Sri Lanka claimed its first-ever Test series victory in England courtesy of a dramatic final day at Headingley, taking the hosts’ final wicket on the second-last ball to win by 100 runs.
England headed into Day Five at a seemingly hopeless 57-5 – 292 runs short of the total set by Sri Lanka – and needing to bat out an entire day to avoid another demoralising defeat.
A rain-interrupted morning session aided England’s cause, but when Stuart Broad was the ninth wicket to fall with 20 overs remaining, the result seemed inevitable.
No.11 James Anderson had other ideas, however, producing a brave rearguard innings, while all-rounder Moeen Ali brought up his maiden Test century in his second match. But after seeing off 54 balls – and failing to register a run – Anderson fended a Shaminda Eranga bouncer to Rangana Herath (who claimed two of the final day wickets) at leg gully on the fifth ball of the last over.
Ali finished unbeaten on 108, while a crushed Anderson was in tears as he accepted England’s player of the series award. The loss has heaped more pressure on captain Alistair Cook and the England side, who are still reeling from their 5-0 Ashes drubbing in Australia.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, is ecstatic with its history-making success, hanging on for a first Test draw by one wicket and overcoming a 108-run first innings deficit in the second.
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