Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Colombo, 5th day April 7, 2012

England level series to stay No.1

221

England 460 (Pietersen 151, Cook 94, Herath 6-133) and 97 for 2 beat Sri Lanka 275 (Mahela Jayawardene 105, Swann 4-75) and 278 (Mahela Jayawardene 64, Swann 6-106) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

In the end it was a breeze. Whatever doubts England might have had about chasing 94 to win the second Test at the end of a tormented Asian winter did not manifest themselves as they gambolled to a victory that, for the moment at least, preserves their status as the No. 1-ranked side in the world.

Lurking memories of their collapse to 72 all out, in pursuit of 145, in Abu Dhabi barely two months ago were banished as Alastair Cook proceeded from the outset at a one-day rate and Kevin Pietersen added a lighthearted singalong to his majestic first-innings century. England had it all wrapped up within 20 overs, levelling the series at 1-1 and preventing Sri Lanka from achieving their own first Test series win for three years.

It was a steamy Colombo day - one reading showed 42C - so hot that holidaymakers along Sri Lanka's coast would be dragging sunbeds into the shade. England lost their captain, Andrew Strauss, for nought, bowled by Tillakaratne Dilshan as he met one that turned with ponderous footwork and an angled blade, and Jonathan Trott followed lbw to Rangana Herath as Sri Lanka successfully asked for a referral, but they were not about to wilt in the sun.

Sri Lanka, who had added another 60 in the morning session, relied entirely upon their spinners in recognition that the P Sara pitch had finally become the minefield that many had long forecast. Cook signalled his intent by driving and cutting Dilshan for successive boundaries and scored 30 of England's first 40 runs. When he cut three times in one over at Herath, and missed the lot, Sri Lanka must have realised there would be no miracle.

Then Pietersen came over all Frank Sinatra, confident again to do it his way, gliding down the pitch to loft Herath straight for six. Appropriately, the match ended with Pietersen v Dilshan, reviving memories of the contretemps over Pietersen's switch hit. Mahela Jayawardene brought the field in and challenged Pietersen to win it with a six and he did so, launching the ball over midwicket. What did he think of April Tests in Colombo when the climate was at its fiercest? "A joke," Pietersen said, ingenuously.

Sri Lanka, six down overnight, lost three wickets in a rush, but Angelo Mathews countered briefly to turn an overnight lead of 33 into something a little more substantial. Their chief tormenter was Graeme Swann who had rolled in, sunglasses not quite disguising a scampish intent, to turn the game with two wickets in the penultimate over of the fourth day. He spun the ball viciously at times on a pitch that, for him at least, finally had become the spin bowler's friend.

Samit Patel also chipped in with his first wicket of the match when Herath anticipated Swann-like turn, found Patel-like turn instead and offered the simplest of chances to James Anderson at slip.

For Sri Lanka, the onus rested once more on Jayawardene. Swann, who took 6 for 106 to finish with ten wickets in the match, finally removed him an excellent ball which turned and bounced to hit the glove and lob easily to Cook, plunging forward at short leg. It was the end of a polished defensive innings - 64 from 191 balls with only four boundaries.

Jayawardene made 354 runs in four innings with two centuries and his stock has rarely been higher. It was easy to carp that Sri Lanka had not helped themselves by a scoring rate not much above two an over, but only Pietersen, whose rapid century had created the time in which England could win the game, had played with any panache on this pitch and to try to ape Pietersen in that mood would be to fly too close to the sun.

Two overs later and another Jayawardene followed, this time Prasanna, coming in two places lower at No. 9 thanks to Sri Lanka's recourse to nightwatchmen on the previous two evenings. It was a briefly unimpressive stay, ended when he tried to sweep and was bowled around his legs.

Mathews' survival owed much to a calamitous morning for Cook at short leg. Three times in five overs Swann had expectations of dismissing Mathews to a nudge to short leg, but Cook failed to cling to two low chances and then a third fell wide of him as Swann looked as dangerous as at any time on England's winter tours.

There was further frustration for England, too, when Mahela Jayawardene, on 58, was adjudged lbw by umpire Asad Rauf only for the decision to be overturned on review when the TV umpire, Rod Tucker, spotted an inside edge.

As wickets fell, Mathews eventually had little choice but to formulate an attacking response, but eventually an erratic surface betrayed him as Steven Finn made one stick in the pitch and Mathews, intent upon advancing to drive, could only chip into the leg side. England's run of failures were soon to be put behind them.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • A_Vacant_Slip on April 10, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    @g.narsimha on (April 10 2012, 03:54 AM GMT) LOL man! India is not "final frontier". Only conceit this comment. What makes you think India is so important??? Whole world know that AUSTRALIA is the final frontier. Team that go there and beat them in their home must be a good team. India never did this even with their so-called "legendary" team (who were not so legendary, of course). India as "number 1" team came to England and were utterly thrashed. Ruthlessly. Where is India final frontier @g.narismha? if it is England - India were thrashed, if it is Australia - India have NEVER won there. Conclusion = even at their so-called "best", even as "number 1" India not very good. Please publish.

  • JG2704 on April 10, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    @g.narsimha on (April 09 2012, 10:19 AM GMT) The reason we celebrated it was because it brought us to the number 1 ranking. It could have been SA,Aus,NZ anyone. I really think you have a complex if you think that India are the envy of world cricket. They usually get mentioned by English fans on England threads when we constantly get a bombardment of facts and figures from yesteryears games which have absolutely no bearing on today's game.In fact as an honest Eng fan the poor performances in UAE/SL superseeds the 4-0 win vs India last year and I am now just worried about WI and SA. It's funny how we get less Australians going on about the way the beat us home and away for the best part of 20 years and I have never seen a WI fan going on about yesteryear on our threads.How should we respond to threads trying to stir things all the time. If you read my (most Eng fan's threads) during UAE/SL we're the 1st to recognize our faults in SC etc. So no need to keep making an issue of it.

  • on April 10, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    why kulasekara is not in test team he has better bowling average than others

  • g.narsimha on April 10, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    VALVAN- Agreed ENGLAND did achieve great success in recent years, in the era of fiarce compitition , elevation to no-1 potion is not a mean achieve ment , with this deserving win ur team just managed to hold on that position , the acid test is awaiting , u too have to face a few very string teams in sa, aus in home & final frontier in INDIA lets wait & see , it is not that we dont have bowlers ,if ZAHEER recovers , with YADAV, ARON ASOKDINDA, we too have good pace attack but the problem is selection , selectors obsesios with use less VINAY KUMAL ,OUT OF FORM PRAVINKUMAR are the major contributors for our humiliating defeats in eng, aus ,

  • jmcilhinney on April 10, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    @stormy16, I think that you'll find that yours is the childish comment. KP is not criticising SL the country or the cricket team. He's saying that it's really, really hot and sticky. Your the one who seems to be putting words in his mouth having taken it as his saying that England is better. When even the locals have to have ice packs on their heads during the drinks breaks, it's really hot. KP was actually being rather self-deprecating, saying that he wasn't equipped to play long innings in such conditions where his team mates Cook and Trott, known for their powers of concentration, probably are. Some people are always looking for an angle to criticise and play the victim though.

  • subbass on April 9, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    @ Stormy16. Don't be ridiculous it is far easier to warm up and not suffer in these 'cold' temps of probably at least 17c-20c by god we even get days in May where the temp is 25c ! Point is extreme heat and humidity is far harder to put up with than these so called cold conditions. Cold is Ice and Snow not England in May.

    The SL although they would be slightly troubled by it, would certainly not find it as hard to cope with than ridiculous heat and humidity. We would have to play SL in December for it to be 'cold'

  • JG2704 on April 9, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    @Spelele The simple fact is that the ICC's points table runs on either a 2 or 3 year rolling system so 2007 is totally irrelevant.Otherwise you might as well go back to when Aus or WI dominated or even before that.I don't have the 2007 figures to hand but I take your word for it that SA's stats were much better.I'm not doing the whole stats thing again but you say that over the last 2 years SA's stats trump Eng's and the only noteable win was India at home.What about Australia away and over the last 2 years how do wins over SL/ NZ (by smaller margins) trump Eng beating Aus/India? BTW we also beat SL at home same as you and also in last 2 years only we didn't lose a test at home to SL. Maybe you could also see how SA did last time they played a test series in SL if you want to balance it further.If I am wrong please pull me up.As said before I know SA have real quality in the team and expect a tough series. Our head to head record in tests over last 6 series with SA is dead level

  • JG2704 on April 9, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding on (April 08 2012, 16:17 PM GMT) Know what you're saying. I actually thought it was a decent dig at those who slate us for over relying on imports.

  • stormy16 on April 9, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    I see this become a Eng V SA V Ind issue! Firstly Eng dont need to win in India or anywhere to prove anything. They are the current number 1 end of story - its not like India had to win in Aus to be number 1. Good show by Eng to level the series but dissappointing series for to come away with a draw. I note KP reckons cricket in April in SL is a joke - I guess the same applies to cricket in Eng in May - the only time it seems SL play in Eng. SL have played a few times in Eng at the end of the Eng summer - check the records on these games. The point is one cant call playing in SL in the heat a joke and yet expect visiting teams to play in Eng in the freezing cold, beat them, and claim your good - that could also be a joke! Its these sort of childish comments which forces pressure on KP when the reality is he is a class act and a game changer and a bit a humility will go along way in this case.

  • bobmartin on April 9, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    @ Spelele... "SA is still ahead of England. Stop distorting stats please!"... The only stats that matter in the rankings, are those over the period covered by the rankings table..i.e. Since last August.. Now as I recall when I checked two minutes ago, England were top of that table. I'd like for you to do two things, tell us: 1) why do you state SA are ahead of England when the ICC table clearly shows otherwise. 2) produce the stats calculated in the same manner as the ICCs that leads you to this conclusion. Once you've failed to do 2), then you might admit that, much as you hope, wish or pray that it isn't so... ENGLAND ARE NUMBER ONE... Any other conclusion would be purely delusional...

  • A_Vacant_Slip on April 10, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    @g.narsimha on (April 10 2012, 03:54 AM GMT) LOL man! India is not "final frontier". Only conceit this comment. What makes you think India is so important??? Whole world know that AUSTRALIA is the final frontier. Team that go there and beat them in their home must be a good team. India never did this even with their so-called "legendary" team (who were not so legendary, of course). India as "number 1" team came to England and were utterly thrashed. Ruthlessly. Where is India final frontier @g.narismha? if it is England - India were thrashed, if it is Australia - India have NEVER won there. Conclusion = even at their so-called "best", even as "number 1" India not very good. Please publish.

  • JG2704 on April 10, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    @g.narsimha on (April 09 2012, 10:19 AM GMT) The reason we celebrated it was because it brought us to the number 1 ranking. It could have been SA,Aus,NZ anyone. I really think you have a complex if you think that India are the envy of world cricket. They usually get mentioned by English fans on England threads when we constantly get a bombardment of facts and figures from yesteryears games which have absolutely no bearing on today's game.In fact as an honest Eng fan the poor performances in UAE/SL superseeds the 4-0 win vs India last year and I am now just worried about WI and SA. It's funny how we get less Australians going on about the way the beat us home and away for the best part of 20 years and I have never seen a WI fan going on about yesteryear on our threads.How should we respond to threads trying to stir things all the time. If you read my (most Eng fan's threads) during UAE/SL we're the 1st to recognize our faults in SC etc. So no need to keep making an issue of it.

  • on April 10, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    why kulasekara is not in test team he has better bowling average than others

  • g.narsimha on April 10, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    VALVAN- Agreed ENGLAND did achieve great success in recent years, in the era of fiarce compitition , elevation to no-1 potion is not a mean achieve ment , with this deserving win ur team just managed to hold on that position , the acid test is awaiting , u too have to face a few very string teams in sa, aus in home & final frontier in INDIA lets wait & see , it is not that we dont have bowlers ,if ZAHEER recovers , with YADAV, ARON ASOKDINDA, we too have good pace attack but the problem is selection , selectors obsesios with use less VINAY KUMAL ,OUT OF FORM PRAVINKUMAR are the major contributors for our humiliating defeats in eng, aus ,

  • jmcilhinney on April 10, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    @stormy16, I think that you'll find that yours is the childish comment. KP is not criticising SL the country or the cricket team. He's saying that it's really, really hot and sticky. Your the one who seems to be putting words in his mouth having taken it as his saying that England is better. When even the locals have to have ice packs on their heads during the drinks breaks, it's really hot. KP was actually being rather self-deprecating, saying that he wasn't equipped to play long innings in such conditions where his team mates Cook and Trott, known for their powers of concentration, probably are. Some people are always looking for an angle to criticise and play the victim though.

  • subbass on April 9, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    @ Stormy16. Don't be ridiculous it is far easier to warm up and not suffer in these 'cold' temps of probably at least 17c-20c by god we even get days in May where the temp is 25c ! Point is extreme heat and humidity is far harder to put up with than these so called cold conditions. Cold is Ice and Snow not England in May.

