Sri Lanka 318 (Mahela Jayawardene 180, Dinesh Chandimal 27, James Anderson 5-72) and 214 (Prasanna Jayawardene 61, Thilan Samaraweera 36, Graeme Swann 6-82) beat England 193 (Ian Bell 52, Stuart Broad 28, Rangana Herath 6-74) and 264 (Jonathan Trott 112, Matt Prior 41, Herath 6-97) by 75 runs.
Rangana Herath spinned England by grabbing 12 wickets in the first Test which Sri Lanka won by 75 runs on the fourth day at Galle.
The Islanders scored 318 runs in their first innings, England replied with 193 and conceded a lead of 125. The home side was able to manage 214 runs in their second innings and the visitors were bowled out for 264 and lost the match by 75 runs.
Rangana Herath was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his match winning bowling in the match where he mesmerised the English batsmen and clinched 12 wickets.
It was the fourth consecutive loss for England in the Tests as they lost the previous three matches against Pakistan and they were unable to negotiate the spinners in those encounters as well.
The exciting match was played at Galle International Stadium, came to an end the fourth day of the match on March 29, 2012.
Earlier England started the day at a solid position of 111 runs in 40 overs after losing just two wickets whereas Jonathan Trott was at the crease with 40 and Kevin Pietersen was assisting him well for 29. It was not a good beginning for the visitors as the off spinner Suraj Randiv, struck in the third over of the day when Pietersen was caught by Mahela Jayawardene at sort midwicket for 30. The third wicket was lost at 118 and Ian Bell tried to form a partnership with Trott who was dropped at 62 runs by Herath on his own bowling.
Bell was declared leg before wicket off Herath for 13 and the total reached at 152 as Matt Prior reached the centre. Jayawardene inducted Suraj Randiv for bowling from the other end, it became all spin attack and the batsmen found it hard to score the runs. Tillakaratne Dilshan replaced Randiv in the 70th over, he continued until 74th over and Sri Lanka was unable to get a breakthrough. The new ball was taken in the 81st over as the resistance was carried on by the two batsmen with the addition of useful runs. Jonathan Trott smashed his seventh Test ton on the second ball of the 86th over by sending the ball reeling out of the deep square leg boundary. The duo associated 81 runs partnership for the fifth wicket when Prior was gone after scoring 41 useful runs.
The fifth wicket was lost at 233 runs when the Lankan Lions spinners took over as the English batsmen found it hard to score runs. Trott was the seventh batsman who went back to the pavilion for 112 runs off 226 balls with 10 fours. The late order batting collapsed, none of them was able to enter the double figures and the whole team was bowled out for 264 runs in 99 overs.
Rangana Herath demolished the English batting once again by grabbing six wickets and Suraj Randiv held four wickets.
Sri Lanka won the interesting battle with a reasonable margin of 75 runs and is leading the two match series 1-0.