COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — England claimed a hard-fought 42-run win over Sri Lanka in the third test with a day to spare Monday to complete a 3-0 whitewash.
Chasing a target of 327 at Sinhalese Sports Club, Sri Lanka was reduced to 226-9 but the last wicket pair of captain Suranga Lakmal (11) and Malinda Pushpakumara (42) shared a 58-run stand off 75 balls to delay the final result.
Despite tea being extended by 30 minutes, England failed to make the breakthrough as the last pair picked up runs. The victory eventually came in the first over after tea when Jack Leach trapped Lakmal leg before wicket.
Spinners Moeen Ali (4-92) and Leach (4-72) shared eight wickets between them to lead England to victory.
England had won the first test in Galle by 211 runs and the second in Pallekele by 57 runs to win their first series in Sri Lanka in 17 years.
England became only the third team to complete a 3-0 whitewash in Sri Lanka. Australia did it in 2004 and then India in 2017.
After a poor start at 54-4 on the third day, Sri Lanka fought back through a 102-run stand for the sixth wicket between Kusal Mendis (86) and Roshen Silva (65).
Leach produced a direct hit to run out Mendis after lunch to allow the tourists to take a firm grip on the game.
Silva worked a delivery from Adil Rashid on the leg-side and called for a second run but Mendis was slow to complete the first run and turned back reluctantly for the second. Leach, charging in from backward square leg, sensed the panic and threw down the stumps at the non-striker's end.
Mendis' 86 came off 129 deliveries with eight fours and one six.
England then claimed four wickets in the afternoon session.
Silva was the ninth wicket to fall as England successfully reviewed a leg before after umpire Sundaram Ravi had turned down an appeal off the bowling of Ali.
England's fielding has been top class throughout the series and the efforts of Keaton Jennings stood out at short leg. He completed six catches in the third test.
Pushpakumara was unbeaten on 42 off 40 deliveries with six fours and one six
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