    The SL although they would be slightly troubled by it, would certainly not find it as hard to cope with than ridiculous heat and humidity. We would have to play SL in December for it to be 'cold'

  • JG2704 on April 9, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    @Spelele The simple fact is that the ICC's points table runs on either a 2 or 3 year rolling system so 2007 is totally irrelevant.Otherwise you might as well go back to when Aus or WI dominated or even before that.I don't have the 2007 figures to hand but I take your word for it that SA's stats were much better.I'm not doing the whole stats thing again but you say that over the last 2 years SA's stats trump Eng's and the only noteable win was India at home.What about Australia away and over the last 2 years how do wins over SL/ NZ (by smaller margins) trump Eng beating Aus/India? BTW we also beat SL at home same as you and also in last 2 years only we didn't lose a test at home to SL. Maybe you could also see how SA did last time they played a test series in SL if you want to balance it further.If I am wrong please pull me up.As said before I know SA have real quality in the team and expect a tough series. Our head to head record in tests over last 6 series with SA is dead level

  • JG2704 on April 9, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding on (April 08 2012, 16:17 PM GMT) Know what you're saying. I actually thought it was a decent dig at those who slate us for over relying on imports.

  • stormy16 on April 9, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    I see this become a Eng V SA V Ind issue! Firstly Eng dont need to win in India or anywhere to prove anything. They are the current number 1 end of story - its not like India had to win in Aus to be number 1. Good show by Eng to level the series but dissappointing series for to come away with a draw. I note KP reckons cricket in April in SL is a joke - I guess the same applies to cricket in Eng in May - the only time it seems SL play in Eng. SL have played a few times in Eng at the end of the Eng summer - check the records on these games. The point is one cant call playing in SL in the heat a joke and yet expect visiting teams to play in Eng in the freezing cold, beat them, and claim your good - that could also be a joke! Its these sort of childish comments which forces pressure on KP when the reality is he is a class act and a game changer and a bit a humility will go along way in this case.

  • bobmartin on April 9, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    @ Spelele... "SA is still ahead of England. Stop distorting stats please!"... The only stats that matter in the rankings, are those over the period covered by the rankings table..i.e. Since last August.. Now as I recall when I checked two minutes ago, England were top of that table. I'd like for you to do two things, tell us: 1) why do you state SA are ahead of England when the ICC table clearly shows otherwise. 2) produce the stats calculated in the same manner as the ICCs that leads you to this conclusion. Once you've failed to do 2), then you might admit that, much as you hope, wish or pray that it isn't so... ENGLAND ARE NUMBER ONE... Any other conclusion would be purely delusional...

  • JG2704 on April 9, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    @RWood I thought our selections were a little safety first for the whole UAE/SL tour to be honest and if memory serves me right I think unambitious declarations cost us in our previous series defeat in WI. I think maybe , India chasing down 387 for 4 in the previous series made us over cautious when declaring but if someone chases down a big total like that you sometimes have to take it on the chin as a total that big is defendable the vast majority of the time. I still think that even in our last Ashes series win (it may have been the 2nd test) we actually declared too late . I think Aus were 4 down overnight going into the 5th day and they didn't make it til lunch. It rained about an hour after the end and had Aus batsmen survived til lunch that would have been a draw. Can't see how SA fans can complain when defeats to SL and Aus in home tests were all their doing and Smith declaring too late was his choice.

  • g.narsimha on April 9, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    JG2704(8-4-12-,17.27 GMT )- the greate drubbing by ENG in ENG of IND in their home last year once in decades is being celebrated not only by poms but all those envy team india, than how can we egnore those stats refered by C.SOWMI 7 we cant help even if these stats makes u feel GUTTED or BROKEN , the facts remains , we never forget the the 8-0 humiliation in eng, aus , even if we manage a series win against eng later this year in ind , those difeates cant be eradicated from our memory ,

  • RandyOZ on April 9, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    @5wombats - welcome back mate. We have missed you throughout your strange abscene over the previous 4 tests. The weather mustn't have been very fair where you were.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on April 9, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    lucky no:1 able to hold it for some more time. Until SA reach there.

  • i.love.ice.creams on April 9, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    If Indians were accused for having won & lost the title for their home performances, then England should be blamed for no less. Quite clearly, England's recent downfalls were equally horrendous as the Indian's in the previous season. Pakistan scorched them mercilessly at Dubai and it was more or less like a mere watching without anything to do for the English. Here again, they started woefully, but ended a bit more positively, having managed to save their nearly-lost crown. For this, the English bowlers backed them much, contrary to dilapidated Indian pacers, who seemed struggling to maintain their balls at above 130 kmph. In different circumstances, the situation would've gone completely against the favor of English: something Indians experienced a year ago. This title is slipping from them like a giant's robe upon a dwarfish thief who has stolen it.

  • csowmi7 on April 9, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    @yorkshirepudding Between 2008-2011 India won against Aus in 2008 2-0. We beat England 1-0(2008). We won in New Zealand 1-0(2008). We beat Sri Lanka 2-0(2009). We beat Bangladesh 2-0(2009). We drew with SA 1-1(2009) and in SL 1-1(2010). We beat the Aussies again 2-0(2010). We beat New Zealand 1-0(2010). Drew in SA(1-1) and finally won in WI(1-0). "agreed they didnt lose any series though they struggled to win them" Thats 8 series victories and 3 drawn series. Not bad I suppose. On the other hand England's stint as number one has been 0-3 in UAE and 1-1 in SL. Win 8 series first then we'll see.

  • RWood on April 8, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    @JG2704 9:21 - Exactly so! Teams shouldn't get to #1 by being "timid". A fascinating year is unfolding I think. Yes, it was the 3rd test where SA tossed away an almost certain win.

  • yorkshirematt on April 8, 2012, 22:25 GMT

    Only one way to settle the argument of just who is better England or SA. Bring it on! South Africa will find a much more settled England side waiting for them than the one they faced in 2008 that's for sure. One that is at the top of its game at home.

  • Spelele on April 8, 2012, 21:28 GMT

    @JG2704: very nice to see that you have selected only the 'last 8 series' in order to distort the stats. A very balanced comment from you as expected. English fans don't like it when stats are cited from 2007 (ENG's stats do not even come close to SA's during this period), but readily choose and pick stats to convince us of their no.1 status. Even when we look at stats over the last 2 years, SA's record would trump England's since ENG had only one notable win during this period against India, but lost terribly to PAK, and drew against SL. SA, on the other hand, won against both SL and NZ and drew only against Australia. There is only one logical conclusion from these facts. England's record in the last 5 years only just trump's SA's when we arbitrarily start from the middle. If we start from the beginning of that period (2007), SA are far superior. And if we look at recent results (from the last 2 years), SA is still ahead of England. Stop distorting stats please!

  • yorkshirematt on April 8, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    @Supa Saffa If england can't beat the windies at home in their own beloved cold overcast conditions I would happily admit SA were the better side and favourites to win in the english summer, but I think only the rain can prevent a 3-0 win to england who are rutless at home and take advantage of their own conditions, unlike SA

  • RednWhiteArmy on April 8, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    Number 1 baby! . . get used to it

  • YorkshirePudding on April 8, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    @csowmi, agreed they didnt lose any series though they struggled to win them, with the exception of home series against Aus, and BD. They even made hard work of the 1-0 win in the west indies in 2010.

  • criclover112 on April 8, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    England are the number one team. What has SA done.? They can hardly win at home. Drawn series against India and Australia.

  • csowmi7 on April 8, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    @yorkshirepudding There is no doubting the class of Anderson and Swann. At the moment they are bowling extremely well and did a good job in the UAE and Sri Lanka. But no great bowler has ever been dominant in India. Warne, Murali, Brett Lee and even Glenn Mcgrath at times struggled in India. Its really gonna be a test of how well England play spin versus how the Indian youngsters handle the fast bowling of England. Perhaps Anderson and Swann may be successful but India are without Dravid while Tendulkar and Laxman are nearing their twilight. This is perhaps england's best chance though to win in India. But you never know. The same was said when India went to Australia.

  • JG2704 on April 8, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    @CS - I see we have some bitter SA fans on here too. Since Eng were last defeated (before Pak) our last 8 series (not inc Bangladesh) is W5 D1 L2 tests W14 D7 L7 (4of8 series were played at home 14 out of 28 tests played at home) . SA's record from the last 8 series is played 8 , W3 D4 L1 tests W9 D8 L6 (6 of the last 8 series/ 18 of the last 23 tests played at home) and WE are the team who are top because we play most of our matches at home ? There are too many one eyed fans out there to try and put right individually and no doubt they'll take little notice or find some other reason why SA should be number 1. To be honest we get accused of getting carried away , boasting etc even when the vast majority of us are very self critical - it kind of tempts you to live up to it.

  • JG2704 on April 8, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    @ csowmi7 on (April 08 2012, 12:22 PM GMT) Absolutely gutted. Producing those stats has left me a broken man

  • JG2704 on April 8, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    @CS ctd - indeed 1 loss (albeit 3-0) in 3 years does not look so bad. Also 2 of the 3 tests we could/maybe should have won. It's not like another nation who slate us continually whose defeats have mostly been by inns or absolute thrashings. Having said that our batsmen only added ammunition to those who say we can't play spin on such surfaces. And being real about it , I expected us to beat Pak - maybe by 1 or 2 tests or worst case scenario draw the series and beat SL 2-0 worst case scenario winning 1-0 so all in all for me it was a bad 2 tours. You already know my views about formations/selections etc although I'm not AS heated about that at home where we may not need 2 spinners and can use Patel as a 2nd spinner if necessary. Yes WI are putting up a fight vs Aus , but I'm not sure they'll be so effective in England but team Eng must not take them lightly

  • Supa_SAFFA on April 8, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    One could choose any statistic to make a case for either SA or England to be the best team. My own stat is simply that by the time England and SA meet in July, their most recent results in the preceding 3 test series will be that SA will have won 2 test series and drawn one, while England will have lost at least one, drawn at least one, and time will tell whether they can even muster a home series win against the Windies. That makes SA easily the better team on performance in the current or most recent season, which is far much more meaningful than results of two or more seasons ago, given how quickly a team's form and fortunes can change. If in doubt, just ask Team India how that works. SA is the better team regardless of the ICC rankings, which shows in the players' rankings, even if they dropped a few "crucial" tests. Winning's winning, whether by an inch or a mile (yes, I know that's not original).

  • csowmi7 on April 8, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    Funny to see 5wombats finally coming to the fore after 3 long months in the wilderness. :)

  • csowmi7 on April 8, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    @cricketingstargazer India had not lost a single series from August 2008 to August 2011 where we eventually lost to England. 3 years my friend.

  • YorkshirePudding on April 8, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    @JG2704, its hard to tell when so many like to claim Bopara, Rashid, samit and others are also born out side the UK.

  • YorkshirePudding on April 8, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    @csowmi, wasnt the same said about Swann and Anderson in SL and the UAE that they wouldnt be any good, it was also prophesised in 2010 that Anderson was going to get carted around the park in Australia. So please keep making these statements as the more they get underestimated by fans the sweeter the tears are. Personally I'll reserve judgement until they've played in India.

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 8, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    hey randyoz... i hear p hughes, m beer, t copeland, u khawaja, p george, s smith, b mcgain, j kreja, c white, b casson, a mcdonald and d cullen all went down well at all the other comedy ferstivals... ; )

  • jmcilhinney on April 8, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    @sami01, is that the Bangladesh that England beat in their last Test series in Bangladesh or the Bangladesh that beat both India and SL in the Asia Cup?

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 8, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    Read my lips.. ENGLAND ARE THE NO 1 RANKED TEAM IN THE WORLD. If the other teams in the world were as good or better then they would be. But they are very obviously not. So take it, grow up, hope your teams may improve and move on. It's not rocket science, your team just has to win, or not lose, more than all the other teams over a set period of time. England has done that. So they are number 1. Anyone who doesn't understand that should go to the ABC 4 Kids site.

  • 5wombats on April 8, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    @RandyOZ - the Melbourne Comedy Festival? Is that what you are calling the 2010 Boxing Day Test now. Dead right mate.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on April 8, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    Thank goodness that is over. Watching Cook bat is like watching paint dry. England survive thanks to some shoddy SL batting. Cant wait for the SA Á vs SA B series coming up.

  • csowmi7 on April 8, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    england holdin on to the numba 1 ranking for dear life. SA the deserved number 1. Awesome players of spin and swing in Amla Kallis and De villiers and the best bowling attack in the world under the guidance of the best coach Gary kirsten.

  • CricketingStargazer on April 8, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    @JG, 1 series lost in 3 years! Strictly factual :-). Not too many sides can match that record. And yes, we all remember that Caribbean series which marked the end of three very long, dark years where we hardly won anything. Still, even then we had a 3-0 win against Pakistan and a 1-1 draw in India in that time, but not a lot else to cheer about.

  • csowmi7 on April 8, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    England should not go over the moon with this victory. I mean the only threatening bowler Sri lanka have at the moment us Herath. Clearly Lakmal, Randiv and Prasad are not ready for test cricket. And their batsman are also out of form with the exception of jayawardene. This Sri Lankan side is nowhere near where they were 4 years ago with Murali, Vaas Malinga and an excellent batting line up with Jayasuriya, Sangakarra in form and many others. I remember the series in India where the number one ranking was up for grabs. If Sri Lanka won that series they would have been number 1 but lost by a margin of 2 tests making India number 1.

