England beat Sri Lanka by 42 runs in the third Test at the SSC, Colombo to claim the series 3-0, the second team to clean sweep Sri Lanka at home with Jack Leach claiming 4/72 and Moeen Ali picking 4/92.
England beat Sri Lanka by 42 runs in the third Test at the SSC, Colombo to claim the series 3-0, the second team to clean sweep Sri Lanka at home with Jack Leach claiming 4/72 and Moeen Ali picking 4/92.

England beat Sri Lanka by 42 runs in the third Test at the SSC, Colombo to claim the series 3-0, the second team to clean sweep Sri Lanka at home with Jack Leach claiming 4/72 and Moeen Ali picking 4/92.

Sri Lanka’s number 11 batsman Malinda Pushpakumara hit an unbeaten 42 to keep England waiting for a landmark till tea, but Leach trapped Sri Lanka’s stand-in captain Suranga Lakmal in the first over after the break for 11.

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Chasing a daunting 327 for victory to prevent England scoring a series whitewash, the hosts were 284 for nine at tea on day four. Pushpakumara and Lakmal had put on 58 runs for the last wicket when the break was called.

England completed their first overseas sweep in a series of three or more Tests since Ted Dexter’s England won 3-0 in New Zealand in 1963.

Kusal Mendis, who hit a gritty 86, and Roshen Silva, who made 65, put on 102 runs for the sixth wicket to resist a persistent opposition spin attack.

Leach broke the dangerous stand with a one-handed pick up and a bullet throw at the non-striker’s end that got Mendis run out. Silva hit a fighting half-century but was finally trapped lbw off Ali.