England secured a significant victory in their first Test against Sri Lanka, sealing a 211-run win after another barn-storming display from spin-bowler Moeen Ali.
The Three Lions looked completely at home in the sub-continent conditions while debutants Ben Foakes and Jack Leach staked their claim for a regular place.
Sportsmail’s DAVID LLOYD was present throughout the four days in Galle and brings you his closing report from four very enjoyable days for England fans.
The England team celebrate with Jack Leach after he takes to wicket of Dinesh Chandimal
Thunderbolts and lightning. Very, very frightening
I’ve never seen rain like it on Thursday night. There were tables and chairs flying about all over the place in our hotel. Twelve solid hours of it, too. Fabulous effort from the groundstaff to ensure a prompt start on day four. That reminds me. I must see that new film. Scaramouche, scaramouche will you do the fandango.
The groundstaff did an amazing job to keep the field playable during a very wet period in Galle
Strange tastes in music
Talking of music, one MA Atherton, distinguished correspondent of the Times of London and a former England captain, suddenly declared the other night that REM are the greatest band in the world. He’s about 25 years too late on them. Debate ensued. Has he not heard of Half Man Half Biscuit, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band or The Temperance Seven? I’ll just keep on listening to The Fall.
Joe laying down roots as captain
This has been an especially pleasing game for Joe Root as captain. Of course you have to grow into the position through good and bad times but he lead here with real imagination and, crucially, authority. It’s important he’s seen to be the captain of this team. Here Joe seemed to have that happy knack of getting his bowling combinations right. And he has a real find in Jack Leach.
Joe Root lead England with real imagination and showed he is growing into his role as captain
Driving the gauntlet
The journey in continued to be an adventure. Buses and tuk-tuks to the fore but I also spotted three people on a bicycle and five on a motor-bike. Not to mention the odd herd of cattle. The driving code here is clearly ‘don’t bother staying on your own side of the road, there’s plenty of room on the other one!’ Got a seven-hour jaunt to Kandy next. Wish me luck, dear reader.
Dead ringer of Malinga
Our intrepid driver in Galle has been a lovely chap called Roy who is a dead ringer for Lasith Malinga, complete with his Sri Lanka shirt, and he plays up to it too. The number of Barmy Army members who have gone up to him for a picture and he just stands there with his arm out, Malinga style, as if he was bowling. Folks, he’s a taxi driver!
Our intrepid driver in Galle is a dead ringer of Lasith Malinga, complete with a Sri Lanka shirt
Peaky Bumble goes down well
I’ve been sporting my ‘Peaky Blinders’ look here in Galle and I must say I’ve had many admiring comments. As you all know I love a hat and it’s all down to my new bespoke cap made by a lovely lady called Lisa of TaylorRed London. I’m told she’s now making hats for a very famous retired England footballer but I cannot possibly tell you who he is.
Headache for selectors
There’s no doubt England picked the correct team for Galle, with all bases covered. So will they keep an unchanged side in Kandy? No they won’t. They need another quicker bowler. Which one? I reckon it will come down to Chris Woakes or Olly Stone. So which spinner do they leave out? And does it mean a fit-again Jonny Bairstow has to sit out? It’s a wonderful position for the selectors to be in….
Bumble (right) sporting his ‘Peaky Blinders’ cap alongside Mike Atherton in Galle, Sri Lanka