Sri Lanka vs England…
Sri Lanka’s dramatic 100-run win against England at Headingley (Leeds) was a rare overseas success and their young Test captain Angelo Mathews was at the fountainhead of it. The Lankans won the two-Test series 1-0 and it was the second time in 16 years the islanders beat England by this margin.
Sri Lanka have won eight and lost 10 out of 28 Tests played against England. Ten matches have been drawn. With a winning percentage of 28.57, the Lankans have won seven Tests outside the sub-continent, excluding Zimbabwe. They have won three in England – one each at Leeds, Nottingham and The Oval, two against New Zealand and one each versus West Indies and South Africa.
Mathews played a leading role in the Leeds win. Although it was seamer Dhammika Prasad’s 5 for 50 that swung the pendulum Lanka’s way, Mathews’ 160 in the second innings put Sri Lanka in a commanding position against England.
Mathews won his second Player of the Series award in Tests, his first being versus Pakistan in UAE in 2013-14. With Sri Lanka’s win, Mathews is the second Sri Lankan captain after Mahela Jayawardene to record a century in an overseas Test victory (excluding Zimbabwe and Bangladesh). Mathews is the first Sri Lankan captain to have recorded a hundred and claimed more than a wicket in a Test win.
Prasad produced his best bowling figures in a Test innings. He bettered his 3 for 82 versus India at Colombo in August 2008. Prasad is the second Sri Lankan speedster to capture five wickets in an innings against England in England, joining Rumesh Ratnayake (5 for 69 at Lord’s in 1991.
Overall, Prasad is the third Lankan quickie to bag five wickets or more in an innings versus England in Tests. Chaminda Vaas took 6 for 73 at Colombo, SSC in March 2001.
The Mathews-Prasad show overshadowed a heroic unbeaten 108 by Moeen Ali. The innings went in vain as Lanka stole victory with a ball left in the match. Ali’s previous best Test innings was 48 on debut at Lord’s this year.
Ali’s innings is the second best by an England No. 7 batsman against Sri Lanka in Tests, the highest being Matt Prior’s 126 at Lord’s in 2011. In the course of his innings, Ali completed 7,000 runs in first-class cricket — 7055 (average 38.97) in 116 matches.