England ’Root’ Sri lanka by 7 Wickets To Win 1st Test Match
18 January 2021 03:39 pm
1st Test - Sri Lanka Vs England - Galle - Day 5
England required just 56 deliveries to knock off the remaining 36 runs needed to win the 1st Test Match in the Daraz powered two test series against Sri Lanka when play resumed on day 5 at the Galle Esplanade earlier this morning.
The two overnight batsman Jonny Bairstow and debutant Dan Lawrence broke no sweat in reaching the required target of 73 runs, as they went onto remain not out on 35 and 21 respectively.
The only ray of hope that Sri Lanka had of getting a wicket was when a Dilruwan Perera delivery struck Lawrence on the pads when the batsman was batting on nine.
For reasons best known to skipper Chandimal and despite having many reviews up his sleeve he failed to ask for one.
Had he requested for the decision to have been reviewed, Lawrence would have been sent back to the pavilion.
This was England's fifth consecutive win against Sri Lanka on their home soil having earlier beaten Sri Lanka 3/0 in 2018 and also at the P. Sara Stadium in 2012.
Echoing the sentiments of this win, a beaming England skipper Joe Root said that it was a great team effort as his team had little preparation prior to the game. But he was extremely happy with how his bowlers toiled, especially in the second innings.
Root who picked up the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his fine 228 in the first innings, also stated that he was happy that he could have converted a start and go on to get a big score.
Joe Root ought to be commended for displaying two sporting gestures throughout this game.
The first was when he fist bumped the struggling incoming Sri Lankan batsman Kusal Mendis in a show of support, as he walked in on a pair in the game and more importantly was on four consecutive ducks.
The other was when he acknowledged his lone English supporter who arrived almost a year ago to watch England play Sri Lanka in that cancelled series.
The Engishman continued to remain in Sri Lanka despite all the restrictions and challenges that the ongoing covid-19 pandemic had to offer just to watch his team play this series in Sri Lanka.
Root firstly waved at him upon scoring his double century and then also was seen waving at him in a gesture of thanks after England went on to win the game.
The Sri Lankan skipper Chandimal admitted that they were beaten due to the poor performance they displayed in the first innings with both bat and ball.
"It was a good toss to win and batting first and putting up a decent total is crucial especially in Galle. We failed to do that.” Chandimal said.
Whilst giving credit to his team for a better performance in the second innings, Chandimal then went on to say that if his side could have scored another 70 to 80 runs, the outcome of the game would have been very different.
Chandimal was right because Galle is an unpredictable venue where many twists have taken place inside five days of test cricket and stranger results have been recorded.
Chandimal perhaps may have been reminiscing of a particular game that he too was involved in much earlier, when he made that statement.
It was around six years ago in 2015 that Chandimal himself was named as the 'Player of the Match', after he scored a remarkable unbeaten 162 runs to turn the outcome of a match against India.
In that game Sri Lanka who were bundled out by India for 183 in the first innings eventually went on to win by 63 runs.
India too was bundled out for a mere 112 runs after posting 375 runs in its first innings and enjoying a 192 run lead.
England's Johnny Bairstow who helped England win this game with two solid contributions with the bat when interviewed said “A win like this, especially overseas is excellent under these circumstances of having to live in a bubble for months on end".
Bairstow also went on to praise his entire team for all the contributions they made to pull off this win.
His words to the debutant Dan Lawrence were to remember that 36 runs is all that they need to get.
"The wicket was not being helpful to bat on and that it was very important to be positive in your approach" Bairstow said.
The Sri Lankan Team will have four days to do some serious soul searching and select a team or a combination to combat the English side, who demonstrated that their professionalism and approach towards test match cricket far outweighs their hosts.
Head Coach Mickey Arthur picked his own squad for the last series played in South Africa which they went onto lose 2 nil.
The new selectors headed by Chief Selector Asantha De Mel retained almost all of them and this game now was lost too.
Perhaps Sri Lanka ought to take a leaf from Australia or even for that matter India's book and chop and change this side due to the available talented resources that continue to be overlooked.
Whatever they decide to do or whomever they select, it is best hoped that they will pick 11 cricketers who have the mental capacity to play cricket at this level and also whose bodies could withstand five full days of cricket on the field.
The 2nd Test Math in this series powered by Daraz will also take place in Galle commencing on the 22nd of January 2021.