Time to say thank you and good morning, I guess, but it's hard to say. England's ruthless efficiency has deprived you not only of an exciting ending but by Rob Smyth's sweet sound that would take another half day. Nevertheless, it's England for you: we can not even trust them to choke.
I will be back to the third Test on Friday, November 23, when Sri Lanka, who was very decent until their late fall, is playing pride, and England will have a couple of interesting choices to make. Sam Curran has a side post, which should open the door to Jonny Bairstow or Stuart Broad, and there is a case to give Olly Stone a shot instead of Jimmy Anderson. Jimmy was more significant here as a batsman than a bowler. It was so good the three spiders did.
Match players, Correctly, Root is. "We were very good for the whole game," he said, suspending that England released things against the end of Sri Lanka's first innings. "Sometimes under pressure" – it's more like that – "but I could not be more proud … We've come out saying we wanted to play a bold, brave cricket, and we've been working very hard." is the unequivocal sound of today's athletes, always eager to emphasize their industry, even when they have only found their inner buccaneer.
"We are not the finished article," root continues. "We want to come to No.1 in the world." England started the series on No.3, well operated by India but only shortly after South Africa, so this victory should take them to No.2. It's Roots first series to win from home, no significant improvement after the long cruel winter of 2017-18, when his team played seven Tests in Australia and New Zealand and won no one.
Someone else deserves credit For this famous victory is a player England never chooses in Test Cricket – Eoin Morgan. Joe Roots captaincy, suddenly so much better here, has been in Morning's image: worried, attacking, willing to leave a top player or two and lead from the front. England's fastest painter in this series has been Root himself, with a strike of 75, followed by his alternate (and Morgan), Jos Buttler, at 70. It has been a performance that England fans, usually so obsessed with anxiety and irony, can were wholeheartedly proud of.
So, the accounts. England won 57 runs. Sri Lanka ended with quite a collapse, from 221-5 to 243 all out. No England striker took a wicket, for the third time in 141 years of Test cricket. Moeen Ali has 14 wickets in the series, on average 21; Leach has 13, at 19; Adil Rashid has seven at 30. You can look at these numbers and say that Rashid has been the weak link, but his scalp is often the big one, and the three so different have formed an excellent device. The point is that they have taken 18 wickets in this match, on top of 16 last week. England has won a series of just one wicket from the great Jimmy Anderson (on average 105).
And now it's over to Brian Withington. "Not with a blow …" he begins. "Is it churlish of me to admit that I feel a bit tricked by the special charge? Little as when it turns out that the plot claimed the existence of an identical twin." Ha. "Good for Leach to pick it up though." Yes, he's a troupe. He did not really shake everything so well this morning, maybe tense and without sleep, but he took the return catch with his usual song-froid.
England has not only won a series in Sri Lanka for the first time since Nasser Hussain's 2001 days. They also won a day series, 3-1, and a single T20, so it's a clean sweep in a country where many visiting teams win nothing at all.
In addition to Root, the person deserving of great credit is Ed Smith, who took over as national voter six months ago. He brought Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Adil Rashid, as well as some more orthodox choices. He brought back Moeen Ali. He sent to Ben Foakes when Jonny Bairstow took on football injury. England's sweeping victory began with Smith's new broom.
A triumph for mess
This has been a real team effort, with runs from the new opening pair, run down from the order of Sam Curran, some amazing fields led by Foakes and Stokes and the three spins – a trick that has often failed for England – represents a highly effective team within a team. But most credit belongs to Joe Root, who has cut off on the side far better in this series than anyone else, giving his players a license to excitement and still found energy to create the match's best and greatest innings.
Gate!!!! Pushpakumara c & b Leach 1 (SL 243 all out)
That's all! Pushpakumara pushes back to Leach, it looks like a ball, but Leach knows it's not. Omps control, Leach has his five-for, and England has his series win. A big achievement.
73th over: Sri Lanka 241-9 (Dananjaya 7, Pushpakumara 0) A maiden from Moeen, the man of the morning.
72th across Sri Lanka 241-9 (Dananjaya 7, Pushpakumara 0) A single to Dananjaya from Leach as he shovels between the two prisoners breathes down the neck of the gas side. And a close blunt like Pushpakumara runs in thin air, and Foake's whips nicely on the belts. SL needs 60, which is what England's last couple put on, several weeks ago, in the first match of this match.
