Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath claimed a match haul of 12 wickets as Sri Lanka condemned top-ranked England to their fourth consecutive Test defeat today in the series opener.
The 34-year-old grabbed six wickets in each innings as the tourists, chasing a stiff target of 340 runs, were bowled out for 264 soon after tea on the fourth day at the Galle International Stadium to lose by 75 runs.
Off-spinner Suraj Randiv lent admirable support with a match haul of six wickets as Sri Lanka went 1-0 ahead in the short two-match series.
Jonathan Trott kept the tourists afloat with a defiant 112 before the last five wickets fell for just 12 runs in front of 8,000 bitterly disappointed English fans in the southern coastal town.
It was only the second win in 18 Tests for Sri Lanka since the retirement of world bowling record holder Muttiah Muralitharan in 2010. They lost six while the rest were drawn.
Sri Lanka 318 (M Jayawardene 180, Anderson 5-72) and 214 (P Jayawardene 61*, Swann 6-82) beat England 193 (Bell 52, Herath 6-74) and 264 (Trott 112, Herath 6-97, Randiv 4-74)