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ENGLAND V SRI LANKA TESTS

Cook secures history and Test series win

31 May 2016
MATCH REPORT

Alastair Cook reached the 10,000 Test runs milestone after a defiant Sri Lanka battled hard on the fourth day in Durham

England v Sri Lanka Tests, Second Test

ENG
SL

Alastair Cook became the first Englishman to reach 10,000 Test runs before leading his team to an emphatic nine-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Monday to wrap up the three-match series.

Cook scored 47 not out as England eased to their target of 79 after Dinesh Chandimal made a fine century to lift Sri Lanka to 475 in their second innings on the fourth day of the second Test.

Special Feature: Courageous Cook reaches landmark 10,000

Having been bowled out for 101 in their first innings, the tourists only delayed the inevitable and England took an unassailable 2-0 lead with a day to spare.

"It's a very special moment for me, but the game is not about personal milestones, it's about winning games and scoring runs to do that," Cook said.

"But it's a real special day and it's great that my family are here to see me do it."

Sri Lanka had resumed on 5-309 and England's only success in the morning session was the dismissal of Milinda Siriwardana for 35, well caught by Alex Hales at third slip off James Anderson to end a sixth-wicket partnership of 92.

Anderson found the inside edge of Chandimal's bat when the right-hander was on 69 but wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow spilled a simple chance and the 26-year-old took full advantage, reaching his sixth Test hundred with a thick outside edge for four off Chris Woakes.

Chandimal celebrates his first Test ton outside Asia // Getty

He received excellent support from Rangana Herath in a seventh-wicket stand of 116, Herath making a breezy 61 before he was trapped lbw by Anderson, to become bowler's 450th Test victim.

Anderson bowled Shaminda Eranga for one to complete another five-wicket haul and Stuart Broad ended Chandimal's defiant knock on 126 with a clever slower ball that clipped the top of his off stump.

Suranga Lakmal was the last man out, skying a catch to Broad off Woakes.

Cook, needing five runs to get to 10,000, clipped Nuwan Pradeep to the mid-wicket boundary to reach the milestone before raising his bat to all corners of a sparsely-populated ground.

Hales was bowled by spinner Siriwardana for 11 but Cook calmly completed the job with Nick Compton, who finished unbeaten on 22 as he battles to retain his place at number three in the order.

"Broad and Anderson are world-class bowlers and you've got to show a lot of skill to handle them," Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said.

"It's just the Sri Lankan fight that we've lost in the past couple of weeks and we're looking to bring back. There were lots of positives in the last couple of days, Chandimal and Herath showed a lot of character."

Day three report

England moved towards another convincing victory in the second Test against Sri Lanka, but the tourists showed sufficient resolve on Sunday to push the game into a fourth day.

After being dismissed in the morning for 101 in their first innings, Sri Lanka's batsmen produced an improved effort to reach 5-309 by the close, still 88 runs adrift in Durham.

Captain Angelo Mathews led from the front with a combative 80, sharing a partnership of 82 with Kaushal Silva, who made 60. Dinesh Chandimal remained unbeaten on 54 at the close.

For Sri Lanka to even reach this far represents an improvement on the first Test, which they lost inside three days by an innings and 88 runs, but the tourists did not do enough to banish the impression that this three-Test series is a mismatch.

England's formidable attack took just 17 minutes to finish off the first innings in the morning, leaving Sri Lanka 397 runs behind the home side.

The total represented another dismal Sri Lankan performance to set alongside their first-Test efforts of 91 and 119 - the first time since 1958 that a Test team had been bowled out for under 120 in three consecutive innings.

A different approach was required in the second innings and for once the batsmen did not disappoint.

A breezy 26 from Dimuth Karunaratne set the tone as, together with Silva, the openers put on 38 before Chris Woakes pushed a ball across the left-hander who edged a catch to Joe Root.

Kusal Mendis picked up the pace with three boundaries in five balls from Jimmy Anderson to also reach 26 but paid a heavy price when the Lancashire paceman responded with a full-length ball that was skied to keeper Jonny Bairstow.

Lahiru Thirimanne, who began the day at the crease in the first innings, returned to be dismissed for a second time, this time for 13 after falling to a beautiful ball from Moeen Ali that drew him into the shot before clipping his stumps.

That wicket brought Silva and Mathews together and the pair pushed the tourists' innings towards respectability before Steven Finn finally found some rhythm to have Silva caught behind.

Sri Lanka have constantly struggled against the moving ball outside off-stump and Bairstow also accounted for Mathews with his seventh catch of the match from a quality Anderson outswinger.

Chandimal represented Sri Lanka's last hope and he kept the scoreboard ticking over to record his 11th half-century, seeing off the new ball late on with Milinda Siriwadana (35) to leave England with work to do on Monday.

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