Chris Tremlett led England to a sensational victory as they defied the elements to beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 14 runs in the first Test at Sophia Gardens here Monday.Sri Lanka were skittled out for just 82 in their second innings, with fast bowler Tremlett taking the first three wickets to fall on his way to a return of four for 40 in 10 overs on the final day.Off-spinner Graeme Swann followed up with four wickets for 16 runs in seven overs as Sri Lanka’s dramatic collapse continued.Stuart Broad finished off the match with two wickets in three balls, the tourists second innings ending in the 25th over in under two dramatic hours.England’s victory in their first Test since a 3-1 Ashes triumph on Australia was achieved despite rain, which fell throughout this match, washing out nearly a whole day’s play in total.And the win was achieved despite England being without James Anderson, who was ruled out from bowling in the remainder of this match Saturday with a side strain.
Tremlett struck sixth ball to have Tharanga Paranavitana well caught low down at first slip by England captain Andrew Strauss.But it was all the 6ft 7in Surrey paceman’s own work when he caught and bowled Sri Lanka skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan after a review confirmed the batsman had gloved a lifting delivery back to the bowler.The experienced duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene hung around until tea.But both former captains fell shortly afterwards.The hostile Tremlett removed Jayawardene with the aid of a Strauss slip catch before Thilan Samaraweera played on to Swann for naught.England then reduced Sri Lanka to 52 for eight when Rangana Herath, swinging wildly, was lbw to Swann before Broad wrapped things up.There seemed little chance of England forcing a victory after rain washed out the whole of Monday’s morning session.
England then added just five runs to their overnight total.Strauss declared on 496 for five as soon as Ian Bell, who resumed on 98, completed 159-ball hundred featuring a six and 11 fours.Bell’s was the third century of an England innings that saw his Warwickshire team-mate Jonathan Trott score 203 and opener Alastair Cook 133.England will now head to Strauss’s Lord’s home ground, where the second Test starts Friday, 1-0 up in this three-match series.Brief scores: Sri Lanka 1st innings: 400 (P Jayawardene 112, T Paranavitana 66, T Samaraweera 58, T Dilshan 50. J Anderson 3-66, G Swann 3-78). England 1st innings: 496-5 declared (J Trott 203, A Cook 133, I Bell 103 no). Sri Lanka 2nd innings: 82 (G Swann 4-16, C Tremlett 4-40). – Dateline