  • bobmartin on April 8, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    @RandyOZ... "I don't really get everyone's gripe with the ICC rankings. All of us who actually have a clue about cricket have been ignoring them ever since Graeme Swann was ranked the best spinner in the world. " No you're wrong there. The Aussies started decrying and/or ignoring the rankings once they lost their number one slot.. and even more so, when England, after thumping you at home and away, went to number one... Sticks in the craw a bit doesn't it ?

  • csowmi7 on April 8, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    Just a reminder to all hopeful English fans who can fantasize about winning in India. Since 1990 only two sides have won a series in India Australia in 2004/05 2-1 and South Africa in 1999 2-0. Swann is never going to be threatening against the Indian batsman and Anderson has never done well either in India. In all probability India is going to win 2-0 or 3-1.

  • purna478 on April 8, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    gd for englanad but they need bopara

  • drewkatski on April 8, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    @RandyOZ, wonder if you would have been saying that if Australia were number 1 in the Test Rankings and by the way, if Graeme Swann wasn't the best spinner in the world, who do you think it would be? Nathan the Timid Lion? or Shall it be Xavier Do-hurt-he? -_-

  • csowmi7 on April 8, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    @rawcrickettalent It would be foolish to underestimate the Indian bowling attack in home conditions. Our bowling may have its flaws in foreign pitches but at home we utilize the conditions to the maximum. India have consistently bowled out sides at home and we were the only sides to defeat Australia when they were at their peak. Ojha is a brilliant spinner and Ashwin has many deceptive varations. Just a fact in 3 test matches at home he has 22 wickets and a century. Forget these two even jadeja was good enough for England when they came in the ODI series. And imagine if the two pace bowlers were Zaheer Khan who is among the best in the world when he is fully fit and Praveen Kumar who can produce prodigious swing

  • Springbok111 on April 8, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    Various media are calling England "still the Best Test Team in the World". They never were the best team in the world, far from it. They only became number 1 (ranked) because of scheduling (who they played and where they played). Give me a beak, England "the best"? NO DEAR!

  • MaruthuDelft on April 8, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    @rawcrickettalent, Pragyan Ojah is a marvellous spinner. It is going to be Pragyan who will be disturbing English and Ashwin would have a share of the benefits. England will play well in India but can't defeat India. Even Dhoni who is a part of tail end when playing tests in Oz, SA and Eng would be a world class batsman when playing in India. Ajmal's action is questionable.

  • sami01 on April 8, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    England doesn't deserved to be number 1 team of the world..in sub continent they are much weaker then bangladesh..

  • CricketingStargazer on April 8, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    JG, I am finding all this debate fascinating. England have lost just 1 series in 3 years. Our record this winter reduced strong men to tears, but I still think that the Sri Lanka series was closer to our true form and strength than the Pakistan series. In the UAE, part of the problem was meeting a good side that was inspired and in brilliant form. It would be interesting to see this Pakistan side play Australia and India, especially in the UAE. With the West Indies giving Australia unexpected difficulties in May/June and then South Africa in the second half of the summer, England will have two important challenges. South Africa v England should really decide the #1 debate for once and for all... at least for a few months!

  • JG2704 on April 8, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    @RWood on (April 07 2012, 19:50 PM GMT) This was the 3rd test right? I mentioned this before about Smith's reluctance to push the game forward.VP had the NZ batting line up in stacks of trouble and NZ hung on for the draw. I constructively mentioned the unambitious declaration could have cost/delayed SA's number one ranking and if I was a SA fan I'd be annoyed about that but the fan basically argued that they won the series so why risk anything? The fact that the win would have taken them to number 1 I thought would answer that. Needless to say the very same fan has been spewing about Eng being undeserving etc but if Smith's mindset was that safety 1st then surely that is one of the reasons SA aren't nr 1. People blame the rain in NZ - fair point - but the rain had nothing to do with them losing what are now crucial matches to Oz and SL recently

  • JG2704 on April 8, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (April 07 2012, 18:27 PM GMT) Yes . I knew that myself. I'm surprised no one else picked up on his continental accent and his tanned skin. BTW it was Feb/March 09 when Eng last lost a series so you're playing the argument down a little

  • Sandalal on April 8, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    Sanga, Dilshan and board of selectors are the main culprits behind Srilanka loss. Dilshan should be play test cricket not 20/20. Sometimes players has bad time.If Saga has bad time he should bat no5 or 6. Main problem is Thirimamme. He fail all the way but still selectors are blind. Without proper openers how Sanga & Mahela manage. They got all the pressure. Any way Mahela, Thilan & Herath got all the credit.

  • Lord.emsworth on April 8, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    josh2david your comments are hundred procent correct. I said the same on cricinfo too. Dont bother about the Premadasa stdm slip up....Its a natural mistake I'm sure! Petty for anyone to bring it up....

  • vrn59 on April 8, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    Good comeback by England! Of course, there is still a long way to go but they will have gained some confidence from this victory. They won't have to tackle the subcontinent again until November so they'll surely be relieved :P. Alastair Cook (unfortunate to have missed two centuries in both the UAE and Sri Lanka), Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen showed their class in this series. Although their struggles aren't over yet, Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell also showed glimpses of form. With regard to their bowling attack, England are really strong. James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann are amongst the best bowlers in the world today. Even their bowling bench strength is fabulous. As for Sri Lanka, it was a disappointing performance from the team as a whole, but Mahela Jayawardene was excellent, with his batting as well as his captaincy. Rangana Herath also bowled well, though he got a lot of wickets due to poor shot selection by the batsman rather than through great deliveries.

  • RandyOZ on April 8, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    I don't really get everyone's gripe with the ICC rankings. All of us who actually have a clue about cricket have been ignoring them ever since Graeme Swann was ranked the best spinner in the world. That article got great reviews at the Melbourne Comedy Festival!

  • rawcrickettalent on April 8, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    i expect england to defeat india in india as well....do you know why?? because they don't have a good spinner....Ashwin really? who is ordinary and so is harbhajan.....Ajmal is the best spinner these days without a doubt...and he showed england that didn't he?? sri lanka also don't have a great spinner these days after Murali ........so simple ...swann and monty are very good indeed ...Pakistan defeated England due to their superior spin attack but india and sri lanka are pretty ordinary in the spin department!!

  • RandyOZ on April 8, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    England got lucky in this test, but lets be honest they still only managed to scrape a draw in the series after a 3-0 whitewash against Pakistan. When Australia toured Sri Lanka it was a crushing defeat and barring rain would've been a whitewash. The Ashes is coming home next year :)

  • on April 8, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    Time for all the Indians to think again about England only being no1 because of home form. You have short memories - England's last two winters have been 1-1 in South Africa and 3-1 in Australia. And now they seem to have learned to play spin better than your team ever plays swing or bounce.

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 8, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    In the bygone days being an international cricketer would have been an eyeopening & friendly experience, meeting fellow players from all around the world, extending heartfelt courtesies and making lifelong friends in far flung parts of the world. Now the players are at eachothers throats in a fly-in, must win fly out schedule and on to the next tour, leaving behind bad feelings, contentious decisions and a life spent on the road or playing computer games in the hotel rooms. This filters down to all the tub-thumping nationalistic posts, like the garbage one reads on this site about my country is better than yours (even if it isn't!) and even if those 2 coutries are not even playing eachother!! Facts, stats and logic finish rarely even a distant second or third or don't even feature at all. Soulless and vaccuous stuff. A great game, or shot or delivery has nothing to do with the identity of the countries playing. Support one's team by all means but appreciate the opposition & the Game ;)

  • Balumekka on April 8, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    Sanga and Dilshan are the main culprits behind this loss. SL bowling was ok. Getting all out for 275 in the first innings is totally unacceptable.I think this is where India is way ahead of Sri Lanka. They know how to resist in these conditions!

  • 5wombats on April 8, 2012, 2:06 GMT

    @Spelele - how is that view from up there... you know - from the Eiffel Tower?

  • RandyOZ on April 8, 2012, 1:36 GMT

    A pretty fortunate win all in all for England. Now that Gayle is back they will soon go back to being spanked to all parts though. That is before the S.Africans roll through them.

  • on April 8, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    Mehela's decision to bat 1st cost SL the match. The past 6 matches here have all been won by the team batting 2nd and that worked to Eng's advantage. If he would've know this then Eng would've struggled and SL won the series. An misjudgement and miscalculation by the captain. All the best for the next series, at least he's returned to form and has a new strike bowler in Herath. Good replacement for Murali.

  • yorkslanka on April 7, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    @josh2david- this wasnt at the premadasa my friend, the p sara oval is a different venue...

  • 2.14istherunrate on April 7, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    Thank God!!! The side who won here was recognisable again as the one who won over the past three years. It does not make up for the strange occurrences in the desert and less unexpectedly Galle, where Sri Lanka have often done well, but at least it is a palliative of sorts. ( I would have liked a third game in Kandy beneath the beneficent gaze of the Buddha, which we might have won) Cricket on these wickets is a fascinating contrast to England and i could watch plenty more.

  • maddy20 on April 7, 2012, 23:21 GMT

    @MaruthiDelft Not nice of you taking a dig at Ajmal and Ashwin really. Ajmal's action had been cleared by the ICC so whats your problem with that? Both of them have a calm demeanour about them and I would rather prefer that instead of the ever chirping Swann and company. English fans are talking as if they have won the series in SL and are taking a dig at India while they are at it. So let me clarify. They have barely managed to draw it against a side that barely has a bowler that with enough variations to trouble the opposition. Why the Lankans do not play a quality spinner like Mendis and a classy batsman like Chandimal is beyond me! Sure second test performance is expected to lift England's spirits a little but this is way too much!

  • CricketingStargazer on April 7, 2012, 22:59 GMT

    Interesting stat for those who wanted to bury Graeme Swann is that he has had the best strike rate for England in both winter series. He has set such amazing standards that anything less than regular big hauls is classed as failure. The experiment with Samit Patel as a batsman who can bowl has been an interesting one. No runs, but he has been surprisingly useful with the ball, keeping batsmen quiet and nipping in with the odd wicket. Hard to see him keeping his place though: he looks like he should be batting after Broad. This series has not given many hints as to what side will be picked this summer. Can England go with Bopara still for one more series? Or will they pick one of the many youngesters and give him a run in the side (Bairstow, perhaps)?

  • jmcilhinney on April 7, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    @josh2david, it's all very well saying that Sangakkara's poor form cost SL the game but England could just as easily say that Bell's poor form cost them a bigger win. As for Chandimal, Matthews scored more runs in this game than Chandimal did in the last. More runs for SL from any batsman would have helped. Also, it's not quite correct to say that Herath did the same job as Swann, in this game at least. Herath took 6 in England's first innings in 53 overs while Swann took 6 in SL's second in 40 overs. Swann was also unlucky not to have 9 in the second innings, with 3 of the batsmen he didn't dismiss getting let off by the fielders off his bowling. I give credit to Herath for his bowling this series but I have to say that Swann was more consistently dangerous.

  • josh2david on April 7, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    I am surprised SL lost the test in premdasa stadium in colombo, I strogly believe Sangakara's failure, poor form and Chamdimal's replacement earned a defeat for SL.I am not too excited about KP's 49 in second innings, any batsman gets excited if the target is just 94.Herath did the same job as Swan but just imagine, Herath is realy an underrated player!I think SL has to drop Thirimanne and bring tharanga for open with Dilshan, at present Dilshan only survive as he is an alrounder.

  • kunderanengineer on April 7, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    Very impressive and well deserved win for England. After losing 4 tests in a row and in the process being lambasted and ridiculed by critics who claimed they are incapable of playing spin and clueless in subcontinental conditions demonstrated in very clear language what the heart of a champion is made of. KP Trott Cook and Strauss have all shown that they are capable of playing spin very well even in adverse conditions. So if Indian fans and players think that England's tour of India later this year will be a walk in the park for India they do so only at their own peril. I still feel that had they started the Pakistan series with ODIs and then moved on to the tests instead of the other way around, the results would have been far more competitive as the England players gradually accclimatised themselves to the conditions. Realistically there's only one team right now that can challenge the Poms for the number one spot and that's the Proteas. Can't wait for that confrontation next July

  • on April 7, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    @sportofpain excellent comments i do beleive like u

  • on April 7, 2012, 20:30 GMT

    browsing the ICC player ratings....

    some chap called BW Mendis ranked 31. mystery spinner. not Englands favourite. better than randiv? prasad?

    The last thing England would have wanted was another Ajmal....Club players could score against the SL attack. (club spinners might have taken a hatful too...)

  • CricketingStargazer on April 7, 2012, 20:08 GMT

    @Yorshirematt, South Africa would have gone top if they had beaten Australia at home. Having won the 1st Test by an insulting margin hey then lost the 2nd. They didn't. I believe that they had another opportunity to go top and also blew it by only drawing a home series. It's endemic in their case that, when they have the chance to go top, they struggle to get over the line. It also happened a few years ago when they were challenging the great Australian side to go top and lost 5 Tests to them on the bounce! And, as their ranking shows and has been correctly pointed out, they have won very few series over the last 3 years.

