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Twitter Reactions: England win the Galle battle as Rangana Herath bids adieu to the game

Moeen Ali and Jack Leach were brilliant with the ball as they shared seven wickets.

Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

He was a fighter all his career and even in his final Test Rangana Herath went down fighting. Sri Lanka failed to give him a winning farewell but the cricketer made sure that England earned the final wicket to seal the last game of his career. The visitors, against all the expectations, bossed the game from the word go and eventually won it by 211 runs on the fourth day of the opening Test match.

The writing was on the wall for Sri Lanka on the third day itself when they conceded a lead of 461 runs. Their openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva fought valiantly in the first hour of the day and kept the opponents away. But Jack Leach drew first blood by pinning the latter in front of the stumps in the 23rd over and all the good work done by them went in vain by the end of the session.

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Karunaratne followed soon and Dhananjaya de Silva was trapped by Ben Stokes at the stroke of lunch to make it 98/3 which left the middle-order to do with a lot of work to do. Angelo Mathews was the lone warrior as he tried building partnerships. But the likes of Kusal Mendis, injured Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella couldn’t provide him support.

Mathews fights

Mathews, meanwhile, also reached his half-century only to prove his critics that he is still the best batsman of the team. His twin fifties in this game was the only shining light for the island nation in this game. But even he sent back on 53 by Moeen Ali to ensure the game will not go into the fifth day.

Dilruwan Perera, like he always does, played well scoring 30 runs and shepherded the tail but he was only delaying the inevitable. With Herath’s despairing dive to save himself from getting run-out which went in vain, Sri Lanka were bowled out exactly on 250 in the second innings and concede a lead in the three-match series.

Apart from the result, it was all about Rangana Herath as the England cricketers and the match officials let him leave the field first on a red carpet arranged especially for him. It was an end of era as tough road awaits for Sri Lanka in the series without their veteran.

Here’s how Twitter reacted during the day:

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