Twitter Reactions: Emphatic England clean-sweep after Sri Lanka's horrific collapse

Twitter Reactions: Emphatic England clean-sweep after Sri Lanka’s horrific collapse

Overwhelming as it may sound, England have won six Tests against Sri Lanka in their backyard, in a streak unhindered since 2012.

Joe Root
Joe Root. (Photo Source: Twitter)

A dramatic second-innings collapse of Sri Lanka assured England another historic 2-0 whitewash in the island nation. Overwhelming as it may sound, they have won six Tests against them in their backyard, in a streak unhindered since 2012.

Sri Lanka, in the series, sandwiched a couple of defiant performances with the bat between two forgettable outings. If there 135 in the first innings of the previous Test was scary, the 126 all out after having managed a vital first-innings lead in the second Test was nightmarish. Perera started the day for Sri Lanka on a bright note, wrapping up England after he accounted for Jack Leach’s wicket, who added only 5 runs with Anderson to the team’s overnight score, before being dismissed LBW.

Spinners delight in Galle

Having taken a handful lead of 37, Sri Lanka would have fancied their chance to level the series, but to no avail. On the fourth day track, which was offering generous assistance to the spinners, Jack Leach and Dom Bess wreaked havoc against the home team, who probably stepped out in collapse mode. Kusal Perera unsuccessfully reviewed an LBW shout after failing to connect a sweep off Leach, to give England their first breakthrough.

Dom Bess joined forces with Leach when he got a fair bit of turn on a delivery through which he forced Oshada Fernando to prod forward defensively, only to edge it to Zak Crawley close by. Jolted by two quick falls, Sri Lanka took another blow soon, as Lahiru Thirimanne flicked one off Leach straight to Crawley at short leg. The first-innings centurion, Angelo Mathews, had no business in the second innings, as Bess cleaned him up for just 5.

With only 10 more runs added to Sri Lanka’s kitty, Dinesh Chandimal top-edged Leach to Anderson at mid-on. Bess made it 66 for 6 when Niroshan Dickwella gave a straightforward chance to Dan Lawrence at cover. Resuming after being 67/6 at Lunch, Dilruwan Perera departed in a rush, depositing Bess to Crawley, who plucked his third catch at short leg, whereas Ramesh Mendis bottom-edged a Leach delivery onto his boot, which went to Buttler behind.

Embuldeniya ceases the slide

The uncontrollable slide was then contained by Lanka’s champion with the ball, Embuldeniya, who took the responsibility to score some runs for him to defend later. Slapping six fours and a six in his aggressive 40 from 42, he added with Suranga Lakmal 48 runs for the penultimate wicket. It took England’s hero with the bat to undo Sri Lanka’s hero with the ball, as Joe Root decided to take matters into his hands.

Embuldeniya, who got a lucky survival on 39, when Bairstow dropped him in slips, did not get second-time lucky as Bairstow ensured not to repeat his fault and completed the catch off Root’s bowling. The England skipper then picked his second wicket when Asitha Fernando chopped on one straight to his stumps, setting 164 for England to win 2-0.

Sibley-Buttler seal it for England

Doing what he has done the best – dismissing the England openers quickly – Lasith Embuldeniya accounted for Zak Crawley for the fourth time in as many innings. Crawley, who got his first double-digit score in the series, submitted one in the slips to Fernando. Unlike his partner, Dom Sibley, who, too, was yet to score in the double-digits, had luck favoring him in aplenty as he survived not one or two, but three shouts of LBW on umpire’s call.

Banking on the reprieves, Sibley (54 from 144) anchored the innings with commendable composure after Embuldeniya claimed Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence’s wicket to record his 10-wicket haul. Before being pinned LBW by the left-arm spinner, however, Bairstow showed some good intent, pouncing on the spinners, as he added 45 with Sibley, scoring 29 of those himself with one six and three fours.

Root, ever so effective with his sweeps in his memorable 186-run knock, did not get his sweeps executed with the same ease, as he fell for 11 to Mendis, who knocked down his leg stumps. It was all Buttler-Sibley show thereon as the duo added 75 runs, growing in confidence after maneuvering the bowlers as per their will. It was a reverse-sweep by Buttler, who scored an unbeaten 48 with five boundaries, which brought Sibley on strike to hit the winning runs for England.

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