England collapse to Sri Lankan spinners

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Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 19:10 [IST]
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Herath bowls Sri Lanka to victory

Galle, Mar 29: Sri Lanka's left-arm spinner Rangana Herath claimed twelve wickets as England fell short of 75 runs to lose the first Test match against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Herath grabbed six wickets in each innings as the top ranked Test team collapsed to their fourth straight Test defeat.

Off-spinner Suraj Randiv contributed to the victory claiming six wickets as Sri Lanka lead 1-0 in the two-Test series.

Since the retirement of world record holder Muttiah Muralitharan in 2010, Sri Lanka have managed to only their second win in 18 Tests losing six and the rest were drawn.

Jonathan Trott kept the visitors in the game with a gritty knock of 112 before the last five wickets crumpled for just 12 runs.

Trott's innings consisted of 10 boundaries but was caught by Tillakaratne Dilshan at short-leg while trying to flick Randiv. Trott had a lucky escape when Herath dropped a return catch when the batsman was on 62.

England wicket-keeper Matt Prior along with Trott put on 81 runs for the fifth wicket before he was dismissed by Herath for 41.

Test debutant Samit Patel fell for just nine runs while tailenders Graeme Swann, Jimmy Anderson and Monty Panesar fell shortly afterwards to hand Sri Lanka victory on the fourth day.

The number one Test team, England, will drop to second behind South Africa if they suffer a series-loss against Sri Lanka.

England began the day's play with 111/2, but lost Kevin Pietersen (30) during the third over of the day after adding seven runs on the board.

Crucial 70 run-partnership between Pietersen and Trott was broken when Randiv struck again to dismiss Pietersen who scooped the ball for a simple catch to Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene.

Accurate Sri Lanka bowling tied down the tourists to just 34 runs from 15 overs in the first hour of play, 22 of them coming from the bat of Trott.

Sri Lanka's spin attack was more than enough to trouble England. They have now lost all four Tests since the turn of the year.

The second and final Test will be played at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo from April 3.


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