England win Galle Test, rout Sri Lanka 2-0: Records broken
England defeated hosts Sri Lanka by six wickets in the second and final Test at the Galle International Stadium. With this, the tourists have completed their second consecutive series whitewash (2-0) in the island nation after 2018. England skipper Joe Root remained the standout performer in the match, having scored a brilliant 186. Here are the records broken.
Batting first, Sri Lanka gained the edge after posting 381 in the first innings, riding on an incredible ton by Angelo Mathews (110). For England, Root (186) remained the lone warrior as they were bundled out for 344. In the second innings, spinners brought back England in the hunt as the Lankan innings folded on 126. The visitors chased the 164-run target with ease.
Root once again showcased his sturdy technique against spin. After smashing 228 in the first Test, he brought up his 19th century in the format. This was his eighth Test century away from home and a third in SL. Playing his 99th game, Root (8,243) became England's fourth-highest run-scorer in Tests, surpassing Geoffrey Boycott (8,114), Kevin Pietersen (8,181), and David Gower (8,231).
Although Root fell short of his second successive double-ton, his 186-run knock also entered the records book. Root posted a score of 150+ in successive Test matches for the first time in his career (First Test: 228).
At 38, pace spearhead James Anderson seems to be unstoppable. Rightly so, his 6/40 (1st innings) are the best figures by a pacer aged 38 or more in 107 years (Tests). Anderson, who claimed his 30th five-wicket haul, eclipsed Glenn McGrath's tally of 29 five-fors. Notably, Anderson is the first Englishman and second pacer overall to register 30 or more five-fors.
In a complete turn of events, England spinners ruled the second innings of the Test. The likes of Dom Bess and Jack Leach picked up four wickets apiece as Sri Lanka got bowled out on 126. With 28 wickets, the latter has now become England's leading wicket-taker in Sri Lanka. He surpassed the long-standing tally of Ashley Giles, who took 25 scalps.
This is the first time in Test history that pacers took all ten wickets in one innings, and spinners in the other, for a team (England). 1st innings: Anderson (6), Wood (3), Curran (1). 2nd innings: Bess (4), Leach (4), Root (2).
Earlier in the Test, senior SL batsman Mathews smashed his 11th Test hundred. The 33-year-old rescued the Sri Lanka innings after they were tottering on 7/2 on Day 1. This was his fifth Test century on home soil and first against England. Mathews also went past the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara (6,111) and Herschelle Gibbs (6,167) in terms of Test runs.
Besides Mathews, left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya starred for Sri Lanka in the Test. He notched up his maiden haul of 10 wickets in the format. Embuldeniya destroyed the England middle-order in the first innings, having recorded bowling figures of 7/137. He achieved his best innings figures in Test cricket. The budding spinner even perturbed the England batsmen during the run-chase (3 wickets).