  • RWood on April 7, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    @Wade Millar and other one-eyed fans: If SA want to be #1, they must show more boldness than they did in NZ. In Dunedin, the forecast of a wet final day was "locked in" before the test even started. What did Smith do? He batted till the lead was 400. An enterprising captain would have declared at a 300 lead at the most, given NZ's brittle batting. The game may still have been drawn, but SA would have had a reasonable chance of winning and near zero chance of losing. This cost SA the #1 spot immediately. After an easy win in Hamilton, ultra-caution cost SA again in Wellington, with another declaration that was too late. This certainly cost SA victory.

    It's always a laugh, reading the hyper-biased comments of some of the "fans" here. The #1 ranking is just that - it doesn't say that the side is all-conquering over a long period. Get a life some of you! Cricketing strength is divided more evenly at present and the #1 ranking will be hard for any team to hold on to.

  • CricketingStargazer on April 7, 2012, 19:11 GMT

    I know that some people like to belittle Sri Lanka, but they made a far better fist of giving England a contest last summer and have fought well in this series. The side, like many others, is in transition and looking for match winners. They have played 5 Tests against England over the last 12 months and held their own. The games have been played - barring a couple of minor incidents that will be forgotten in a week - in an excellent spirit. England should have won the 1st Test, but didn't, so there isn't too much to crow about, but there is some relief that the side has started to take on board its lessons and who would have predicted after the Tests in UAE that England would win the ODIs, the T20s and share the series in Sri Lanka? At that stage it looked like the Apocalpyse. Plenty of questions left to answer for next winter over the balance of the side and the batting. Roll on the summer Tests against the Windies, who are embarrassing Australia & South Africa!!!

  • sportofpain on April 7, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    England are No 1 - the rankings say so. And they deserve to be No 1 till they lose it. I am Indian btw and couldn't get it that everyone was saying India were not No.1. Those who said that then and those who say England are not No 1 now should come up with a better ranking system or simply shut up.

    And for the record India too drew 1-1 with SL about a year ago, coming from behind to level the series.

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 7, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    @igorolman: spot on. If it would be a question of Alex Tudor,Anil Kumble, Jason Gillespie, Shane Warne or Ajit Agrakar (for example) being stuck on 99*, it might be an issue. But Cook, with 19 test centuries and counting to his name, being left 49* ... who cares? What marc_sm is trying to suggest about KP's character may even be true; but this does not prove it.

  • MrBrightside92 on April 7, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Kudos to Mr Gravitas..a bit of a relief....SL haven't got a good bowling line up...and the series was drawn..well played Mahela...before the Winter...yes people were questioning Eng batsmen against spin (5-0 India anyone?)..and to be fair they haven't sorted those issues....however, the other question was how Eng would get 20 wickets as they are green top bullies..well...they battered Pakistan batting time and again (ok...not the best batting line up) but also a very competitive SL batting line up in their home conditions...how do you think Anderson will feel going back to Eng in May after 5 tests in Asia....SA will come to ENgland cold..they have the players...by the way...has Pattison been dropped and OZ going back to the Ashes failures??

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    @Muhammad Sharjeelon (April 07 2012, 13:24 PM GMT) To be fair it is partly Pak's cricket board or whoever for not organising tours of/against better teams. Pak would have earned greatly from their home series win vs England and rightly so , but other winning series particularly vs Bangladesh AND Zimbabwe is going to earn you very little by way of ranking points. Also I don't believe Pak have played much away from their adopted home , but they are certainly in a good place to challenge in the next 18 months or so if they continue their decent form and get the right tours. But they obviously have the credentials to do it at home (UAE) just a case of getting some tours together

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    @ Bruce Mclennan on (April 07 2012, 14:40 PM GMT)on (April 07 2012, 14:40 PM GMT It's not that difficult to understand. It is done on a rolling set of results. SA are number 2 because they have been the 2nd best side over the last 3 years based on their results. You can;t suddenly have 8th placed team winning 1 series and going to number 2.

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    Re the future - Well despite our win today I'm afraid I've much less faith in our selectors. Fortunately there was no weather intervention and our bowlers - as they have done by and large throughout the tour - delivered. Had SL's top 3 delivered anything in this match the likely outcome would have been a draw and not playing our leading wicket taker in UAE (from 2 tests as well) was a huge gamble and could easily have cost us our number 1 ranking.Now I feel that there is little or no chance they'll play the 5/1/5 ranking and I can see them persisting with Bell and he'll score a load of runs when under less pressure vs the weaker WI attack and will get found wanting when we face the SAs. If we are going to continue with a 6/1/4 formation then I suppose Patel gives us a better spinning option (assuming we go with Swann and 3 seamers) Very harsh on Monty though

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    Have to say there are more negatives to take from these 2 mini tours than positives. By and large we haven't played spin on spinning pitches at all well. Also I feel that the selectors have shown a different loyalty to the batsmen than they have to our bowlers (which was a positive) . We went out on a high note with a win but to be honest that is because our bowling unit have been by and large so reliable (coupled with SL lacking quality throughout the team - no offence meant) that Swann and co helped deliver the win. I still feel our chances were reduced by dropping Monty whose previous game was his only failure on tour. Eng are still luckily but deservedly number 1 thanks to SA dropping tests vs NZ (rain) , Aus and SL and Aus dropping that test vs NZ.

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    @marc_sm on (April 07 2012, 15:47 PM GMT) Don't think Cook would be the slightest bit bothered and KP possibly/probably didn't even realise Cook was on 49 and just wanted to win the match in a hurry. I'm sure Cook was quite happy admiring what KP was doing and he was happy just to win the match. Had it been a batsman who is unlikely to get a 50 very often or had it been a ton then that may be different

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding on (April 07 2012, 13:44 PM GMT) - Sorry bud but I think this poster had a sense of humour and he was aiming it at those who said that all Eng has in foreigners in their side

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    @Shaun_wick on (April 07 2012, 12:47 PM GMT) Format's don't matter. You have 3 different ranking systems for 3 different formats. England's number 1 ranking in tests was not affected either by their 5-0 whitewash defeat in India or the 4-0 victory vs Pak in UAE and rightly so. Funnily enough , if you add the ranking points of the 3 formats together SA and Eng are each on 356 - not sure about the decimal points etc - so even by doing that you're argument is flawed. Agreed SA very well balanced , unlike your post

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    @Spelele on (April 07 2012, 12:05 PM GMT) Please don't comment unless you have the arguments to back up your posts. You have come on England threads and changed your predictions and now you're obviously spewing because Eng remain top rather than looking at SA's record. Granted they were unlucky with the rain vs NZ but had they not lost one of their 3 tests at home vs SL or lost the 2nd test at home vs Aus they'd be number 1 right now. The rain gods or the ICC didn't cost them those matches. Yes Eng are lucky to still be number 1 based on these 2 series but by the same token that we lost 4 in a row on these tours we also won 4 in a row vs India. Please tell me the last time SA won 2 tests in row , let alone 4.

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    @Herath-UK on (April 07 2012, 11:10 AM GMT) Guess you would have been particularly disappointed with Sanga - as he was rated as number 1 in the world recently.

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    @Sir_Freddie_Flintoff on (April 07 2012, 11:05 AM GMT) Nice of you to come back as an England fan when we suddenly start winning again.

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 By the way your text seems to get bigger as I feel you getting more and more heated.

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    @oze13 on (April 07 2012, 11:04 AM GMT)- Sorry , don't totally agree here. I'm an Eng fan and I (no disrespect to SL) their bowling attack was poor and besides MJ their batsmen let them down. What did Bres do 5 runs and a combined 2-71 . Yes he did a good job but hardly made the difference. Still feel Monty would have done well here. Personally I'd have dropped Bell and played Monty and Bres

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    @James Badge Wing on (April 07 2012, 09:30 AM GMT) I believe you are from Oz. I just want to say I appreciate your balanced views . I do kind of agree that we look doomed and I wonder if an (on paper) comfortable win vs WI will be good prep for the much tougher SA line up. I'm guessing you must be really rueing the home drawn series vs NZ. Had you won that 2-0 , maybe you'd be right up there too. All the best

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    @MaruthuDelft on (April 07 2012, 09:03 AM GMT) Absolutely class comms from you. I have no encounters with SL people (good or bad) in everyday life but our commentators were saying how charming and warm the Sl people were when they toured there.

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    @Wade Millar on (April 07 2012, 08:44 AM GMT) So who does deserve number 1 then? Please answer this and I will explain why they no more deserve number 1 than England. Re "They will get smashed by a South African team who even though they have to (once again) play England at home, man for man are vastly superior" 1 - the last series was played in SA and if you're accusing Eng of playing most of their series at home , I make it that SA - who you praise to the high heavens - have played 6 of their last 8 test series at home. Maybe man for man SA are better than Eng , but that superiority on paper would apply vs other teams - teams they've drawn against or just scraped by. Look forward to hearing your response.

  • JG2704 on April 7, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 on (April 07 2012, 08:36 AM GMT) Plenty of non English experts on these boards said that England would get whitewashed vs SL too so folk do like to go overboard both ways. For the record I'm relieved that we are still number 1 and pre tour - and I didn't want to give predictions and then people twist it and say that I said this definitely would happen - I expected us to beat Pak by one or 2 tests (worst case being a drawn series) and SL by 2-0 or at least 1-0 so yes it has been a poor tour which has probably raised more questions than answered any old ones. One thing I will say is that many posters have said our bowlers couldn't perform on these pitches and our batsmen couldn't play spin. The bowlers disproved the doubters while the batsmen by and large proved them right

  • CricketingStargazer on April 7, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    I think that Jonsey forgot to mention that Tim Bresnan is really from Malawi! (bet he doesn't know where that is even!! :-D) Those of us who have been following and have often suffered with England over the years expected a performance like this in the UAE. So often over the last few years England have followed a dreadful performance with a brilliant one, as Australia have found to their cost. I'll stick with what I said earlier: pased on the last 18 months or so, Pakistan are probably the side with the best claim to be #1 and, as they drop some of their older performances, they will go up the rankings like an airbubble in water. All the top five sides are deeply flawed and that is the reason why none of the challengers is ahead of England. On results over the ranking period England are just about the #1 having lost just one series (albeit badly) since May 2009. Now they have to stay there, playing their main rival for the title this summer.

  • subbass on April 7, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    It's always nice to have people moan about SA born players, but the fact is they qualify to play and any other side would pick quality players no matter where they are born, they qualify to play, they choose to play and I'm happy to have them in the side. If they were avg players no-one would mention them, SA have a Pakistani born spinner, Dirk Nannes is dutch and played for OZ, Andrew Symonds was born in England yet played for OZ, happens all the time. Anyway we're still number one in the real form of the game and could stay there for a while longer.

  • Cpt.Meanster on April 7, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    Congratulations to both teams for making this a short yet sweet series. Best wishes especially to England after a flop show at Galle. Goes to show England do their homework well when they are really in a state of jinx. If not for themselves then certainly for their no.1 tag; and their fans of course. Glad they will be able to keep it with them still. Being the mother of cricket, England deserve a longer run as the no.1 team. Here's for a good summer series against SA !! *raises beer can*

  • RednWhiteArmy on April 7, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    All the miserable aussies stayed up hoping to watch us get beat...

    you boys will struggle against the west indies

  • jmcilhinney on April 7, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    @Bruce Mclennan, if it weren't for RandyOZ and jonesy2, that might be the dumbest thing that I've ever read on this site. By playing more matches England give themselves just as many more chances to fail as they do to succeed. That's actually one of the strengths of the ICC ranking system. Every time England lose or even draw a match to a lower ranked side it hurts their ranking, so how can playing more matches be unfair? Playing more matches is only advantageous if you win a good proportion of them, so England must have done that, so doesn't that inherently imply that they deserve the ranking?

  • Lord.emsworth on April 7, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    Expected England victory. Both teams must be wary of their top order. Sri Lanka especially have no 'top order' to speak of. MJ has hit a purple patch since Oz but he has failed countless series before starting with the England tour. Sangakara especillay lost this series for SL with his useless batting...Not the first time. Swann vs Herath = even Stevens....England definitely had the better pace men... Andersson superb. SL have no pacemen at all, just like their so called 'top order'. SL unearthed a great batsmen in Chandimal but De Mel sidelined him. One of his 'jokes' I suppose.....

  • ShreJ on April 7, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    Why is India even being involved here? OK England whitewashed them but thats the past now. Why not just focus on SL and England?

