann and Broad to share wickets between them. Monty is neither good with bat nor good on field. He cost the match by leaving catches in first innings. They can take a Bopara who can also bowl. Bresnan is also an option.

Posted by Crickforlife on (March 29, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

Stupendous performance by Sri Lanka! Nail biting test indeed! So where is the No 1 Test Team then? The English team boasts so much about their skills yet they've lost 4 matches abroad! Atleast India were better off....beating WI, NZ, Aus, SL and drawing with RSA.....good luck England! Hope to see India demolishing you in the upcoming test in the winter!

Posted by sweetspot on (March 29, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

Four in a row. Some #1. Not that the perch had gotten too old and familiar to be boring either.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (March 29, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

so in theory, Eng have one more test to retain the no.1 position. But in actual, they do not deserve the tag. in fact, none of the current teams deserve the no.1 position. They all are good in familiar conditions only

Posted by Adeel9 on (March 29, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

Welcome to the world outside England, England. Not long before you descend down the throne.

Posted by anuradha_d on (March 29, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

[dobell writes] The result sentenced England to their fourth successive Test defeat. For the No.1 rated team who, only a few months ago, were talking about setting a legacy, that is an acute embarrassment[end ]...........was England talking about setting a legacy...or was it writers like you putting this English side as oen of the best test teams in the history of the game????....LOL.......on the game itself........not much analysis or excuses necessary......plain incompetence by England outside their cmfortable homely conditions......compunded by lopsided selction of bits and pieces Patel

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 12:40 GMT)

oops....england can now stop boasting about their number 1 ....sri lankan school boys play spin well than this english ( or south afirican n indian mix with a little bit of english) team.

Posted by Afkham on (March 29, 2012, 12:40 GMT)

England the No 1 Test team ? South Africa deserves to be real No 1 as since many many years they are persistently performing as No 2 or No 3

Posted by gimme-a-greentop on (March 29, 2012, 12:40 GMT)

Herath deserves more credit..he has now won Test matches for Sri Lanka against the top two countries, and the one against SA was in Durban on what is traditionally a seamer's paradise wicket...

Posted by Natesan333 on (March 29, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

As usual the English are only good in the European continent (from an Indian fan :)

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

Good job. Proud of Srilanka (though not a big fan of them). England didn't play upto their potential. England's bowling is so lethal, still they aren't able to do the same magic they did while playing in England. England's batting should improve. Srilanka also dropped some catches, but i would love to see them improving. I hope to see an exiting battle in the next test.

Posted by crick_crick on (March 29, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

Eng team sings - we are the champions...we are the is now 4 tests in a row, is the third white wash on? (one against Pak, one ODI series against India and one is happening now against SL) SA ranks #1, as deserved....

Posted by Leggie on (March 29, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

So much is said/talked about batsmen when they fail under seaming, bouncing conditions. Should they not get the same treatment when they fail under spinning conditions. For too long we see runs scored in the subcontinent discredited - failing to understand that the conditions are the same for both teams. Unless England starts winning in the subcontinent - they cannot claim to be true number 1 in the world.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (March 29, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

England became No 1 by winning/not losing a series for abt 3 years. Not bad, and obviously better than all the others. They have now lost 4 tests in a row. It is therefore up to the other teams to overtake them. England seem to have good bowlers in most conditions, but not good enough batsmen in all conditions. To be bowled out for 193 was a crime, and a massive disrespect from the batsmen to their bowlers. The King is dead, long live the king. Makes Eng v RSA even more exciting. (BTW I rest my case to the IR Bell lovers out there)

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

good to see Pak and SL inflicting the same pain upon Eng, dat dey had inflicted on India last is Asia vs. RoW now

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

I am so happy to see some English batsmen being unhappy with their lbw decisions, given the fact that it hit them really far down the crease on their front foot, BECAUSE Swann has profitted big time from these types of decisions. Not too nice when its on the other foot is it???

Posted by KingOwl on (March 29, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

#1 side in the world: He, he, he!

Posted by SAcricFan on (March 29, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

Swan is such a chump, acording to him England were favourates going into today, why put the mockers on a struggling batting unit and then he himself goes out to an ugly shot across the line,talking it up really makes a person look and sound silly if you dont succeed!

Posted by rockyyy on (March 29, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

Ha HA HA!!!! NO.1 status is of no use!!!! england have lost it!! england is poorer than india when travelling overseas south africa deserves more!!! but when south africans gets tat oppurtunity, they loose or choke badly

Posted by RandyOZ on (March 29, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

No wonder Sri Lanka only wanted 2 tests against such weak opponents. Australia easily beat Sri Lanka at home and had it not been for weather it would have been a whitewash. Oh what the house of cards would do for the two best players of spin on Earth; Mike Hussey and Michael Clarke. After 4 consecutive losses it looks like it is back to the doldrums for the United XI for a long, long time.

