Joe Root: Rare England away win a fantastic start

Dhananjaya de Silva will be hoping his veteran teammates can put together a big partnership. Pic Fox SportsMore

Dhananjaya de Silva will be hoping his veteran teammates can put together a big partnership. Pic Fox SportsMore

Angelo Matthews was once again the top scorer with a half-century.

"To be able to contribute to the team is just incredible", Foakes said after being named man-of-the-match.

Ben Stokes, Jennings' partner in their 107-run fourth-wicket partnership, shrugged off his early tentativeness to clobber three sixes in his 62 before Dilruwan Perara spun one past his bat to hit the top of the off-stump with a lovely delivery.

England's spin trio of Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Jack Leach was brilliant in the game. "After reducing them to 100 for five, if you had given only another 150 runs for the next five batters, we would have been still in the game at this stage".

Moeen Ali, out first ball in the first innings, fared little better in the second, driving straight to Rangana Herath at mid-on off Dilruwan Perera for three.

Moeen Ali was brilliant in the game.

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The highest fourth-innings total in Sri Lanka is 397 made by New Zealand in 2009 at Sinhalese Sports Club in a losing cause. This is the first win for England in Galle. "Sometimes when it's spinning you want them to go for the single and bring the catchers into play". It was very tough but it was good fun, I really enjoyed my wicket-keeping. I have been here a few times before and that helped in countering the spinners.

It was incredible to face their quality spinners. If Jonny Bairstow does return to fitness in Kandy next week, Foakes will surely not be the one to make way.

England's varied attack, which features three seamers and three spinners, probed persistently through the morning as captain Root employed attacking field placements. Three days into the test, the pitch is turning, and not in its favor. It got a lot easier to bat on as it dried out. "We have to look at a replacement or standby player for him". We have done our homework.

"Hopefully we can build on this and it's not just a one-off for us".

Earlier, a disciplined piece of bowling from Sri Lanka saw them pick up three wickets for 73 runs in the opening session. "That partnership between Jos (Buttler) and Foakesy (Ben Foakes) was vital after lunch (from 103-5 on day one) and from that point on we were pretty much in control of things". We fought hard, but we couldn't get the wickets at the end. "From there on we were chasing the game", he said. Batting is the biggest worry. "We need to discuss where it went wrong".

It is a very emotional day today. "We had a really good start in the first session but we couldn't capitalise on it". I would like to say sorry to him that we couldn't win and give him a good farewell.

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