England completed a resounding 211-run victory over Sri Lanka in the first Test on Friday morning, winning their first away match in two years.
Wisden editor LAWRENCE BOOTH assesses the performances of each of the players at the Galle International Stadium.
England celebrates after wrapping up their 211-run victory over Sri Lanka in the first Test
Made a good-looking nine – if that’s possible – in his first Test innings before being strangled down the leg side. But his second-innings run-out was careless, because the sluggish Rangana Herath had just been moved away from mid-on.
A painful blow on the base of the neck fielding at short leg was another reminder that Test cricket is a serious business. 5/10
Rory Burns learned that Test cricket can be painful business after a blow while at short leg
Made 192 runs in the match for once out, and finally suggested his debut hundred in Mumbai two years ago was no one-off.
His reverse-sweeping was superb, and the selectors deserve credit for sticking with him. He can clearly play spin. Next summer, he will have to prove he can do it against the quicks. 8.5
Keaton Jennings reached his century in Galle during an impressive first Test performance
Scores of nought and three underlined the suspicion that, at No 3, Ali is a fish out of water – he could drop as many as five places in Pallekele.
But he has never bowled better in an overseas Test. Just don’t tell him he’s England’s No 1 spinner. 6
Moeen Ali struggled at No 3 with the bat but performed well with the ball during England’s win
Fell twice to Herath, avoidably so in the first innings, when Root epitomised his side’s misplaced determination to score runs before the killer ball came their way.
Juggled his six-man attack well and became the first England captain to win a Test in Galle. 6
England captain Joe Root swings his bat in frustration after being dismissed cheaply
Came to life in the second half of the game. The 62 he made in England’s second innings was a mixture of common sense and destruction, and he deserved better than one wicket for his tireless short-ball barrage between lunch and tea on the fourth day. 7
Ben Stokes deserved better than one wicket for his barrage of short balls on the last day
Scores of 38 and 35 told of his increasing maturity as a Test batsman, and he was a livewire in the field, repeatedly cutting off singles at short cover and midwicket.
A crucial cog in England’s wheel. 7
Jos Buttler plays a sweep shot during the first innings of a mature batting performance
A century from the ruins of 103 for five, an immaculate performance with the gloves, including a sharp stumping to get rid of Dinesh Chandimal, then a selfless 34-ball 37, with three sixes. If Carlsberg did Test debuts… 9
Ben Foakes with a souvenir stump after a dream debut that saw him score a century
Played his part, not for the first time, in England’s first-innings recovery, then showed his all-round worth by swinging one into the pads of Kaushal Silva.
Any temptation to leave him out of the second Test must be resisted: England made that mistake during the summer, and immediately lost to India at Trent Bridge. 7
Sam Curran appeals successfully for the wicket of Kaushal Silva in the first innings
Made useful runs, and lured Chandimal to his doom with a beautifully ripped leg-break in the first innings. But if England drop a spinner for Pallekele to accommodate Jonny Bairstow, Rashid could be the one to make way. 6
Adil Rashid appeals unsuccessfully for an lbw decision against Suranga Lakmal
The accuracy of his left-arm spin gave Root control during Sri Lanka’s first innings, and the ball with which he bowled Chandimal in the second was the delivery of the match. A popular success story. 8
Jack Leach celebrates after taking the wicket of Kusal Mendis as England closed in on the win
Struck with his second delivery to set the tone, and looked dangerous as the ball began to reverse on the fourth afternoon.
But he unaccountably dropped Angelo Mathews off Stokes in Sri Lanka’s second innings, and – with the Ashes approaching – will have to make sure he doesn’t rack up many more disciplinary points. 6
James Anderson bowls as England try to take the final wickets on the fourth day in Galle
SRI LANKA RATINGS
Angelo Mathews 7, Dilruwan Perera 7, Rangana Herath 6, Suranga Lakmal 6, Kusal Mendis 6, Dinesh Chandimal 5, Niroshan Dickwella 5, Dhananjaya de Silva 5, Kaushal Silva 5, Dimuth Karunaratne 4, Akila Dananjaya 3