Rare England away win a fantastic start, says Root


England skipperJoe Root won the toss and elected to bat first. It had gone 13 tests away from home without a win, losing 10. We have a real clear plan about how we want to get to be the number one side in the world. "We were consistent throughout the four days", England skipper Joe Root said. Ben and Jos batted really well in the first innings.

England took three wickets as their push for victory began on the fourth morning of the first Test against Sri Lanka.

The 211-run victory was the first away win for England in 14 tests going back more than two years, a first on the road under Root's captaincy and only a fourth defeat for Sri Lanka at Galle in their last 14 matches at the venue.

Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes claimed a wicket apiece as the hosts fell to 98-3, but Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews staged a recovery.

"First innings, our batting was poor. After reducing them to 100 for five, if you had given only another 150 runs for the next five batters, we would have been still in the game at this stage".

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England took full control there after, adding 101 for one between lunch and tea and 110 for two in the evening, before declaring. An LBW appeal when Jennings was on 58 was turned down and Sri Lanka chose - erroneously it turned out - not to review. But Jennings was firm at his end, and he banished the disappointment of a mediocre series against India by bringing up a half-century off 111 balls.

Leach eventually made the breakthrough when Silva could not connect with a sweep shot and was dismissed leg before wicket for 30. Herath then returned to remove Root who offered a thin edge to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella.

Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal said that England was "outstanding" in their effort, and called his team's batting "below par" in the match. Herath was given a standing ovation by the packed house, mostly England fans, as he walked off the field. Nasser Hussain's men lost by an innings in 2001 while the last time England played there, in 2012, Herath bagged 12 to spin them out of the contest. "To transfer that into Test cricket is a great thing to have. It was incredible to face their quality spinners", said Foakes.

"It won't sink in until afterwards, when I speak to family and stuff". I was a bit nervous initially, but to be able to contribute was wonderful. The tourists were 38 without loss at stumps on Wednesday after their bowlers, led by off-spinner Moeen Ali, had earned them handy 139-run first innings lead at the Galle International Stadium. However, he held his composure well and admitted that he might go back to play some first-class cricket.

Herath retired from global cricket as one of the most successful Lankan bowlers in Tests after Muttiah Muralitharan who scalped 800 wickets.