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Sri Lanka inflict innings defeat on Eng

Sri Lanka won their three-match Test series 1-0 after handing England their worst defeat for 30 years.

india Updated: Dec 21, 2003 17:39 IST

Sri Lanka won their three-match Test series 1-0 after handing England their worst defeat for 30 years on Sunday.

England suffered a humiliating innings and 215-run defeat after a dominant Sri Lanka had piled up a massive 628 for eight declared.

Having notched up their highest score against England, the hosts skittled England for 148 to secure the win on the fourth day of the third and deciding Test.

It was England's lowest ever total against Sri Lanka, the previous lowest being the 181 they had been bowled out for at the Oval in 1998.

It was also the visitors' heaviest defeat since slumping to an innings and 226-run loss to West Indies in Lord's in 1973.

For Sri Lanka, it was their biggest Test win, surpassing the innings and 196 run victory against Bangladesh in August 2002.

After England lost both openers to the new ball, spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan wreaked havoc in the middle order, increasing his series tally to 26 wickets with four for 63 from 27 overs.

Muralitharan was aided by left-arm spinner Sanath Jayasuriya, who took two for five in nine overs, and an aggressive Dilhara Fernando, who broke lower order resistance with a fiery evening spell to finish with three for 27 from 12 overs.

Chaminda Vaas started England's collapse, striking in the first over of the innings when Trescothick, on nought, edged a forcing stroke to substitute fielder Michael Vandort at gully.


Vaughan (14) was deceived by a slower delivery from paceman Fernando and caught by Jayasuriya at short extra cover.

After the break, Muralitharan found the edge of Nasser Hussain's (11) defensive bat with a zipping leg break and wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara clung on to a juggling catch.

Mark Butcher and Graham Thorpe (19) resisted Sri Lanka's spinners for just over an hour adding 38 in 119 balls for the fourth wicket.

But Muralitharan eventually span his leg break through Thorpe's bat and pad to give Sangakkara the first of two stumpings.

Next ball, Gareth Batty dragged his foot out of his creases and was adjudged to have been stumped by the third umpire after a smart piece of work from Sangakkara.

Muralitharan would have taken his first hat-trick in Test cricket had Hashan Tillakaratne been able cling on to a gloved catch at silly point.

Jayasuriya rammed home the home team's advantage bowling Butcher for 37 and then trapped Chris Read lbw for a duck.

England had lost four wickets for two runs in 19 deliveries.

The tourist's lower order wagged after tea as Giles and Andrew Flintoff, who was handicapped by a groin injury, added 40 in 93 balls for the eighth wicket before Fernando and Muralitharan sealed Sri Lanka's win.

Sri Lanka, who had started the day on 563 for five after centuries from Thilan Samaraweera (142) and Mahela Jayawardene (134) on the third day, added a further 65 runs in 49 minutes before declaring.

The first two Tests were drawn.

First Published: Dec 21, 2003 14:03 IST