Colombo: Stunned local media slammed "amateurish" Sri Lanka after they slumped to their first home series defeat to England since joining cricket's elite in 1982.
Paul Collingwood's tourists took an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match series late on Wednesday for their first limited-overs win on the subcontinent, barring Bangladesh, in 20 years.
It was a surprising blow for Mahela Jayawardene's World Cup finalists, and media did not hide their disappointment.
"Star-studded Sri Lanka see dark side of history," read the Daily Mirror headline.
"Sri Lanka's amateurish showing was such that by the time England posted the win only a handful of spectators remained in the seats," the paper said, summing up the mood among fans.
The Island newspaper said Sri Lankan arrogance, poor selection, over-confidence and bad form contributed to the loss.
"Sri Lanka's indifferent form is inexplicable and soul-searching has to be done as to why the invincible record at home was finally broken," the paper said.
Sri Lanka had lost only six of their last 30 one-dayers at home before the three successive defeats in the current series.
It was England's first success in Sri Lanka since winning their opening encounter way back in 1982.
"Sri Lankan batsmen and bowlers alike failed to pressurise England," said the Sinhalese-language daily Dinamina.
The Lakbima newspaper said Sri Lanka's aura of invincibility at home had been broken by a resolute England side.
The Sri Lankan top order appeared reluctant to play their shots and the visiting bowlers tightened the noose around them by applying immense pressure, the paper said.
England, who play the final one-dayer on Saturday, will return to Sri Lanka next month for a three-Test series.
They had not won a major limited-overs series in South Asia since beating Pakistan 3-0 in 1987.
Sri Lanka, who became a Test nation in 1982, are due to travel to Australia for two Test matches starting on Nov 8.