ngland needed just 36 minutes on the final morning in Galle to wrap up a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka, with Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence sharing 62 to see them home.
England resumed on a hot final morning on 38 for three, chasing 74, and even with such a small target remaining on the final morning, there was still time for a scare or two.
Lawrence survived an lbw review in the first over, with DRS revealing a very faint glove. Two overs later, with Lawrence on 10 and England needing 27, another lbw shout against him was not reviewed; it would have dismissed him. But otherwise it was plain-sailing for the England pair.
Bairstow, who swept four (just the second boundary of the partnership) to hit the winning runs, finished on 35 and Lawrence had 21.
But Sri Lanka’s batting was unrecognisable in the second innings, with Lahiru Thirimanne making a century and enjoying big partnerships with Kusal Perera and Angelo Mathews, who was last man out. Sri Lanka had made 359.
England had been set just 74 to win, but made a calamitous start, losing openers Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley to Lasith Embuldeniya – the pick of Sri Lanka’s bowlers throughout the Test – and skipper Root was run out in farcical fashion.
They were 14 for three, with men round the bat and the pressure on. Bairstow and Lawrence made it through to stumps, and got the job done in the morning.
Having won the fourth consecutive win overseas on the spin, England face Sri Lanka in the Second Test, also in Galle, on Friday.