  • phoenixsteve on April 7, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    Great win by England and in the sub-continent too! Maybe they have learned some valuable lessons about playing this particular brand of cricket? Lord knows it's been at quite a price and all the 'England knockers' have been having great fun at England's expense. Normal cricket will resume shortly and the opposition will be worthy competition with a slightly refreshed Windies and then the mighty South Africa. Easy wins against a poorish Australia didn't do England any favours last winter and it'll be interesting to see the outcome in the Barbados? We'll get to see just how weak the Aussies are..... The England performance has seen a resurgent KP and we need to see the other batters turning in match winning performances too. Form is a fickle friend. Anyhow, in Colombo England did the business and made me proud and in a beautiful country full of lovely people. Strange scheduling though - playing at time when you don't really want to be dashing around Sri Lanka! COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • on April 7, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    i am sure english spectaters would have enjoyed this test series although that it was limited to two matches .yesterday it was avery quite day as beer stalls werw closed due to poya & good friday.today they really celebrated.as usual for SL mahela was supreme.one cannot understand what went wrong with sanga.mcc would have certainly list him for a honararium for the speech given by him &his misarable faliure in this series. thatis cricket! hope that he will shine at the IPL.it was rather dissapointing that our pacies had abad luck with them.it is high time tofind another spinner to couple with mr.herath.in the 2nd innings our paceies gave agood batting display &hope that they will advance in bat at the future matches. it was rather dissapointing the way w-keeper jayaw... batted he must realise his selection to the team not only as keeper but as a middle order batter also. iam sure din- chandimal should be trained as a w-keeper.good luck mahela next series.

  • geoffw on April 7, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    pretty even; poms show they are not that good at spin; yet they have Swan - who has been a superstar for them over the past several years. No warne or Murali, but gets the job done. I thought that the switch-hitting thing with KP was interesting; more to follow on that - so D. Warner et al take note. Isn't cricket even today - good tussles everywhere - love it :)

  • Dhumper on April 7, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    And the debate goes on who is # 1.. England whiewashed by Pakistan, Pakistan despite overseas win over New Zealand etc needs to win overseas against Aussies, SA, Eng and then Aussies lost to Eng at home, SA have to be consistent.. Indians well they need to improve massively besides having fun at IPL (T20 is fun, nothing wrong with that), So that makes for an interesting time in World cricket when no one actually could claim to be real # 1 - rankings or whatever. WI and Aussies sides of past did it over long periods of time so they were truly # 1 for a while. The fight goes on now and its a lot more fun than one team beating the heck out of everyone else!

  • CricketFundas on April 7, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    I must say that I am suprised the England finally won something in the subcontinent. But we need to give credit where it's due. Well played England, and for now they deserve the #1 ranking. Whether they've learnt to play in the subcontinent will be proved only when they can go beat India at home.

  • igorolman on April 7, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    @marc_sm: Puzzling that you feel the need to try and find something to criticise Pietersen for. This isn't some parks game, nor is Cook on debut - nobody cares how many 50s you end with (centuries are another matter, just ask Tendulkar lol). Plus, if you're going like a steam train after a run of form that's seen you get 100 runs in 8 innings, and you've collapsed spectacularly more than once in recent times, why not take the runs if they're there? There's plenty of things to criticise Pietersen for - shot selection, an addiction to shying at the stumps when completely unneccessary that's seen him give away four overthrows more than once, manic running on 0*, or letting decent offspin talent go to waste - but this so isn't worth flagging up.

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point on April 7, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    @Sam_Mathews - "Third, i think given about 12 months the world rankings will be as follows: 1st - RSA, narrow 2nd - Aus, 3rd - Eng, 4th - Pak, 5th - Ind, 6th - SL" DREAM ON! LOL I'm watching the Aussie self-lauded & much vaunted 2nd coming of pace attack struggle against the greenhorn Windies openers right now. I'm laughing that loud it's hurting. In 12 months they might learn to put the ball in the right spots but Im not so sure tbh. Oh and your SA V Eng player comparisons are tosh too. Only players Id have in the Eng team right now are: Kallis, De Villers, Steyn and Philander. Morkel has gone backwards the past 2 years, Smith is so hit and miss these days too.

  • on April 7, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    @dariuscorny, well, apart from Zaheer Khan, it is a rather average Indian bowling lineup as they don't have a top spinner, and as.for their batting, if we could keep the likes of Dilshan and Sangakarra quiet through all of this series, then we can do the same to Sewag, Sachin and do. If we play like we did in this game, then we have a real chance in India.

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point on April 7, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith I haven't laughed at a post so loud for ages. Priceless mate :)

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point on April 7, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    Wade Millar in reference to your anti-English rant, you put all your emphasis on the past 8 months (if we're talking test cricket this is a puzzling timeline - we lost 4 on the trot from Jan this year and were trouncing the Indians 4-0 8 months ago) but ignore the previous 2 years that Eng were earning their no 1 spot. If you;re going to add something to the debate at least get your story straight and facts ready to back your argument up.

  • yorkshirematt on April 7, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    To everyone saying SA are the no.1 team, I disagree, as I am biased yes but also a few facts back me up. SA, until this January, had not won a series AT HOME for 3 or 4 years. Maybe they would have if they played more test cricket but if you don't play many matches you can't stake a claim to be no.1. It's unlikely but who's to say they wouldn't have lost a few more series if they had played more matches too which would also affect the rankings. Basically I'm saying we deserve to be no.1 as we are the home of test cricket. Arrogant but true.

  • marc_smet on April 7, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    Here is the situation: England need 12 runs to win from 50 odd overs remaining - 20th over with Cook and Pietersen at the crease - Cook on 49 and Pietersen on strike - Third ball of the over after a boundary and a dot ball Pietersen takes not 1 but 2 runs and so prevents Cook getting on strike with a chance to get his half century and proceeds to get the required runs to win the match himself. What does that tell you about Pietersen's character? Does he not take his teammates into consideration? You decide

  • Perfect.Stranger on April 7, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    @Steve Southall.. While you are at it, why don't u dig out all the series victories by england from the last 100 years and start boasting about it. Face it mate, England were whitewashed by Pakistan only last month and that brought them down to with in touching distance of others in the ranking table. In-fact one of them is grabbing them by the legs. Maybe thats why you are down on the floor. Now worries dude, take your time in picking urself up.

  • VinodGupte on April 7, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    good show by ENG. after losing 4 on the trot, they finally won a match by dominating it completely. KP made a huge difference with his fearless strokeplay. it was him who gave ENG a healthy lead at quick pace and gave time to ENG bowlers to take 10 SL wickets in the IInd innings. and swann is NOT overrated as some (jealous) people from the subcontinent like to believe. look, he is better than all the SL and IND spinners at the moment. i saw him bowl today and he was looking like he would get a wicket any time. when was the last time an IND spinner took 10 in a match? does anyone remember?

    as for SL, they are not even able to win series at home post-muralidharan.

  • maddy20 on April 7, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    @Valavan Do you really think they can fix their problems against spin? Hell man the Lankan spinners do not even have a doosra the primary variation for a spinner. Randiv is clueless spinner and keeps bowling like a machine with no variations. Still you could not win against SL. Ashiwn and Rahul Sharma toyed with the English batsmen in the ODI series when they were blanked and come November Test series ain't gonna be anything different. The likes of Sehwag Gambhir Kohli Tendulkar Yuvraj will be nothing less than nightmares for English bowlers and Swann is gonna have a hell of a time!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 7, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    England did very well this match, their bowling has been consistently crushing every batting line up around the world as we all know, but their inability to adjust to the appropriate tempo of a sub continental pith game was embarrassing in the UAE and cost them dearly. Swann shrugged off his sluggish run of form, despite his strike rate remaining good throughout the last three months. We shouldn't forget that if a bowler is head and shoulders the best in the world for almost three years, he's surely permitted two months of a slightly lacklustre performance, especially considering England's top five lost the game for them every time. It's also interesting how some fans, particularly Ozzies, don't speak much of Swann: the nightmares it must bring back to them must be particularly harsh! It's onwards back to England then, where their performances on home soil are of course well known. Philander & Steyn will pose a challenge certainly, in their own way.

  • on April 7, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    really fascinating 2 test matches on truly sporting wkts ..there was really the meaning of test in every moment in both colombo and galle .who says SL pitches are roads ? ..shame there is no third test to decide ..1-1 going in to third match at kandy will be amazing to watch..what more a test cricket fan need ..shame shame SLC y not 3 rd test ? was it because IPL ..P this is a right result to mahelas and de mels stupid selections of not picking talented chandimal and Eranga and playing below avg lakmal and thirimanne.stupidity at its best .and Prasanna once agn failed when the team needs most ..chandimal shuld play every game for thiri or if not prasanna..damn this MEl & mahela agn .we remeber what they did few yers back when selecting school level MUBARAk and ARNOLD ahead of Dilshan and Atapattu .wil it be agn happaning ?ENg at the moment has the spin factor to rate higher than SA and Aus .and because of every other teams r rubbish away home Eng team is good or deserve 1:)

  • on April 7, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    Bit of a joke really , England play so many more test matches than other countries , for example SA who are in number 2 spot and hence they have more of a chance to achieve and maintain the number one spot. How that can be considered fair is beyond me.

  • on April 7, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    Why is everyone so obsessed with the ICC's ridiculous (ridiculous due to the fact that it neglects to differentiate between home & away performances) rankings system? Sure, it's great that England have managed to retain their No. 1 ranking, but can we *really* claim to be the undisputed No.1 team in the world after those batting debacles in the UAE? Of course not. Likewise, can South Africa, on the back of their first home series win for three years? Again, of course not. Can Australia, following conclusive series defeats against India & England little more than a year ago? Again, no. For what it's worth, the team which has played most consistently over the past 18 months or so is Pakistan, but the weighting given to their results by the ICC's software has been lowered due to the fact that, in the main, they've been playing the minnows. Forget this infantile bickering over an arbitrary rankings system: enjoy, instead, the thrill of KP, Warner, Philander & Ajmal in full flow...

  • csowmi7 on April 7, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    The difference between England's problems and India's problems is that unlike the ECB the BCII is living in denial and refuse to admit that there is a serious problem at the moment. Also many of the England players are young and can make changes to their batting which is not the case with India who have ageing stars who can no longer do anything but retire.

  • csowmi7 on April 7, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    England should not pay too much attention to this victory. I mean Sri Lanka have never won a series since Murali's retirement and are hardly a force at the moment. They were royally trounced by Australia earlier. The real test will come against SA and in the winter against India who will be raring for revenge. Will be interesting to see how England face Ashwin and Ojha who is in excellent form at the moment.

  • Herath-UK on April 7, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    In a way SLC is giving a raw deal to England series always; last year it let senior players to dictate and mess around the England tour to let them play in the IPL and this year it scrapped the third Test for the same reason;How could a team face a strong team like England just four days after landing in the country after world round one day games?Has it happened anywhere else,I doubt.It is true England would care less if they are winning but I think ECB has a point if it takes up the matter with the SLC because they deserve respect as a Premire team and with such travelling support to go along with too. Ranil Herath- Kent

  • Perera32 on April 7, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    Well done England, You guys played brilliantly. Problems for SL again, Prasad got more runs than Sangakkara in the series and prasad only played 1 match. Thirimanne, Lakmal, Sanga hardly made a single contribution to the team. Lakmal bowled 1 good bowl in the whole series, probably due to luck. Thirimanne took 1 good catch and Sanga did absoloutley nothing. I don't blame Sanga though, he should take a small break from cricket and give Chandimal his place.

  • Spelele on April 7, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    @Valavan: your comment is laughable and largely fallacious as it seems to be based solely on past events which have no relevance to the question of ENG or SA being a current no.1. So what if ENG beat SA in 2004? That was almost 10 years ago! SA beat them in 2008 as well (which is far more recent). My point was that to say "SA need to come and win in ENG before calling themselves no.1" is wrong since ENG have (in recent times) not won in SA, yet they call themselves no.1. Nor have they won in India, yet they call themselves no.1. The same standard should apply to everyone.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 7, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    Time and again Anderson remains an expert flat-pitch bowler as well as expert slip fielder! Form is temporary, class is permanent as Swann, Pieterson, Cook and Bresnan showed this match.

  • on April 7, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    @ Muhammad Sharjeel,didnt England beat pakistan 3-1 in 2010?Pakistan at number 1,wait while i pick myself off the floor

  • YorkshirePudding on April 7, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    @Jonesytwo, "They'd have been nowhere in this match without the wickets from the South African Swann and top order runs from the Zimbabwean Cook.", hmm, Last Time I looked NORTHAMPTON and GLOUCESTER, where these two players were born (respectively) are both in England. I would keep taking your meds or pick up an Atlas and learn where people come from.

  • dariuscorny on April 7, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    @Red Man u urself know deep down ur heart that India tour wud be a disaster for England.The depleted Indian side may have lost in England but when it comes to thier homeground they are invincible at any format,5-0 loss at the hands of a B side may explain you.so please dont get overexcited as this is the main problem with u English fans

  • iamsuperman on April 7, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    @bobmartin - this article's title would have read something else if it was England who just tied with points with for the no.1 ranking team , "England soon to be No.1" and blah blah!! England and SA are tried on points, and for me and the rest of the world SA is No.1

  • FreddyForPrimeMinister on April 7, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    @Charlie_Ellis - perfect post, which explains why England are rightfully no.1 team in the world "at the moment" - because they have been consistently the best team over the past two or three years. @Sir_Freddie_Flintoff - don't be ludicruous, it is exactly that kind of remark that shows the kind of brainless arrogance that should never be associated with England fans. The fact is that England are currently and rightfully no.1 but no-one in the team or management claims they are yet a 'great' team and certainly not as good as the dominant WI and Australian teams in decades gone by. Could they reach those heights? Possibly, but it will need them to beat a fantastic SA line-up later this summer, then to prove they have learned their lessons this winter by winning in India. If they can do that, we can say they are an excellent side - but still not great; it will take another 5-10 years of staying at no.1 before we can even hint at them being as good as those earlier WI and Aus giants.

