Roshen Silva made a solid return to the team but too much of the batting was brittle and Suranga Lakmal struggled as stand-in captain. Here we provide marks out of ten for the series.
Dimuth Karunaratne (256 runs at 42.66)
That Karunaratne was Sri Lanka's most consistent batsman of the series is no real surprise. As a Test specialist during Sri Lanka's domestic offseason, Karunaratne had not played a lot of cricket since his blockbuster series against South Africa, and yet, through grim determination, he practically wrung runs out of his bat, even in innings where he did not seem to be in particularly good touch. Was unfortunate to be dismissed twice by outstanding pieces of fielding in Pallekele, when he had seemed set for big scores.
Roshen Silva (190 runs at 47.50)
In spinning conditions, Roshen is one of Sri Lanka's best. He was calm in each of his four appearances at the crease, and roughly performed the role that Dinesh Chandimal does. His knock in the first innings at Pallekele saw Sri Lanka register their only first-innings lead of the series, and his 102-run stand with Kusal Mendis at the SSC gave his team a glimmer of hope that a daunting total could be chased down. Ideally he will not be displaced from the XI by Chandimal's return. His major weakness has been against fast bowling so far, and he has earned the opportunity to prove himself on the away tours coming up.
Dilruwan Perera (22 wickets at 23.95)
The most successful bowler in the series, Dilruwan proved himself effective against England's many top-order left-handers, and in several innings was the man keeping Sri Lanka in the game. There were questions over whether he can be an effective lead spinner in the post-Rangana Herath era, but the early signs are good. Had a poor series with the bat, given his returns as a batsman over the past two years.
Lakshan Sandakan (seven wickets at 24.42)
Kept pegging England back in the first innings at the SSC, when they threatened to post a truly monumental total, and in general seemed the likeliest of Sri Lanka's bowlers to be a dynamic force even on pitches that do not offer much turn. With that aggression comes waywardness though - Sandakan went at 4.5 runs an over, with England targeting him in the second innings. Got Ben Stokes out twice in the second innings at SSC, only to have had those wickets nullified, on account of Sandakan having overstepped and delivered no balls. That was maybe the most bizarre spell of play through the series.
Angelo Mathews (223 runs at 37.16)
Obviously still indignant about his treatment in October at the hands of coach Chandika Hathurusingha and the (previous) selectors, and it was that hurt that seemed to be motivating him in this series. He made three half-centuries and gestured pointedly to the dressing room that he was letting his bat do the talking. His two dismissals at the SSC, though, where he twice fell to Stokes' short-ball traps, were awful for a player of his experience.
Dhananjaya de Silva (168 runs at 28.00)
Asked again to bat in the top three after Chandimal picked up a groin injury in the first Test, de Silva hit two confident half-centuries, but was too inconsistent to have really impressed in this series. When he bats well, no one in this Sri Lanka team looks better, but there is a notable fragility during his first 25 balls at the crease as well. Contributed half-decent offspin at various points, though he didn't take a wicket. The forthcoming overseas tours will be a major test.
Kusal Mendis (179 at 29.83)
Made an excellent 86 before being run out in the final innings at the SSC, but it is his inconsistency that frustrates. When he is batting well, his defence seems nigh impregnable, and his attacking shot-making precise. Then there are also the days in which he could edge to slip, or spank a ball straight to midwicket, or hole out to long-on, all three at the same time. He is only 23, but is now 32 Tests into his career. No one doubts his talent. Can he become more dependable?
Akila Dananjaya (10 wickets at 37.80)
Was both expensive and largely toothless in Galle, but produced a better performance in the second Test, where he took a six-wicket haul in the second innings. His future at the top level though, is currently in the balance, as he awaits the results of the biomechanics test he underwent in Brisbane. It is his offbreak that umpires suspect he throws.
Dinesh Chandimal (34 runs at 17.00)
Strained a groin on the first day of the series, and unwisely came back on to the field to lead his team, perhaps further aggravating the injury, thereby extending recovery time. Was seriously hampered by the injury in his two innings in Galle. Sri Lanka missed the solidity he provides in the middle order.
Suranga Lakmal (four wickets at 50.25)
As a bowler, his only decent performance came in Galle, where he took 3 for 73 in the first innings, though he did bowl some tight spells elsewhere, allowing spinners to attack from the other end. As stand-in captain, he was saddled with an incredibly difficult job, rounding up a scattered and lackadaisical mob. There were times when his leadership went missing, and he took to fielding way out in the outfield, when he should have been in the ring, directing traffic. That said, he was more often let down by his team, than the other way around.
Rangana Herath (three wickets at 45.66)
Did not get an especially spin-friendly surface at Galle, and on a docile track, was thwarted by England's profusion of top order left-handers. A big loss was not the farewell he deserved, but having finished as the most successful left-arm bowler in history, there is not much he will complain about.
Niroshan Dickwella (128 runs at 21.33, seven catches and one stumping)
Dickwella kept getting starts and kept getting out. All up, in 11 Test innings now, he has failed to cross 50. After 48 innings overall, he has a high score of 83. Even if you were to forgive his mediocrity with the bat, it is hard to look past his modest performances behind the stumps. He missed a vital stumping of Sam Curran in the first innings at Pallekele - Curran going on to make a definitive contribution in that match. Dickwella's decision-making when it came to DRS was also flawed. His reputation as the best wicketkeeper in the country is saving him, but maybe there are other options Sri Lanka could consider.
Kaushal Silva (41 runs at 10.25)
No one tries harder on the field than Kaushal. No one in the Sri Lanka top order looked more muddled at the crease. This was Kaushal's third recall into the Test side by rough count, and where in previous stints he had been guilty of batting too slowly, Kaushal was repeatedly dismissed attacking during this series. Aged 32 now, maybe this was the last we have seen from him at the top level. Though if another round of young openers fail, you never know - Sri Lanka could keep going back to him. Was good at short leg, as usual.
Danushka Gunathilaka (24 runs at 12.00)
The last time Sri Lanka played a Test, Gunathilaka had seriously broken curfew, and annoyed not only team management, but also senior players within the side. It is largely for that reason that he - perhaps the most talented opener in the country - was not initially picked in this squad. Kaushal's poor form and Chandimal's injury (it is unlikely Gunathilaka would have played at the SSC if Chandimal was captain) paved a fresh route back into the team, but it was an unconvincing return.