The first-ever Test series in the subcontinent after the pandemic break isn’t something to remember for the subcontinent team who got whitewashed 0-2. Sri Lanka’s performance in this series was like a Dubai skyline, starting with a team collapse and ending with another team collapse with the bat. However, they got two decent innings in the second innings of the first Test and the first innings of the second Test – thanks to Thirimanne and Mathews. For England, it was all about Joe Root with the bat, who also took their last two wickets of this rubber. England fetched crucial 120 points in these two weeks, and now the top-4 teams – India, New Zealand, Australia, and England are very closely placed on the table.
Here’s a look at the stats from the second Test.
3 – Angelo Mathews recorded his third Test hundred against England earlier in the match, which is now the joint most hundreds he scored against a team in his Test career – along with India. However his last hundred against them was back in 2014, and he had to wait for 13 more innings in between.
2162 – Total runs by Niroshan Dickwella in his Test career, who recorded his career-best of 92 in this match. Only Shane Warne scored more runs than him without a hundred (3154 runs). His 16 fifties without any hundred are the joint highest in Test cricket, tied with Chetan Chauhan.
1 – Joe Root becomes the first-ever visiting captain to score 400+ runs in a Test series against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. Before Root in this series, the closest was Stephen Fleming who scored 376 runs in the series in 2003. He also became only the second visiting captain to score multiple hundreds in a Test series in Sri Lanka, after Sachin Tendulkar in 1997.
3 – These 426 runs scored by Joe Root in the series are the third-highest by any captain in a two-Test series. Only Mahela Jayawardene scored more runs than Root in a two-Test series away from home while captaining.
Most runs in a Test series by a captain (max: 2 matches)
535 – Brendon McCullum v IND in 2014
510 – Mahela Jayawardene v SA in 2006
426 – Joe Root v SL in 2021
419 – Marvan Atapattu v ZIM in 2004
388 – Kane Williamson v PAK in 2020-21
(Side note – Virat Kohli scored 449 runs in the 2 matches he captained in 2014-15 series against Australia)
1 – Dom Sibley becomes the first visiting opener with a fourth innings 50+ score in a winning cause at Galle. Among home players, Dimuth Karunaratne (twice) and Tillakaratne Dilshan have fifty-plus knocks in the 4th innings in a successful chase at Galle.
6 – England’s current streak of winning matches against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, which is now the highest by any visiting team. India has won five consecutive matches against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, after their defeat at Galle in 2015. Both the streaks are currently unbeaten and have a good chance of becoming bigger.
4 – This is only the fourth instance of a Sri Lankan bowler taking 10 or more wickets in a losing Test match. Out of them, three are at Galle. Muralitharan did it twice, against Australia in 2004 and against England in 2006. Ajantha Mendis is the other player, whose match figures of 10/209 against India in 2008 went in vain.
6 – Joe Root is the sixth player with multiple 180+ scores in a Test series for England, and the first among them to do it in a two-match series. The last of them was almost ten years ago, by Alastair Cook in the 2010-11 Ashes. Alastair Cook along with Hammond (both his instances) have achieved in away series, while the rest of them have done it at home.
Most 180+ scores by England players in a Test series
2 –Wally Hammond v AUS in 1928-29
2 – Wally Hammond v NZ in 1933
2 – Bill Edrich v SA in 1947
2 – Michael Vaughan v IND in 2002
2 – Alastair Cook v AUS in 2010-11
2 – Joe Root v SL in 2021
3 – This is the third time England whitewashed Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka – including both their recent series. Before they won 2-0 in the current series, they have also won 3-0 in the Test series in 2018. The other whitewash was in 1982, in a one-off Test.
40 – Runs scored by Lasith Embuldeniya in the second innings, apart from taking 10 wickets in this match. It is the highest score by any Sri Lankan No.10 or lower batsman at Galle. The only No.10 or lower batsman to score more at this ground, is Zulfiqar Babar who scored 56 against Sri Lanka in 2015.
126 – After scoring a healthy 381 in the first innings, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 126 in the third innings, which completely turned the match in favor of the visitors. This score of 126 is the lowest ever score by Sri Lanka in their second innings of a Test at Galle. It is the second-lowest all-out total by Sri Lanka at Galle and the eleventh lowest by any team overall. In the below list, both the second and third entries belong to the current series.
Lowest totals by Sri Lanka at a Galle Test
105 – SL v AUS in 2011 (inns 2)
126 – SL v ENG in 2021 (inns 3)
135 – SL v ENG in 2021 (inns 1)
136 – SL v IND in 2008 (inns 4)
154 – SL v AUS in 2004 (inns 4)
381 – Sri Lanka’s total in the first innings, which is their second-highest total to lose a home Test match. The only time they scored more runs in the first innings of a home Test and went on to lose it was when they started with 425 against India at PSS Colombo in 2010.
1 – The pacers James Anderson, Sam Curran, and Mark Wood combined for ten wickets in the first innings. In the sharpest possible contrast, the spinners Dom Bess, Jack Leach, and Joe Root combined to take ten wickets in the second innings. This is the first such occurrence for any team in the 143-year history of Test cricket.
2 – This is only the second time a fourth-innings target above 100 was successfully chased at Galle International Stadium, and the first time by a visiting side. The only other instance was not far back – by Sri Lanka against New Zealand in 2019.
3 – Out of the three instances a visiting team chased 100+ target at Galle, 2 of them were in this series itself. While England was shaky in a chase of 76 in the first Test, they were relatively more comfortable in chasing 164 today.
0 – Runs conceded by Joe Root by picking two wickets, which is the best bowling figures for any player with exactly 2 wickets. However, Richie Benaud took 3 wickets for no run against India at Delhi in 1959.