Five for Jack as England claim series win in Sri Lanka

Jack Leach’s first five-wicket haul for England helped his side to victory in the second Test against Sri Lanka at Kandy.

The win also sealed the series victory for England.

Jack and Moeen Ali shared nine wickets between them to bowl Sri Lanka out for 243 in their second innings, securing a series-clinching 57-run victory.

Sri Lanka began the fifth day at 226 for seven , needing 75 runs for a series-levelling victory. Niroshan Dickwella, resuming on 27, looked to play his usual variety of shots – sweeps and reverse-sweeps galore – despite the tense situation. However, he was able to add just eight runs to his score before a drive off Ali got his outside edge on the way to Ben Stokes at first slip.

Just a couple of balls later, Ali struck again, producing a ripping off-break to go past Suranga Lakmal’s defences.

Akila Dananjaya looked alright during his short stay at the crease but he was out of partners, left unbeaten on eight, as Malinda Pushpakumara became the final wicket to fall when he spooned back a catch to Leach – a perfect way for the left-arm spinner to get his maiden Test five-for.

After the match Jack said: “It’s a great feeling. These boys (Moeen and Adil Rashid) have helped me out so much. It was good to play on this wicket but, at other times, I felt it was tough.”

England skipper Joe Root said: “The impact Jack has had – the way he’s performed on these surfaces and shouldered the pressure despite not having a huge amount of experience – has been brilliant.”

Jack becomes the first Somerset bowler to claim five wickets in a Test since Richard Johnson against Zimbabwe in 2003.

Images courtesy of Getty Images

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