Cardiff, May 31: Sri Lanka suffered a humiliating innings and 14 run defeat at the hands of England in the final session of the first Test between the countries here in the Welsh capital of Cardiff as they were shot out for their lowest total on English soil yesterday.
The game looked to be heading for a dull draw with more than three hours of play in the final day lost due to rain. England declared their first innings on 496 for five with a lead of 96 runs leaving the Sri Lankans 55 overs to survive and the tourists collapsed in dramatic fashion as the English started off the summer on a high note.
The final day's proceedings was watched by just over 100 spectators as no one expected a result in the Test especially with England down to three bowlers due to the injury of James Anderson. Chris Tremlett and Graeme Swann, however, set it up for England before Stuart Broad returned to pick up the last two wickets as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 82 runs inside 25 overs.
The wicket looked still placid and there's no reason why an experienced batting line up should have seen through the session and a half that was left in the game, but they put themselves under tremendous pressure and eventually were bowled out for their second lowest total against England in Tests and the fourth lowest total in their history to gift the hosts a 1-0 advantage in the three match series.
Tremlett dismissed openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Tharanga Paranavithana in the space of three deliveries as 12 overs were bowled before tea. After the break mayhem followed as the tourists were bowled out with 30 overs to spare in the day.
After tea, Sri Lanka resumed still 63 runs behind and the procession of wickets started when Andrew Strauss caught Mahela Jayawardene at first slip to give Tremlett his third wicket to reduce the Sri Lankans to 33 for three.Then Swann joined the party claiming four wickets in ten balls for just two runs in one of the worst batting collapses in the history of Test cricket.
Thisara Perera and Ajantha Mendis delayed the inevitable adding 30 runs for the ninth wicket in quick time, but Perera never looked comfortable against the fast bowlers. Broad was brought in from the Cathedra Road End replacing Tremlett and he had Perera brilliantly caught by Ian Bell at short leg once again exposing the left-hander's weakness against the short ball.
This was just the second Test Match Cardiff was hosting and England seem to be enjoying playing here. Before this the only Test played in the Welsh capital was against Australia two summers ago during the Ashes series and England's last pair of James Anderson and Monty Panesar battled for 37 minutes to save the game. England went onto regain the Ashes that time.
Earlier, England resuming from the overnight total of 491 for five batted for just two overs and declared once Ian Bell reached his 13th Test hundred. Bell, who had been 98 overnight, reached three figures with a boundary off Perera.The teams now move to London, where Lord's will host the second Test Match of the three match series.