71th across Sri Lanka 240-9 (Dananjaya 6, Pushpakumara 0) Well, Moeen seems to have settled it. It's a double wicket virgin and that's all over now, the question was about who gets a five-for-Moeen or Leach.
"Morning Tim." Morning Brian Withington. Are you ever sleeping? "What a good word" dénouement "is, and how appropriate for the culmination of this match of turns (and mandatory Buttler in a leading role). Wondering how much Joe Root will need to tax his little gray cells in the process?" This, as you will be discovered, written before the killer over.
Gate!!! Lakmal b Ali 0 (SL 240-9)
One more! The stand-in captain Lakmal is barely in the week before missing a beauty from Moeen, who walks around the wicket and gets his off-break to spin back heavily. The hard-earned win is so close that you can smell it.
Gate!! Dickwella c Stokes b Ali 35 (SL 240-8)
The big! Dickwella does not choose to sweep for once and looks for the cover. Moen fools him in the flight, and the edge goes into Stokess super handsome hands. England is a permanent favorite now.
70th over: Sri Lanka 240-7 (Dickwella 35, Dananjaya 6) Jack Leach is bowling very full, bringing him a wicket tonight when he hit Perera on his toe. It takes almost another as England gets up for another LBW, but Dickwella, who seemed to have missed his favorite mistake, had actually got some bat on it.
69th over: Sri Lanka 236-7 (Dickwella 32, Dananjaya 5) Today's first big swinger, from Moeen, is a touch too short and wide to be threatening. But perhaps Dananjaya, who flails in the next ball, is discussing it and almost gives a catch for extra cover. They are ashamed of two. The target is already down from 75 in the beginning to 65 now. It's quietly moving.
68th over: Sri Lanka 232-7 (Dickwella 31, Dananjaya 2) Just the one from Leach's over. "No alarm yet for Sri Lanka," said Mike Atherton. They need 69 now.
67th over: Sri Lanka 231-7 (Dickwella 30, Dananjaya 2) Joe Root, who makes his first major choice in the morning, chooses Moeen Ali instead of Adil Rashid. No surprise there. Dickwella sweeps his first ball, in fact, reverses it, for a single and sweeps again later on. Dananjaya is not a sweeper, so he keeps the bat upright and looks for the tip in the gap at the point. SL must be both calm and busy, and so far they have been.
66th over: Sri Lanka 228-7 (Dickwella 28, Dananjaya 1) Leach finishes his game, and there is no direct play. Dananjaya goes off the mark with a push to the leg, and Dickwella opens his account with a splash backwards. SL needs 73.
Who has slept? Michael Vaughan barely slept during the 2005-box matches, but still won the series. Jack Leach may not have received more than a couple of flashes last night, because he only finds himself in the third Test, with four for 73 so far in the innings. He also knows that he will bow straight because he has four balls left on his over. Does he have peace, nerve and desire? I suspect he has.
Preamble: the detououement
If it's worth going up at four in the morning, then this is it. After four absorbing days in the match, chances are that England will secure the last three wickets and put in a test series in Sri Lanka for the first time in 17 years. But Sri Lanka could make a series of it by adding another 75 to round off one of the major challenges. And the rain might be insisting on drawing – although the forecast at myweather2.com is decent for the first half-day, which should be more than enough.
For Sri Lanka, it's about Niroshan Dickwella, who has rattled up 27 out of 30 balls by playing Jos Buttler Road – if it's doubtful, swipe if not in doubt, reverse sweep. He could lift his team over the line with a little more than a blocker at the other end. For England, it's a spin-triumvirate that has shared 31 wickets in this series – to seamers & # 39; three, and Jimmy Anderson's one.
The spins have formed such a team within a team as none of them have an individual five-for but Jack Leach only needs another wicket to change it after destroying the top order with the new ball last morning – or as Tanya Aldred memorably put it on OBO, take three before cornflakes. Joe Root, when he hung the breakfast menu at his hotel door last night, has certainly ordered the same again. For fans, hoping for a bit of drama with their marmalade, the temptation is to dream of a win with a break or two runs. Or even a tie.
The game is because you start early due to the rain yesterday, so join me at 9.45 local time, which is 4.15 AM GMT. Three hours before the sunrise. Yes, we are all crazy.