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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 December, 2003, 10:42 GMT
Sri Lanka thrash England
Third Test, Colombo, day four
Sri Lanka 628-8 dec beat England 265 & 148 by an innings and 215 runs

Hashan Tillakaratne
England slumped to their heaviest Test defeat for 30 years as a dominant Sri Lankan team clinched a 1-0 series win.

Michael Vaughan's were all out for just 148, their lowest ever score against Sri Lanka, who had declared with a massive lead of 363.

Mark Butcher (37) and Andrew Flintoff (30) offered a modicum of resistance.

But spin master Muttiah Muralitharan ended the match by bowling James Kirtley to finish with figures of 4-63 and a series haul of 26 wickets.

There was a frenetic start to the day's proceedings as Sri Lanka added 65 to their overnight total in 10 overs for the loss of three wickets.

Ashley Giles frustrated Tillakaratne Dilshan with his leg stump line and then bowled him for 83 as he charged down the wicket in a bid to break the shackles.

Giles was involved again as he deflected a Upul Chandana drive onto the stumps at the bowler's end to run out Chaminda Vaas for nine.

Chandana's bid for a maiden Test century ended on 76 when he was caught at cover by Vaughan off Kirtley, but there was still time for Muralitharan to enliven proceedings with two sixes in one over from Giles before the declaration.

England needed a good start but they did not get it as Trescothick sparred limply at the final ball of Vaas's opening over and was caught at gully.

Vaughan followed for 14 as Dilhara Fernando deceived him with a well disguised slower ball and Sanath Jayasuriya did not have to move at cover to take an easy catch.

The decline gathered pace after lunch when Nasser Hussain (11) was adjudged to have got a thin edge to Muralitharan's wrong 'un.

Innings and 332 runs v Australia, Brisbane 1946-47
Innings and 226 runs v West Indies, Lord's 1973
Innings and 215 runs v Sri Lanka, Colombo 2003
Innings and 200 runs v Australia, Melbourne 1936-37
562 runs v Australia,
The Oval 1934
425 runs v West Indies, Old Trafford 1976
409 runs v Australia,
Lord's 1948

Butcher and Graham Thorpe added 38 for the fourth wicket before Kumar Sangakkara achieved a rare double by stumping Thorpe and Gareth Batty off succesive deliveries.

Thorpe's dismissal for 19 was disappointing as he was beaten all ends up by a ball which turned between bat and pad, while the TV umpire was needed to confirm Batty's exit.

The game was effectively up for England as Jayasuriya bowled Butcher with a beauty and then pinned Chris Read lbw as four wickets went down for two runs.

Giles helped Flintoff add 40 for the eighth wicket, the biggest partnership of the innings, before an inswinging yorker from Fernando brought it to an end.

Flintoff hit six fours despite a groin injury which had kept him off the field in the morning, but became Fernando's third victim when he gave a catch to Sangakkara as he tried to run a rising ball down the third man.

Fittingly, however, the final act was left to Muralitharan, who now has 485 Test wickets to his name.

Sri Lanka: S Jayasuriya, M Atapattu, K Sangakkara (wkt), M Jayawardene, T Dilshan, H Tillakaratne (capt), T Samaraweera, U Chandana, C Vaas, Dilhara Fernando, M Muralitharan.

England: M Vaughan (capt), M Trescothick, M Butcher, N Hussain, G Thorpe, A Flintoff, C Read (wkt), G Batty, A Giles, J Kirtley, J Anderson.

Links to more Sri v Eng stories


BBC Five Live's Jonathan Agnew
"The batsmen played wearily and with little obvious enthusiasm"

England captain Michael Vaughan
"The better team throughout the series came out on top"

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