  • iamsuperman on April 7, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    @Perfect.Stranger - England is importing coz England dont produce any good players. As simple as that. Current english team just a whole bunch of Expats trying to make a living!

  • jmcilhinney on April 7, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    For all those commenting about the ICC predictor, there is something wrong with it at the moment. It is showing the rankings as after the Eng-SL series so that series should not be in the bottom section. Notice that it also list the Aust-WI series as starting two weeks ah=go when it actually starts today.

  • Valavan on April 7, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    @All sour indian fans, we never need rankings, we are hunger for wins and ranking will just follow.@Subash devadiga, thanks for your balanced comments. @spelele, surely you forgot England Vs SA in SA in 2004/05, England have won there by 2 -1. Why should England win in India, did you forget when did SA won in SL last time or did they ever won. SA can be called no.1 if they win in SL, How is that? we need wins not rankings, @spelele. if you are from SA, lets clash in June. till then bye. cricinfo please publish.

  • on April 7, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Well I hope all of the anti-England brigade watched this match closely. This England performance was the blueprint of how they should play in the subcontinent, and if we perform like this in India, then we will stay no.1 for a very long time. KP, when he is on this sort of form, no batsmen in world cricket can come close to him. If it weren't for M Jayawardene, then England would have won both games by an innings, and it is a great sight to see Swann back to his best, shows it was crazy to suggest that he might not be our no.1 come the summer. However, we will be up against a phenominal South Africa team at the top of their game, with both sets of bowling and batting lineups on a par, but I really think Swann could be the difference in that series as the world class spinner. BARMY ARMY!!!

  • iamsuperman on April 7, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    @Sir_Freddie_Flintoff - We all knew this was coming, one good game for Swann you guys will name him the Spinner of the Century!

  • on April 7, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    After going thru all comments i was surprised that pakistan team is mentioned few times just to remind ppl that they whitewashed Eng in UAE thats it .All emphasis was on South Africa India England for the number one contention .Indian win against NZ and Eng against Aussies were highlighted and many englishmen said that most consistent winning team is Eng in last couple of years .Mate what about of Pakistan who despite winning for last 18 months before UAE were discredited that they have won against low ranked team now we whitewashed no.1 team still i guess we are not deserved to be mentioned for top contention.Very sad indeed.

  • Perfect.Stranger on April 7, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    congrats to england for winning a test in Asia. Regardless of what people say they are number 1 at the moment and until some one dislodges them from their position it is pointless to find excuses to belittle their achievement. About the imported players, nobody forced those players to play for england. Its a personal choice of those players that they decide to represent england and not south africa, australia, india or pakistan. Call them traitors or whatever but it is hardly englands problem. so relax and let them enjoy

  • on April 7, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    People say if Mendis was playing we'd have lost if kp wasnt playing we'd have lost,i tell you what if had Boycott opening and Botham with his swing we would have won everything,but face facts none of then were there,oh and KP has got an English parent,an English wife an English child he has lived in England for years,that makes him pretty English to me if the south africans couldnt recognise his talent then thats their fault,in England we embrace all nationalities,and to SHAUN WICK this is about England being number 1 in TESTS nothing else,which over the past 2 or 3 years they are definately been the best,they have beaten every team at some stage,just live with the fact we are number 1,the stats dont lie

  • on April 7, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    @RahulCricket007 I m an indian cricket fan but let accept England are bad at subcontinent but not as worse as we overseas.England performance in Asia is declined due their batting inability to play quality spin were as they got the attack which qucikly folded the oppsotion.In the sereis against Pakistan at dubai too their bowler had nearly won them the sereis untill their batters made a mess of it .as per India 0-8 over seas drubbing India simply played like No 10 side as deserve to get that hammerring.Even though England are currently No 1 they are far behingd the legacy where once West Indies and Australia got

  • landl47 on April 7, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    It was fairly easy to see this victory coming and I predicted it in the preview. SL just don't match up to England at the moment and on a somewhat better pitch than Galle and with Jayawardene not quite able to match his heroics of the first test it was always likely to be a handy England win. SL has to develop some seam bowlers (their seamers took one wicket in this test, two in the first) if they are to be competitive, even in the subcontinent. The winter has been a learning experience for England and, as good sides do, they've improved over the course of it. They really need to play more in the subcontinent- one 2-match test series with Bangladesh since 2008 left them undercooked going into the Pakistan series. Still, this sets up the England-SA series nicely, though I wish it were more than 3 tests. #1 v. #2 should always be a five-game series. I see Wade Millar has alreasdy started working on his excuses, even while predicting victory!

  • KricketWicket on April 7, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Where will English cricket be without South Africa? Saved some face in the first test, thanks to a South African. Won the second test, thanks to a South African. But for KP's knock, this would most definitely have ended as a dull Colombo style draw. Well done KP. South Africa is proud of its son.

  • bobmartin on April 7, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    @ iamsuperman... It doesnit matter what the predictor says... the standings table, which was updated this morning, shows England and Sth Africa on equal points (116) . The reason England is shown above Sth Africa is that the table shows only the full figure i.e. no decimal points...so in all probability, that is why England are still at number one.

  • Shaun_wick on April 7, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    @iamsuperman: I am agree with you mate. I don't know how English team can consider as rank number one. If any team to consider as the world number one, they have to show talent on any format. Even see World champion, Indian team, they can't perform over seas. But as you said, South African team has talent in any format. I think they should be the number one rank in any format, They are very balance team.

  • on April 7, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    a good win but cleary this team doesnt deserve to be no1 whatever you say english fans

  • Duty281 on April 7, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    To anyone who's looking at the Test Rankings Predictor and seeing 1-1 puts England in 2nd, IGNORE IT. The predictor has made an error in saying England have played 47 matches when in fact it is 46. So England are still Number 1 after a good win. Roll on the summer!

  • hhillbumper on April 7, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    If the batsmen had played as well as the bowlers this winter then we would have won both series.Supine batting cost us and needs to be looked at.At least we won in foreign conditions which lets face it is one up from india.Seen a number of fans comments on here and expect a couple of Aussies later.

  • on April 7, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    If ajantha mendis was playing, England wouldn't have stood a chance. Couldn't handle him in the world cup 2011 and not to forget mendis has troubled several times the worlds best players of spin in the india camp. Herath is average at best but mendis with his mystery balls. Saeed Ajmal showed that England can't handle mystery spin. And i'm English!

  • itsthewayuplay on April 7, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    Well played England and especially KP. Only saw highlights of his 1st innings and looked to be back at his best. The other significant thing about this win other than being on a flattish wicket in the subcontinent was that Eng was able to do it in this heat. KP is absolutely right in that playing in these sort of temperatures is not only ridiculous but bordering on inhumane - crazy scheduling. Fortunately for England the series in India will be in Nov / Dec so heat and humidity should not be as much of an issue. Given that India don't have consistent spinners like Ajmal or Herath or the fire in their (overfed) belly of either Pak or SL, I won't be surprised if Eng fancy their chances.

  • on April 7, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    Charlie Ellis........you've summed it up perfectly well said

  • onebump on April 7, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    To be honest only 6 players were performing for SL. Sanga, Thiri, Dilshan, Wela/Prasad, Lakmal were all just fielders this series. To beat a side like England, need more than that. Also should have had a third test to make it interesting.

  • Spelele on April 7, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    Green_How: "Until SA come to England and win, SA can't call themselves no.1". But why??? England never came to SA and won, yet they call themselves no.1. They never came to India and won, yet they call themselves no.1. Yes, it's great to see that ENG have finally managed to win a Test after losing 4 in a row but that proves nothing! SA still deserve it more. People argue that SA have drawn too many series at home etc., but they have only lost ONE series since 2007. SA has also never been consistently pummelled for 4 Tests. They have never lost so many Tests in a row. They have not been whitewashed in ages! As for those who are now suggesting that England will now (after this one victory) beat SA in June, dream on. I gather that Philander already tops the bowling charts in County cricket after grabbing a 5 wicket haul in a continuing match? Ominous signs for ENG really :)

  • on April 7, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    @iamsuperman According to points, South Africa are on 115.6, rounded up to 116. England are on 116.2, rounded down to 116, therefore England are #1 and South Africa are #2 despite their rounded scores being 116. Who gives a damn anyway? They're clearly the best sides in the world at present, and come the Summer when South Africa visit England, that series will (and should) determine which of the two are the best. Take nothing away from England though, their bowlers have proven the goods all winter. If the batsmen had fired the way they did this Test, England would've won more Tests. However, they lost one Test series, drew one, and won both an ODI and a T20 series, so overall it hasn't been a bad winter for England at all across all formats.

  • Valavan on April 7, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    The simple fact is what strauss said is what i agree, ranking doesnt matter, just wins that matter. I am not a big fan of ranking system, As an England fans, i want them to win, play with sense, thats all, rest all ranking will just follow. cricinfo please publish.

  • KingOwl on April 7, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    Congratulations to England. They clearly deserved to win this match. SL made a lot of mistakes and paid for it. Credit to KP too of course (but then, he is South African!) But for SL, coming through the loss of some of the all time greats of the game, things aren't looking bad. Test win in SA, some great performances in Australia and now a tied series against the #1 side (for the moment at least!). But they need to find a solid opener (they have got better openers than Thirimanna - have no doubt - Thirimanna is still too young). Also, need to make sure that the bowlers are much fitter. Again, something achievable. If those things could be sorted out, that should be enough to win regularly.

  • Test-is-the-best on April 7, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    Finally the series over with equal merits to both teams..England team have had their self belief in winning this test match under very tough conditions to them. All the credit goes to them for their all round performance... SL made some mistakes made in team selection I guess. Thirmanne & Randiv were not so effective in this series although Randiv took 4 wickets in 2nd inning in Galle. There was no enough support to Herath from the other end to maintain pressure when it is badly needed. I guess SL still experimenting on making a winning combination although they have few good options. SL missed Kulasekara too, who would be handy in strengthening the fast bowling department in these conditions.

  • YorkshirePudding on April 7, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    This test was a professional win, it may have been different had 2 quick wickets not fallen just before the close yesterday. The batting over the winter has been indifferent, though it seems they have finally sorted that out especially KP who was the outstanding batsmen in the this test. The up and coming 12 months is going to be like last year, with an appetizing opening series against an improving Windies, and then the a pallet cleaning couple of ODI series against the WI & Aussies, with the main course being series against SA (pity its not 4 games), then another pallet cleanser with the T20i WC, culminating in a dessert against India.

  • Green_How on April 7, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 And the experts were right, your time at No1 was coming to an end as was clearly shown in your staggeringly poor performances in England and then against an average Australian team. Don't get me wrong, India were a fine team when they toured England in 2007, sadly the stars of Indian cricket had aged and were not up to it in 2011. I don't think the experts have ever talked about a legacy, maybe that was the aim of the team but whats wrong with that? England have come out of the other side of a difficult winter still no.1. I am sure they have learnt some valuable lesson for what will be a testing trip to India next winter. They are No.1 based on recent series, I don't think the most patriotic England fan would ever compare them to the great West Indies and Australian teams.

  • Munkeymomo on April 7, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    Enjoyable series and a nice touch at the end from the head of SLC thanking the travelling fans. It was almost a clean series with no controversy if it weren't for a little battle between two very competitive stubborn players which was a bit silly, but quite amusing regardless.

    @shaannnnn: That made me laugh, nice one.

  • rahulcricket007 on April 7, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    @RIGGO . ALSO I DON'T GO ANYWHERE . I M A REGULAR COMMENTOR ON THI SITE . I COMMENT DAILY .EVEN DURING DISASTROUS TOUR OF AUS & ENG .

  • Herath-UK on April 7, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    Well done England, you full deserve to stay as No one in the world which you can cement easily with easy wins over WI and SA in the summer. What is amazing to me is the disrespect the Sri Lankan cricket hierarchy has shown on this England series with players coming to Test cricket just a few days after a meaningless Asia Cup with the cricketers playing non stop one day games over three months from SA to Australia.They WERE the 'foreign' team and not the English who had gone to Sri Lanka few weeks prior to the tour and got accilitamised playing over two side games;not a single three day game to the Lankans after so much one day stuff.And the attitude of the senior cricketers who had refused the SLC offer to skip the Asia Cup;want of money?? The whole Lankan batting unit seemed clueless though Mahela's was exception. Ranil Herath-Kent

  • rahulcricket007 on April 7, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    @RIIGO . DIDN'T INDIA WON IN ENGLAND IN 2007? ALSO WON IN PERTH IN 2008 & GAVE AUS TOUGH TIME IN THAT SERIES .

  • JustIPL on April 7, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Certainly England are the best batting lineup of the world just Pakistan top class bowling could get better of them otherwise other teams can only dream of getting better of English. Since all the test playing nations do not get equal chances and equal circumstances this does not make a lot of sence. Only the teams who dominate the future tests program should be included and others should be excluded. Rankings make sense when all teams on the ranking get equal opportunities like world cup or champions trophy. Anyway, congratulations to England topping the ICC rankings and very logically they faltered against the best bowling lineup of the world. Any team that plays pakistan bowling gets on the spot real match practice but for that they have to play Pakistan.

