A jubilant but tired Joe Root praised his spinners after England had completed their first series win in Sri Lanka since 2001 – and admitted he had managed only three hours’ sleep before the final morning of a fluctuating second Test.
Jack Leach, who claimed the final Sri Lankan wicket to wrap up a superb 57-run win and finish, combined with Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and even Root himself to collect 19 scalps between them. Only Ben Stokes’s run-out of Dimuth Karunaratne in the first innings prevented a clean sweep.
And while Root was full of kind words for the way his batsmen had taken the attack to Sri Lanka’s slow bowlers, he also reserved a special pat on the back for his own trio of spinners.
England captain Joe Root praised his three spinners after clinching victory over Sri Lanka
(L-R) Jack Leach, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid are the spinners who did the damage in Kandy
‘The three of them complement each other beautifully,’ he said. ‘Jack gives a lot of control, and the fact that they all spin the ball differently does help.