Rare away success for Sri Lanka


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Sri Lanka, with this win, have now won seven Test matches outside the subcontinent, excluding Tests in Zimbabwe. The margin of victory in this Test - 100 runs - is the narrowest in terms of runs for Sri Lanka in these countries. They have won five Tests by larger margins and another by 10 wickets. Three of these seven wins have come in England, two in New Zealand and one each in South Africa and West Indies. These seven wins have come in 57 Tests, which makes their win percentage 12.3%. India and Pakistan, the other subcontinental giants, have win percentages of 12.4% (22 wins in 177 Tests) and 21.4% (31 wins in 145 Tests) respectively in these conditions. The overall records of India and Sri Lanka, in terms of win percentages, are now quite similar.
Sri Lanka's performance in this series was largely due to Kumar Sangakkara, who scored 342 runs over the two Tests, and became the first Sri Lankan batsman to score 300-plus Test runs during a tour of England. This is not for a lack of opportunity, because Sri Lanka's last three tours to England have included three Tests. Sangakkara also overtook Saurav Ganguly to score the most runs by an overseas batsman in a two-match series (or who played only two matches in a longer series) in England.
Mahela Jayawardene contributed 174 runs as well, including a couple of half-centuries. Jayawardene and Sangakkara have now scored exactly 11493 runs each and are joint sixth on the all-time list of highest run-scorers in Tests. During the second Test, Sangakkara overtook Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who was previously seventh on the list. It is also worth noting that Alistair Cook moved past Geoffrey Boycott to go fifth on the list of leading run scorers in Tests for England.
Jayawardene was the only Sri Lanka captain to have scored a hundred in an away Test victory, in a country other than Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Angelo Mathews has now become the second man to have achieved this feat and also the first Sri Lanka captain to have scored a hundred and taken more than one wicket in a Test win, whether at home or away.
Sangakkara came into this series on the back of three consecutive 50-plus scores against Bangladesh. That sequence has now been extended to seven consecutive scores. Sangakkara's batting average of 90.50 since the start of 2013, is the highest for any batsman in this period. He has scored 1448 runs in 17 innings during this phase, which is second only to David Warner who has scored 1484 runs, but in 32 innings.
Jayawardene took two catches in this match and thus went past Ricky Ponting on the all-time list of outfield players who have taken the most catches in Test cricket. Jayawardene has now taken 197 catches in Test cricket, going past Ponting who had taken 196. Jayawardene is all set to join an elite two-man list of fielders who have taken more than 200 catches in Test cricket, namely Rahul Dravid (210) and Jacques Kallis (200).
Jayawardene bowled six overs in the fourth innings of this Test. This is the most number of overs that Jayawardene has bowled in a Test outside the subcontinent. He had bowled six overs in an innings on one previous occasion as well, against New Zealand at Wellington in April 2005. Since 22 August 2009, Jayawardene had bowled only one over in Test cricket.
Dhammika Prasad's five wicket haul was the 31st by a Sri Lanka pace bowler in away Tests. This is only the second instance of a Sri Lanka seamer taking five wickets in an innings in England, the fourth instance of taking a five-wicket haul in the fourth innings of an away Test.