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Twitter Reactions: England survive a mighty scare before sealing a historic whitewash

Sri Lanka have been whitewashed in a Test series at home for the second time in two years.

England team
England team. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka were four wickets down at the end of the third day and with more than 270 runs required to win, it was only a matter of time. But they have got used to fight it out when the fans expect least from them and the same happened in Colombo. After Kusal Mendis and Roshen Silva, it was the last-wicket pair of Malinda Pushpakumara and the skipper Suranga Lakmal.

The duo came together when Sri Lanka were down and out on 226/9 and still needed 101 runs to avoid the whitewash at home. But Pushpakumara and Lakmal put on an inspired stand to keep England at bay. The former had some fun attacking the spinners and connected a few. Luck also played its part but some quick runs left the visitors frustrated. Joe Root‘s smile turned into tense in no time even as the extra half an hour before Tea also came to an end.

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Sri Lanka were still 43 runs adrift of an unlikely victory while the Brits knew they had a game on their hands when the second session ended. However, Jack Leach, on resumption, got the better of the opposition captain Lakmal by pinning him in front of the stumps as the island nation got bowled out for 284 runs. For the second time in two years, they were cleanswept at home and their losses are getting more embarrassing with every passing game.

Earlier in the day

In the morning though when the loss looked inevitable for Sri Lanka, Lakshan Sandakan showed some spirit to hang around for a considerable period of time. Kusal Mendis finally lived up to the expectations as he unfurled some of the exquisite cricketing shots in his kitty. Soon he also crossed the 50-run mark and sent a message in the opposition camp that Sri Lanka weren’t going to throw the kitchen sink.

Sandakan’s wicket never really made the difference as Roshen Silva joined Mendis in the middle to put on a three-figure partnership. At 184/5, the chase looked like happening. But at the same time, Mendis went for an inexplicable second run and Jack Leach fired in a bullet throw from the deep to directly hit the stumps.

The wickets continued to fall since then as all the recognised batsmen were dismissed before bringing the target below the 100-run mark. Though the last-wicket pair tried hard in the end, it was always going to be a tall ask for them. The trio of England spinners have trumped Sri Lanka this time on turning dust bowls as a total of 100 wickets out of 116 were picked by the spinners in the series.

Here’s how Twitter reacted during the innings:

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