Posted by RandyOZ on (March 29, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

Watching Ian Bell bat against spin is like watching a train wreck, you just can't look away. Every ball is a potential land mine. I tell you what the talent is paper thin in England, who knows who they are going to field against South Africa because surely players like Pietersen, Bell, Strauss, Patel, Broad and Panesar are getting dropped after continual failures. I think another recruitment drive in SA is due. The house of cards grip on the Ashes is slipping with every session of test cricket they play!!

Posted by AspiLfc on (March 29, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

Great bowling by Rangana Herath! Srilankan spinners are not specialist like Ajmal and Rehman who got very decent record but still England can't play spin bowling in subcontinent. This means that England will lose in India as well cuz Indians also got decent spinners and 3rd and 4th day test wicket will really test the englishmen class.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

England are still terrible against the low spinning ball. They have been since '84/85. A six week gap after UAE wasn't going to change that. They play back when they should be going forward, the stay still and use an angled bat when they should be positioning their body to play a straight bat. They are impatient when they should be patient, they lack "heat" fitness when they should be prepared for it. DRS was fine The 3rd umpire wasn't - but no complaints about DRS it's was the interpretation for Cooke in the first and Bell in the second that needed serious looking at. Terrible game for the third umpire - adequate for DRS

Posted by spiritwithin on (March 29, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

all the talks of England setting a legacy comes to a cropper,the fact is this team was having a purple patch coupled with declining aus & indian team and all the english fans started proclaiming as the beginning of new era,infact no teams i mean no team after reaching no.1 been so pathetic right after becoming top test nation,even india (a poor traveller outside subcontinent) managed to hold SA to 1-1 and also won few test series in NZ,WI as a no.1 test team but Eng just succumbed to their 4th test defeat in as many matches in subcontinent...reminder to all english fans not to talk big and respect others...

Posted by Plz_Dont_Get_Whitewashed on (March 29, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

Hahahahahahahahaha..........hohohohohohohohohoho........hehehehehehehehehehe........... WORLD NO.1 !!!!! ..... Yeah right !!!!! :D

Posted by CustomKid on (March 29, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

Great win Sri Lanka. Life is good - 4 in row to England............losses that is and I'm loving it. Doesn't get much better than that. Admittedly ENG were their own worst enemy for a large part of this game but they have some serious mental issues against spin bowling. When half decent spin comes into the attack, they're like a glass jawed boxer.

Strauss must really be under the pump now. 4 in a row, no test hundred since the 2010 ashes opener and averaging 25 this year. No one is putting their hand up to replace him however. ENG doesn't have much bench strength at all with the bat for my mind. Who is next in line.....Bopara, Morgan.....not exactly world beaters and both have previously been exposed at test level.

They do have good bowling potential on the other hand in Bresnan, Finn, and Tremlett who's just gone out with a back injury. You can always scrape runs but it's tough getting 20 wickets in a game. The issue is there's no scraping happening either right now.

Posted by amitgarg78 on (March 29, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Same old story, with the wickets falling to spinners! Their ineptness in subcontinent against spinners has been legendary. . They're a good team, but haven't been able to play in these conditions. That's 4-0 and a few more games to go in this part of the world, they are competing with India for the leader board, who are @ 8-0 after the two disasters!

The team is hanging to their number one status by a thread - just wonder what will be the official spin on this :)

Posted by FlatTrack_HomeChampions_2011 on (March 29, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Congratulations Sri Lanka! It's nice to see that how hard England fought though they are playing in sub continents. At one point it could be anyone's game. India should learn from England how to play at situations where you won't get home friendly pitches. The way India were thrashed outside sub continents and the way England played in sub continents clearly show how much better England than India. Hopefully 2nd test match would be more exiting

Posted by Perera32 on (March 29, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

SO MR SWANN, ENGLAND DIDN'T QUITE MAKE THAT HISTROIC VICTORY. Very good bowling by Herath he was good in SA too. England can go on about drop catches and No balls but England cannot ever win in the Sub continent vs good teams because they cannot play in this Heat and Humidity. BOB WILLIS ONCE AGAIN BROUGHT UP AJMAL ON SKYSPORTS, JUST ADMIT DEFEAT AND ENGLAND WILL NEVER EVER BE THE NO 1 TEAM AND NEVER DESERVED TO EITHER.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (March 29, 2012, 12:22 GMT)

Once a side gets into a downward spiral as England have done over these four successive defeats, it becomes axiomatic that changes have to be made. Broad, who, in truth, wasn't really fit when this match began, cannot be considered for Colombo (& shouldn't have played here, btw). Brenan is clearly his replacement as a bowling all-rounder. But that is not enough, because a 4-pronged attack is being asked to do too much in these conditions, yet two spinners are mandatory.Therefore, room needs to be found for a third seamer: that must be Finn & poor Samit has to be the one to go. The batting is not firing (exc Trott) & had Bell failed here (he did just enough to keep his place) he'd have gone too, so that means the rest needs to be looked at to allow Bopara( with a reputation as a good player of spin) to come in.Whose place should he have then? Amid howls of protest, it has to be KP who has done nowt all winter in tests. Will England be brave enough to take this step? Probably not!

