England fall to spin again

Herath takes maiden 10-wicket haul as England fall short by 75 runs to suffer fourth loss

Written by Associated Press | Galle | Published: March 30, 2012 3:52 am

KRISHAN FRANCIS

Rangana Herath completed a maiden 10-wicket match haul to take Sri Lanka to an emphatic 75-run win in the first Test against England despite Jonathan Trott’s defiant century threatening to steal the game.

Chasing 340 to win,England were bowled out for 264 just after tea on the fourth day on Thursday. Herath finished the match with 12 wickets for 171, having taken six wickets in each innings. He was named man of the match. Thursday’s win was Sri Lanka’s first in a Test at home since the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan in July,2010. Herath’s spin bowling partner Suraj Randiv took 4 for 74.

Trott faced 266 balls and hit 10 boundaries before being out just before tea. It was his seventh century playing his 27th Test.

Trott and wicketkeeper Matt Prior shared 81 runs for the fifth wicket to raise England’s hopes but it was always a difficult chase on a spinner-friendly pitch at Galle International Stadium.

England had to beat its record chase of 332 against Australia in 1928 to win,however the visitors only managed to eclipse Sri Lanka’s losing total of 253 against Australia last year as the highest fourth-innings total at Galle.

Herath’s bowling figures was the best by a Sri Lankan since off-spinner Muralitharan’s 12 for 82 against Bangladesh in 2007.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene praised Herath,saying he had taken on the responsibility of leading a less-fancied bowling unit since Muralitharan’s retirement. “He is the most experienced bowler I have right now,” Jayawardene said. “He has taken the responsibility not just here but also away from home as well when he bowled us to victory in South Africa.”

Jayawardene said Sri Lanka had to be patient when Trott and Prior were batting,hoping that the new ball will create a wicket chance. The hosts took the new ball in the 80th over and the partnership was broken within the next six balls. “I thought Trott batted really well. It was a very patient knock from him,” Jayawardene said.

Herath said he doesn’t want to become overwhelmed by his new responsibility. “Just because I take that pressure I can’t do anything extra,” he said.

Prior,who made 41,was caught by Lahiru Thirimanne off Herath with the total on 233. Tillakaratne Dilshan took a diving catch on the rebound to dismiss Samit Patel (9). England’s hopes were all but over when Trott was caught well at leg-slip by Dilshan off spinner Randiv. England,the No.1 Test team,lost their last six wickets for 31 runs and it is their fourth straight Test defeat after losing all matches of a three-match Test series against Pakistan.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 318 & 214 bt England 193 & 264 all out in 99 ovs (J Trott 112,K Pietersen 30,M Prior 41; R Herath 6/97,S Randiv 4/74)

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