SL vs ENG 2nd Test: Joe Root-led England need 164 to clean sweep hard-fought Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka vs England Series: England spin-twin bundled Sri Lanka to a mere 126 in their second innings. Joe Root-led English side needs 164 to clean sweep hard-fought Sri Lanka here on their home soil, need 123 more.

By Mohit Sindhu, Updated : Jan 25, 2021 14:48 IST
SL vs ENG 2nd Test: Joe Root-led England need 164 to clean sweep hard-fought Sri Lanka
England need 123 more to seal the series against the Lankans

SL vs ENG 2nd Test Day 4 Highlights: Tea Break - England need 118 runs

Sri Lanka - 381 & 126 (Lasith Embuldeniya 40; Bess 4/49, Leach 4/59)

England - 339/9 & 46/1 (Bairstow 17* Sibly 14* Embuldeniya 1/25)

The visitors England have absolutely bossed this session and are taking control as Sri Lanka has bundled out for a paltry 126 in their second innings of the second Test here in Galle. With 6 down at lunch, Sri Lanka looked in all sorts of trouble, but the youngster Embuldeniya played some attacking cricket to unsettle the English spin-twin. However, England skipper Joe Root brought himself into the attack and proved he can do no wrong in the ongoing Test series.

In reply to a mere 164, both openers start quite well by scoring runs at a brisk rate. But SL showstopper Embuldeniya nipped Crawley for just 13 and cut down his brief stay. Then, Bairstow and Sibley took charge and played some glorious drives. England's Tea will taste sweeter now as the visitors are cruising down to the required target on Day 4.

In the second innings, SL openers started off quite nicely, looking solid against the new ball. But once again the England spin-twins who didn't have anything to show for their efforts in the first innings turned things quickly, played around with the rough, and the batsmen just kept throwing their wickets. Embuldeniya was the top scorer for the hosts with a quickfire 40 to propel Sri Lanka to reach 126.

SL vs ENG Stats analysis

Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Mathews, Dickwella, skipper Chandimal too, all fell to unnecessary shots, maybe counter-attacking on the visitors but failed to do so on the moving day of the final Test being played in Galle. England's duo of Bess and Leach rattled Lankans and restricted them to a below-par score. Both spinners grabbed 4 wickets each with an impressive economy rate.

Earlier, Joe Root played another masterpiece - 186 off 309 balls and all other batters played around him but eventually got run-out in the final over of Day 3. England resumes at 339/9 early morning but only adds 5 to their overnight score and finished with 344 in the first innings.

For Sri Lanka, Embuldeniya reclaimed his best bowling figures (7 for 132) in Test cricket and his bowling could well be the deciding factor as the match has been progressed. Before that, Sri Lanka will have to knock off the last wicket and post a challenging total at the end of Day 3.

Moreover, the Lankans made a sensational come back from 7/2 inside the first half an hour after opting to bat and finished at 381 in their first innings. Mathews slammed his 11th Test hundred on the opening day of the second Test. Anderson leads the England side on the back of high-class bowling efforts in tricky conditions and finished with his impressive figures of 6/40 whereas Mark Wood took three wickets.