Posted by Agnihothra on (March 29, 2012, 12:22 GMT)

No body DESERVES to win a test match just because he scored a century, In that case Rahul Dravid/India DESERVED to win in England 3-1 . Trott would have been a deserved match winner if he stayed back to finish the work he so brilliantly started ie saw his team home .. not just do 80% of the work.

Posted by pom_don on (March 29, 2012, 12:22 GMT)

I agree that we got bowled out by spin but what Dobell fails to mention is that this was a given as more spin was bowled & the quality of SL pacemen on the worn wicket was pretty ordinary so I wouldn't read too much into that.It has all been about England giving away their wickets in the first innings & one good SL innings other than that it has been a great test to watch, lets hope we get another like it starting Tuesday but this time of course with an England win.

Posted by IanJF on (March 29, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

Tail-end batting is what gives any team the unseen edge..!

Posted by RavanaNation on (March 29, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

Lions are really dangerous , in their cave

Posted by dsig3 on (March 29, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

Well done to SL. Good to see Herath pick up a bag. Like the way he plays the game. England are a good team no doubt, but they are not great. Their fans need to learn the difference.

Posted by justtogood on (March 29, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

Thats 4/4 losses from the number 1 test side in the world!!!!! what a joke

Posted by bMike on (March 29, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

Congrats Sri Lanka! It proved again that England can only perform well at home friendly conditions same as India and both don't deserve to be number one test team

Posted by JG2704 on (March 29, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

PS - Congrats SL - ESP Herath and the 2 Jayawardene's

Posted by Sanj747 on (March 29, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

Goes to show how meaningless the ICC test rankings are. Both Eng and Ind with their recent test performances have shown how both were not worthy of being number 1. Unless something miracolous happens Eng should lose 2-0. Strauss is pathetic in his contribution with the bat together with Pietersen. If Strauss does not score runs in the second test one must ask the question is he worthy of a spot in the team.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 29, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

Very disappointing yet again from Eng's point of view but at least we showed improvement in the 2nd inns.Thought Bell was unlucky with his decision - it was only clipping and had the umpire not given the decision and SL reviewed it it would have been not out.Also felt Prior was unlucky. Credit the fielder but it seemed to cushion into his chest and go into his hands. I felt that was a big turning point (maybe one of many).The frustrating thing was that none of the England batsmen looked troubled before they got out.I'd still like to see them try an extra bowler , even if it is just for 1 match and for those who think I'm using Bell as a scapegoat , I feel the only 2 batsmen worthy of keeping their place on their test form this year are Cook and Trott.Strauss is prob the worst statistically but I do rate his captaincy. Bell would still be the man to go for me but then again KP has shown little in the longer form this year either.I'm getting fed up of positive signs leading nowhere.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

Have any Australian or English great people are watched this match?? If yes please see the result of England on their last 4 test against Asian team in Asia!!! How good they are in Asian condition!! It's very simple everybody taken their home advantage so once our Asian team are plying in Australia or England how they could criticism of the great Batsman or their technique?? Actually still they are not ready give the credit to others!!!

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

England will find it very difficult to retain No.1 spot and will surrender it fast to SA very soon !!. I do not find any authentic display so far in both Pakistan as well as now in Sri Lanka. Barring some individual contributions in patches they are struggling to read the spinners and look mediocre bunch.Their bowling unit is still performing in Asian conditions as well

Posted by   on (March 29, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

Lot was said of England when they claimed #1 spot. But long ways to go for England. England doesn't have the capacity to beat teams in Asian sub continent. The Ashes 2010 was just like Ashes 2005. Once in a while magic. England will always be England. !

Posted by jonesy2 on (March 29, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

haha just when you thought england cricket couldnt go any lower... well done sri lanka.

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Tour Results
Sri Lanka v England at Colombo (PSS) - Apr 3-7, 2012
England won by 8 wickets
Sri Lanka v England at Galle - Mar 26-29, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 75 runs
SLC Dev XI v England XI at Colombo (SSC) - Mar 20-22, 2012
England XI won by 4 wickets
SL Board XI v England XI at Colombo (RPS) - Mar 15-17, 2012
England XI won by an innings and 15 runs
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