England knock-off tricky Lankan target to win 1st Test by 7 wickets

GALLE, Jan 18: Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence held their nerve in a 62-run unbroken stand to guide England to a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Monday on the fifth and final morning of the series-opening test.
England ensured it didn’t have any more hiccups in erasing the remaining 36 required on the last day after Sri Lanka had set up a tricky 74-run target on a turning wicket.
England had slumped to 14-3 late on the fourth evening, included a crucial run-out of its captain Joe Root for just 1, before Bairstow and Lawrence combined to usher the tourists to 76-3. Bairstow remained unbeaten on 35 off 65 balls and Lawrence, who hit a gritty half century in the first innings of debut, finished 21 not out.
Sri Lanka had the chance of a breakthrough after England resumed on 38-3. Bairstow may have been out lbw off Dilruwarn Perera’s off-spin in the third over, but stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal didn’t go for the television referral.
Bairstow eventually sealed the victory with a boundary when he swept Perera to square leg.
The England captain praised the effort of his two spinners – Dom Bess and Jack Leach – who snared 14 wickets between them, each bagging a five-wicket haul.
The second test of the two-match series will also be played at Galle, starting Friday. (AP)

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