  • Lion_96 on April 7, 2012, 11:05 GMT

    i would like to remind rahurahulcricket007, that india lost two test series, and not just the one in australia. ajantha mendis tormenting india in 2008 to a 2-1 test series victory. ofcours ei wouldnt expect certain indian fans to remember series. sum times i get the impression that indians don't give us enough credit as cricketing nation. even when we had murali in our ranks. but anyways, 8-0 still hurts pretty badly.

  • AJ_Tiger86 on April 7, 2012, 11:05 GMT

    Ha ha, England have once again shown why they are BY FAR the best team in the world, and the GREATEST team of ALL TIME. England will remain WORLD NO. 1 for a LONG LONG time -- my guess is AT LEAST 15 years. Plus we're holders of back-to-back Ashes, having humiliated Australia. Australia won't win the Ashes for the next 50 years, I think. Why wouldn't England be so incredibly awesome? They have an all time great batsman in Ian Bell, all time great seamer in Jimmy Anderson, and the best spinner of the last 50 years in Graeme Swann.

  • oze13 on April 7, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    England have a simple equation which they can now use to their advantage. Play Bresnan = Win Test Match. I expect they'll be using this winning formula quite a lot during the summer. By the way where is randyOZ? England must have won? He's probably playing a game of poker with Steve Smith, Michael Beer, Mitchell Johnson and Phil Hughes in a darkened room somewhere! Remember them? It's about time thumbs 'up' and 'down' were available on these pages!!!!

  • on April 7, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    @Steve Southall.. Firstly, your man for man assessment of Eng vs RSA players is so wrong it is not funny (coming from an Australian supporter).. Smith over Strauss, Kallis over Trott, Duminy over Bell, De Villiers over Patel, Steyn over Broad, Philander over Bresnan, Morkel over Anderson: thats 7 out of 11 who would trounce their english counterparts.. Second, for the love of god put a space between your commas and full stops.. Third, i think given about 12 months the world rankings will be as follows: 1st - RSA, narrow 2nd - Aus, 3rd - Eng, 4th - Pak, 5th - Ind, 6th - SL, then who really cares..

  • iamsuperman on April 7, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    ICC Predictor says SA should be now no.1. Why this title of this article says England is still no.1? Wrong!! England don't deserve to be No.1, not after such a poor show in Asia. English don't know how to play spin (exclude the imports..lol).. Rename England to United Eleven.. lol...@jonesytoo..well said..:)

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on April 7, 2012, 10:58 GMT

    Well done England , i knew this win was coming , i can see a number of Indian fans questioning England's no.1 status , but the main point to look here is England is the best in pacy/swinging condition and are improving steadily with every match they play on turning tracks unlike Indian team which went from bad to worse during that 8-0 loss in away tests , even in all the 4 tests they english bowling was really impressive , look at how much guys like anderson has improved , it is this lack of improvement with India which really worries me rather than losing , by the way am an Indian

  • MaruthuDelft on April 7, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    @rahulcricket007, it is not just results mate but it is the way English do it. Just look at Swann. He is so exciting to watch. As a spinner he is second only to Warne in recent times. He runs in with pace, coils and unwind without slack to deliver with a very straight arm and the ball spins miles. He appeals keen but not brash. With wickets he celebrate with a hearty grin. In interviews he always says something interesting. He is marvellous. Now look at Ashwin; he is lifeless when be bowls.; look at Harbhajan; his bowling is lively but has no spin and he always wears an obnoxious look I don't know why. Ajmal is lively, has personality but his action is questionable. Murali's run up was not tight and his action questionable. Strauss, Cook and Trott don't have style but they performed well even in Australia. Pietersen, Bell and Prior are Marvellous. English pacemen are exciting though not great like Steyn. English players play in a good way. India play like they are on a holiday.

  • Charlie_Ellis on April 7, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    RahulCricket007 - I agree this win doesn't make up for a poor winter, a whitewash versus Pakistan and draw against a weak Sri Lankan bowling oufit are both underwhelming results. However, while 1 win in 5 isn't too great in unfamiliar conditions, your own nations 0/8 is signifcantly worse, so maybe you should keep quiet. Wade Millar - "arguable that England were EVER number one". Of course they were, and are still until they are overtaken. Are England as good as WI 20 years ago? No. Or the Aussies from 95-2005? Nowhere near. But, aside from the horror series vs Pakistan, at the moment they are #1 because they are better than the rest. Of their challengers, India have become hopeless outside the subcontinent, Australia were thrashed by England at home and have collapsed to SA and NZ too, and South Africa got beat by Aus and even SL at home. If SA come to England in August and win then they may well take the top slot. And they'll deserve it. But until then England are #1 and deserve it!!

  • Lmaotsetung on April 7, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    At least this #1 team knows how to fight for their spot away from home and has the heart and will power to do so in alien conditions....UNLIKE a former #1 team who lost 8 in a row and pretty much was never in a winning position save a session here and there.

  • oze13 on April 7, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    Is Wade Millar, randyOZ in disguise? Anyway, hasn't Australia a page on this site? Better still, give them their own page so the rest of us don't have to read their ridiculous comments every 5 minutes!

  • on April 7, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    after all Pakistan's hard work for whitewashing them, they still remained #1 ranked test team. SL u really disappointed me.

  • Trickstar on April 7, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    @jonesytoo Loving your work mate. :)

  • cyniket on April 7, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    mahela jayawardene - classy player, classy guy. that england bowling attack is top quality. It's very clear that england and south africa are the two top sides around.

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 7, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    @jonesytoo... Love it mate... but even with that bonkers tosh you're still not as mad as the real one!! Don't forget the Icelander Finn and Spaniard Pat El, otherwise known as Finn & Fatt.

  • likeintcricket on April 7, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    @ Wade Millar, I agree that South Africa is a #1 side but England is still better in their own conditions. Philander can exploit England's condition but English bowlers are more experts and secondly they have Swann and other quality spinners who can make a difference. Finally England's batting are more stronger playing against fast bowling than spin and they have a very long batting line-up. And don't forget Sri Lanka also beat South Africa in one test last year.

  • on April 7, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    Well played England and a great series after all.SL needs an extra strike bowler as Herath cannot do it all by himself.Given the conditions England played very well and SL did'nt loose the series which is the positive to take.

  • rahulcricket007 on April 7, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    @GREEN HOW . INDIA WAS ONLY BAD IN PAST 1 YEAR . FROM 2007 -2010 WE ALSO LOST ONLY ONE SERIES IN AUS IN 2008( THAT TOO BECAUSE OF CONTROVERSIAL SYDENY TEST). WE EVEN WON IN ENG IN 2007. ALL OTHER SERIES WERE EITHER DRAWN OR WON BY INDIA . BUT YET CRICKET EXPERTS NEVER CALLED INDIA NO. 1 . PEOPLE LIKE BOYCOTT , HUSSAIN , VAUGHAN WERE SAYING THAT INDIA DON'T DESERVE TO BE NO.1 MUCH BEFORE THE START OF INDIA -ENG SERIES .WHY ? THEY WERE SAYING ENGLAND ARE NO.1 & ENG ARE GOING TO CREATE LEGACY LIKE WI & AUS OF PAST . NOW THEY DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING ON THEIR TEAM DESPITE THE FACT THAT ENGLAND HAS JUST MANAGE TO HOLD ON TO NO.1 RANKING .

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on April 7, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    Had to rub my eyes in disbelief to see that England came out without a series defeat in Srilanka. Very well done. Hearty Congrats to you. I would have loved to see your team get defeated but man you guys do have the hearts of a Lion to defeat Lions in their own den! This win should go a long way in helping their confidence. Once you see a result, now you do know that you have it in you to come out a winner iin these conditions. Though the series is a draw it is as good as series victory for England. I'm thrilled that KP's jaw dropping century came in a winning cause. Very well played Swann. Well played Trott, Bell, Strauss and Cook. Hope people will stop scrutinising Strauss. He is a very honest and shrewd leader. Very well played England. Much respects to you. Tough luck Srilanka and Mahela.

  • ultrasnow on April 7, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    Give credit where it's due. England played like the no.1 team to beat SL. Impressive how they showed positive intent while chasing that tricky target. Kevin Pietersen is a star and so is Swann. Well played Eng from an Indian cricket fan :)

  • obstreperous on April 7, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    An entertaining test match and congrats to England. Hard to see why Swann did not get MoM. Pietersen was the batsman of the match, for sure, but Swann took 50% of the wickets for just 18 runs apiece, compared with Pietersen scoring 35% of England's total runs. It always seems to me that bowlers have to do comparatively more than batsmen to win these accolades.

  • Maxyboy_123 on April 7, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    @wade miller.... Are you suggesting that Imran Tahir (who is pakistani) is better than swan? Or Mark Boucher being better than Matt Prior? You clearly don't follow cricket.

  • Venki_indian on April 7, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    just wait guys...they are going to lose No.1 staus in India...Revenge :)

  • Lmaotsetung on April 7, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    This is a relieve more than anything else and more importantly a well deserve victory for the bowlers who bowled their hearts out this whole winter. Make no mistake the batting problems have not been solved in this one match alone. First of all as England fans, I guess we need to accept the fact that our captain can't play spin if his life depends on it. Just hope he can make useful contribution and not affect his captaincy. Bell is still a worry and Eng need to find a #6 quick. Prior is not the right guy to come in at 80 for 4 on these type of tracks against spin. Am happy they finally changed the lineup around and experimented with a couple of permutations and that's good going forward especially with an eye towards India later this year.

  • on April 7, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    Wade Millars comments are ridiculous,lets simplify things for him,because i think this is necessary,lets ask which of the south africans would get into the engish team on best form man for man as you suggest.I would say Amla,de villiers and Steyn,i would be happy to have these play for the English,they have no spinner and no wicket keeper and their captain probably like the english is past his best,England will beat South Africa for sure this summer the conditions do favour them,to say they beat a weakened Aussie team is a stupid assumption,what else can you do but beat the team in front of you,this they did convincingly.In the subcontinent there is still a big question mark for sure but they have gotten through still as number one,they will take huge confidence from this and will use the home tests to their advantage.Jealousy is a terrible thing somebody has to be number 1 for now its England,long may this continue

  • jonesytoo on April 7, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    England relying on imports again. They'd have been nowhere in this match without the wickets from the South African Swann and top order runs from the Zimbabwean Cook. And let's not forget about the important spell on the first morning by the Swede Anderssen and of course their lucky mascot, the Irishman Bresnan.

  • MiddlePeg on April 7, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    How funny! About 18 months ago people were saying that England would never beat Australia in Australia. About a year ago people said England may have beaten Australia but they'll never beat India... Now that England may have managed to learn a few lessons after seriously underperforming over the winter, people are saying they'll never beat S.Africa. Why not just be honest and say you don't like England regardless of their ranking? Although you'd all love to live in their country. Barring serious injury England will beat S Africa this summer. Then you'll all say 'but they won't beat India in India'. Yawn...

  • on April 7, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    no1 englend sclot retain number 1 team

  • pommy80 on April 7, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    Great and deserved win by England. Still the best cricket team in the world right now as shown by the rankings. As for some people saying our time at number 1 is numbered, im not so sure.The only team close enough is South Africa and maybe Pakistan, but who will catch us at number 1, Australia?, the most overrated team currently in world cricket? No Chance. We have the best bowling attack in the world who are young and fit again and joined with the best batting line up who maybe finding form again. Good signs ahead. Bring on the Windies and South Africa!

  • on April 7, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    This England team aren't as good as the Australians of the '90s or the West Indians of the '80s, but they've just a little bit better than anybody else over the last few years. Hopefully it'll be a good battle with South Africa, if they get to No.1 they will have earned it just like England did, and India before that.

  • bonobo on April 7, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    England didnt invent the ranking system and despite a poor winter, i am still enjoying following this team (not always in the past). I think the rating for the rankings covers too shorter period, so it favors form, rather than a proper assessment Home and Away, variety conditions, consistency over several seasons. As such England have benefited from going several years without a subcontinent tour. They maybe No1, lets respect that, but they cant really call themselves World Champions or a great team...and I dont think they are calling themselves that to be fair. A ranking system based on home and away over say 4 seasons, would better reflect consistency and I suspect, SAfrica would be number 1. But anyway its good cricket is geuinely competitive again, its really hard to call any series at present, after a post Murali slump Sri Lanka showed a lot of fight against SA and Eng, Pakistan have been outstanding in UAE, the Aussies looked to have unearthed a new team post Ashes ...

  • Sinhaya on April 7, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    A score of 150 would have been something. If Murali was there, 125 may have been enough too. Sri Lanka's bowling needs a major overhaul. Please kick off Randiv and Lakmal when Pakistan come down in June. Please play Nuwan Kulasekara and Sachithra Senanayake who will have far more venom than Randiv and Lakmal. Sachithra and Nuwan are far better batsmen too which will strengthen our lower order.

