Thu, Jun 26, 2014 - Page 17 News List

Sri Lanka win on penultimate ball

ANDERSON DISTRAUGHT:After batting for more than 20 overs, England’s No. 1 bowler was inconsolable as his wicket cost the game, by 100 runs, and the series

AFP, LEEDS, United Kingdom

England batsman James Anderson, center, looks down as Sri Lanka celebrate winning their Test match at the Headingley ground in Leeds, England, on Tuesday.

Photo: Reuters

Sri Lanka beat England with just one delivery to spare to win the second Test at Headingley by 100 runs on Tuesday and take the two-match series 1-0.

There were more than 20 overs remaining when England No. 11 James Anderson came to the crease.

However, he survived on zero until, off the penultimate delivery of the match, he gloved a well-directed bouncer from Sri Lanka paceman Shaminda Eranga to Rangana Herath at leg-gully.

Just as Sri Lanka had staved off defeat by one wicket in the drawn first Test at Lord’s, it seemed England might do likewise in Leeds.

Anderson defied Australia’s attack for 53 deliveries when England clung on for a draw with one wicket standing in the 2009 Ashes Test in Cardiff, and so nearly did the same at Headingley.

His 84-minute, 55-ball duck on Tuesday was the second-longest in Test history after New Zealand’s Geoff Allott made a 77-ball zero against South Africa at Auckland in 1999. Defeat was tough on England’s Moeen Ali, who batted for six-and-a-half hours while making 108 not out — his maiden Test century.

England, set 350 for victory, were bowled out for 249 on the fifth and final day, as Sri Lanka won a Test on English soil for only the third time following victories at The Oval in 1998 and Trent Bridge in 2006.

“It means everything to be honest,” said Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews, named man of the match after recording Test-best figures with both bat (160 in the second innings) and ball (four for 44 in England’s first innings).

“I threw the ball to Eranga saying: ‘You’ve got to somehow do it,’ and he didn’t let us down,” said the all-rounder, who also made a hundred at Lord’s. “Moeen and Jimmy batted brilliantly.”

Anderson, in tears at the presentation ceremony, said: “We got quite close and obviously we’re gutted.”

For England captain Alastair Cook, defeat meant another series reverse after the team’s 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia.

“It’s tough to take, we have pretty much had two bad days in the 10 days of the series and that has cost us,” Cook said.

England resumed on Tuesday on 57 for five, having collapsed in the face of paceman Dhammika Prasad’s stunning burst of four for 15 on Monday. It was all a far cry from when England were 311 for three after tea on the second day of this Test, thanks to Australia-born opener Sam Robson’s maiden Test century, and even when they reduced Sri Lanka to 277 for seven on Monday — a lead of just 169. However, Mathews responded with a superb hundred and a key eighth-wicket stand of 149 with Herath, who made a valuable 48.

Joe Root was six not out overnight, with Ali yet to come in.

The pair kept Sri Lanka at bay for more than two hours on Tuesday.

Pradeep made the breakthrough when Root, aiming legside, was caught in the gully.

Prasad, whose final figures of five for 50 were his best in Test cricket, struck again to remove Matt Prior.

Last year the England wicketkeeper took his side to an unlikely Test draw in Auckland by repelling New Zealand for 54 overs, but on Tuesday he lasted just 37 deliveries before a lifting delivery from Prasad flew off his bat handle to Kaushal Silva at short-leg.

However, on-field umpire Billy Bowden asked third umpire Paul Reiffel to check for a no-ball.

It was a desperately close call, but the former Australia seamer ruled in Sri Lanka’s favor.

After tea, left-arm spinner Herath, who finished with an impressive three for 59 in 42 overs, had Chris Jordan and Stuart Broad LBW to leave England on the brink of defeat at 228 for nine.

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