England stunned Sri Lanka to pull off one of the most extraordinary and unexpected victories in Test history at Cardiff on Monday. England came from nowhere to skittle out Sri Lanka for just 82 on the final afternoon to win the first Test by an innings and 14 runs.
England forced Sri Lanka to bat on the final day at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff after declaring on 496-5 for a 96-run lead. The match looked to be heading to a tame draw, especially since it had been truncated due to rain.
Chris Tremlett and Graeme Swann each took four wickets and Stuart Broad snagged two batsmen as Sri Lanka tied its fourth- lowest score in a Test innings. Swann took four for 16, while Tremlett ended with four for 40.
Sri Lanka lost eight wickets for 49 runs in 12 overs after the tea interval and its second innings lasted 24.4 overs.
Thisara Perera top-scored for the visitors with 20 runs, while Tharanga Paranavitana, Thilan Samaraweera, Farveez Maharoof and Suranga Lakmal failed to score.
Jonathan Trott earlier reached 203 for England, supported by Alastair Cook’s 133 and Ian Bell’s unbeaten 103. Eoin Morgan was on 14 when England declared.
The win was all the more commendable since England were without James Anderson, who was off the field due to the side strain. The injury is certain to rule him out of next week's Lord's Test.
Though, England were the superior side when play ended on day four it was hard to conceive of them forcing a result since so much time had been lost due to the inclement weather.
In the end, they won with time to spare.