  • PanGlupek on April 7, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    @Rahulcricket: Well, it wasn't just one win against Sri Lanka that's put them number one, was it? They've also beaten Australia away, drew in Sri Lanka, & S.A in recent tours to put themselves there in the first place. Basically did exactly what you just mentioned India did when they were crowned number one, plus the Ashes. Then, they lost four on the trot away, not seven. @David Hopps: I'm pretty sure Patel got hist first test wicket in the last test?

  • voma on April 7, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    Goes to show when England want to play , they can beat anyone . Anywhere ! . Come on South Africa i say .

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 7, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    @wademiller... crikey mate... that's a fair bit of puffery coming from u about RSA! Didn't England play RSA in RSA last time, so it's probably RSA turn to visit Eng??? BTW This is a Eng v SL page!! Ridiculous sour grapes.

  • The_bowlers_Holding on April 7, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    I see Rahulcricket is back on here like the speed of light, he evidently has a massive chip on both shoulders regarding India and thinks everyone should be in awe of their legends. Yes India beat the powerhouse of NZ and draws in SL and SA is truly the mark of a great side. The difference between England away ,in this relatively disappointing winter, and India's last 2 tours is that England have bowled and fielded well; India in England and Australia batted poorly, were weak in the bowling and pathetic in the field, they were far from impressive against WI at home either. Why don't you focus on your own team India? they did have a good side for a while but traditionally are weak, check out the stats that you love so -most whitewashed side bar none. England are a good side with some frailties and no real England fans think we are anything else ie.not comparable to the WI or more recent Aus, don't be taken in by media hype it is just that and sells papers.

  • Simoc on April 7, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    It seemed like Jayawardene vs England 1-1. Good result for SL. Contrary to the clueless Wade Millar England are an under performing class side. But South Africa have more firepower so the upcoming series should be a ripper.

  • on April 7, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    @Wade miller If SA are vastly superior to England why have they won only 3 of their last 7 series and drawn at home against the same sides that England beat comprehensively (AUS and Ind). Also the last series between Eng and SA was in SA (1-1 draw) so I don't know why you are complaining about the next one being in England. The true is that England clearly are a flawed team as demonstrated by the troubles playing spin in UAE and SL but England still have the best win/loss record of any team in the last few years despite playing away series in Aus, SA, UAE and SL. Also I've never understood why people seem to think that the no.1 ranking means you must the undisputed best like the WI ans Aus team of old (which England are not) all it means is that you have a better record in the few years than anyone else which England do, look up the results if you are not clear on that one.

  • on April 7, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    Well played England, good series wish there was a decider would have been brilliant to see a 3rd game.

  • Green_How on April 7, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    Expecting the usual garbage on here. England are rubbish blah, blah, blah - England shouldn't be no.1 blah, blah, blah - Australia/Inda/ SA are the best. Yawn !! England are no.1 cos they have only lost 1 test series home and away in recent years. Of course they deserve to be No.1, the rankings prove that. Until SA come to England and win, SA can't call themselves no.1. Remember you couldn't beat us in your own back yard. England have won 3 out of the last 4 ashes series so there should be no doubt about England's position above Australia in the rankings and India's performances in tests have been embarrasing in recent years and therefore have no right to the no. 1 spot. Great win for England and as much as it hurts every other fan, England are deservedly no.1 !!!

  • spiritwithin on April 7, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    so england just managed to retain their no.1 ranking albeit losing 4 out of their 5 tests away from home,now they will again play at home against SA....the ICC ranking sud give more weightage to away results compared to home records this will be more credible,india also became no.1 courtesy lots of home game...

  • shaannnnnn on April 7, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    if you want to know india's previous 3 years record just say flat track bullies and you will find many indians presenting their 3 years record. This trick really works

  • on April 7, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    Does Eng stay at No.1 after leveling the series?? ICC test ranking predictor says England moving to Second spot(115) where SA moves to top(116)..

  • Valavan on April 7, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    @rahulcricket007, England did really good and indians do the same when india wins. Eng won against no.6 SL, but India won against No.8 ranked NZ in 2009 April when Australia was still no.1 ranked, Australia lost no.1 loosing Ashes in england in 2009 July. When india celebrates winning 1 test against no.8 NZ why not England. In 2010 India drew with SL, after 1st test Murali retired and malinga was injured after 1st test, and does that justify you, india won in SL and SL was 4th ranked and India first ranked in almost similar conditions, India definitely drew 1 - 1 with SA in SA in 2010, that was the only achievement when they ranked no.1, ye ye we are poor against spin, once we are able to negotiate that, does India have any decent bowler?? Hopefully fix your problems, else you will get thumped in SL in July 2012. cricinfo please publish.

  • CiMP on April 7, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    Congratulations England! This was a one batsman v a team series! Take MJ away and SL was a no show. SLC need to think of grooming youngsters even if it means losing a few series while the development phase is on.

  • jmcilhinney on April 7, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    There is certainly an element of relief for an England fan with that win. It was a hard fought match but, after a little stutter, England win it at a canter in the end. Cook and Pietersen certainly both looked like men in form while Strauss continued to look out of form. I'm guessing that he will do better at home but I worry that he'll be found out again come the India tour. This victory indicated that the batting unit had finally learned some lessons about how to play in the subcontinent. Hopefully they won't forget them over the next England summer because India in India will undoubtedly be a test. It's a testament to England's prior run of good play that they can lose four on the trot and still remain #1, albeit by the slimmest of margins. They've certainly got a point to prove there. Well done to SL for a competitive series and well done to MJ for a well-deserved MoS award.

  • Cool_Jeeves on April 7, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    England will decimate South Africa. SAF batting very fragile, England very powerful adn deep. England bowling reserves limitless. SAF limited to Steyn (England will work out Philander quickly) and Morkel too expensive despite all his huffing and puffing. One injury and they are finished.

  • MaruthuDelft on April 7, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    Great. It is good for cricket and for our lives if English do well. They are not only the fairest people on earth but they are the most polished and most interesting people. Good Luck on you English to have more success in Olympics, Soccer, Science, Technology and Business.

  • yorkslanka on April 7, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    well done to England on a deserved win, our first innings was simply not good enough and Cook and KP did the business for England..If i can look to positives, although I am disappointed, at least we didnt lose the series to the #1 ranked team(as many before the series predicted as a 2-0 to England)..Whilst I am pleased that England fans visited our beautiful country, i am thoroughly DISGUSTED with our cricket board for pricing out our home fans in the interests of money and virtually making this a home series for England..Whilst i am not saying this changed the results, most will agree that when your team is down, your fans can help pick them up with their support...Back to this match, and I cannot understand why people criticise KP, he is too good a player..We missed out on a decent opening stand and as i said before, thirimanne is out of his depth opening at this level...

  • priceless1 on April 7, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    This really is a Pathetic batting display by the SL Batsmen ,England supposed to be alien to the conditions but it was the Home team who struggle against the Spinners . it was kind a funny actually

  • sheku125 on April 7, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    Congrats England. Beware you may not stay longer at No.1 unless u learn to play on dusty bowls. You may end up losing the No.1 position as Indians managed to lose since most of their batsmen were not willing to meet the challennges posed by wickets marginally bouncier than Indian Wickets.

  • on April 7, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    It is extremely arguable if England were EVER number one. They may have the ranking by certainly don't in any way deserve it! They have been abject at best for the last 8 months. The way these rankings are earned needs to be adjusted to reflect actual superiority rather than invented puffery! If you play most of your tests at home you will always be at a distinct advantage and this team has certainly milked that. They beat an under strength Australian side away from home and thats about it. Hardly any reflection of superiority! They will get smashed by a South African team who even though they have to (once again) play England at home, man for man are vastly superior. Their bowlers will show up the deficiencies in the overrated english batting line up (even though the two best players in fact are their countrymen) and the South African batting line up will feast upon the offerings from this overated bowling line up. Three nil to South Africa! Mark my words!

  • ian45 on April 7, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    lets see what england have got against south africa, they specialise on green bouncy tracks

  • rahulcricket007 on April 7, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    B/W I M SEEING THAT WITH JUST ONE WIN SOME ENGLISH EXPERTS ARE GOING GA , GA ON THEIR TEAM & SAYING THAT ENGLAND HAD SHOWED THAT WHY THEY ARE NO.1 . REALLY? JUST ONE MATCH WIN AGAINST SL SIDE WHO IS CURRETNLY AT NO. 6 & ARE PLAYING NON STOP CRICKET FOR SOME TIME WITHOUT ANY REST . JUST TO REMIND YOU THAT INDIA DURING THEIR NO. 1 TENURE WON SERIES IN NZ , DREW IN SL ( AGAINST A TEAM WHICH HAD MALINGA & MURALI & WAS IN FORM) & DREW IN SA . YET NO CRICKET EXPERT CALLED THEM NO.1 . ALL WERE SAYING THAT INDIA WERE NOT NO.1 , THEY DON'T DESERVE TO BE THEIR . WHY SUCH PARTIALITY IS SHOWN BY CRICKET EXPERTS ?

  • deol84 on April 7, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    Well done England but no1 status is numberd.

  • on April 7, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Well done England, surviving the winter as No.1. Here's looking forward to grass wickets.

  • rahulcricket007 on April 7, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    SO ENGLAND WILL REMAIN NO.1 FOR SOME MORE TIME , I GUESS AS THEY HAVE A HOME TEST SERIES AGAINST WI . GOOD CRICKET PLAYED BY THEM IN THIS MATCH . AS FOR SL , IN EVERY INNINGS THEIR TOP 3 BATSMEN WERE DISMISSED CHEAPLY . THEIR BOWLERS EXCEPT HERATH WERE NOT GOOD .

  • on April 7, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    chase of 94, England stay No.1. Good Opportunity for Strauss X1

  • on April 7, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    A SCORE AROUND 140 COULD HAVE MADE COMPETATIVE, 93 IS VERY MUCH ENGLANDS GAME THEY SHOULD WIN FROM HERE

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on April 7, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    A SCORE AROUND 140 COULD HAVE MADE COMPETATIVE, 93 IS VERY MUCH ENGLANDS GAME THEY SHOULD WIN FROM HERE

  • on April 7, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    chase of 94, England stay No.1. Good Opportunity for Strauss X1

  • rahulcricket007 on April 7, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    SO ENGLAND WILL REMAIN NO.1 FOR SOME MORE TIME , I GUESS AS THEY HAVE A HOME TEST SERIES AGAINST WI . GOOD CRICKET PLAYED BY THEM IN THIS MATCH . AS FOR SL , IN EVERY INNINGS THEIR TOP 3 BATSMEN WERE DISMISSED CHEAPLY . THEIR BOWLERS EXCEPT HERATH WERE NOT GOOD .

  • on April 7, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Well done England, surviving the winter as No.1. Here's looking forward to grass wickets.

  • deol84 on April 7, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    Well done England but no1 status is numberd.

  • rahulcricket007 on April 7, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    B/W I M SEEING THAT WITH JUST ONE WIN SOME ENGLISH EXPERTS ARE GOING GA , GA ON THEIR TEAM & SAYING THAT ENGLAND HAD SHOWED THAT WHY THEY ARE NO.1 . REALLY? JUST ONE MATCH WIN AGAINST SL SIDE WHO IS CURRETNLY AT NO. 6 & ARE PLAYING NON STOP CRICKET FOR SOME TIME WITHOUT ANY REST . JUST TO REMIND YOU THAT INDIA DURING THEIR NO. 1 TENURE WON SERIES IN NZ , DREW IN SL ( AGAINST A TEAM WHICH HAD MALINGA & MURALI & WAS IN FORM) & DREW IN SA . YET NO CRICKET EXPERT CALLED THEM NO.1 . ALL WERE SAYING THAT INDIA WERE NOT NO.1 , THEY DON'T DESERVE TO BE THEIR . WHY SUCH PARTIALITY IS SHOWN BY CRICKET EXPERTS ?

  • ian45 on April 7, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    lets see what england have got against south africa, they specialise on green bouncy tracks

  • on April 7, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    It is extremely arguable if England were EVER number one. They may have the ranking by certainly don't in any way deserve it! They have been abject at best for the last 8 months. The way these rankings are earned needs to be adjusted to reflect actual superiority rather than invented puffery! If you play most of your tests at home you will always be at a distinct advantage and this team has certainly milked that. They beat an under strength Australian side away from home and thats about it. Hardly any reflection of superiority! They will get smashed by a South African team who even though they have to (once again) play England at home, man for man are vastly superior. Their bowlers will show up the deficiencies in the overrated english batting line up (even though the two best players in fact are their countrymen) and the South African batting line up will feast upon the offerings from this overated bowling line up. Three nil to South Africa! Mark my words!

  • sheku125 on April 7, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    Congrats England. Beware you may not stay longer at No.1 unless u learn to play on dusty bowls. You may end up losing the No.1 position as Indians managed to lose since most of their batsmen were not willing to meet the challennges posed by wickets marginally bouncier than Indian Wickets.

  • priceless1 on April 7, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    This really is a Pathetic batting display by the SL Batsmen ,England supposed to be alien to the conditions but it was the Home team who struggle against the Spinners . it was kind a funny actually