England v Sri Lanka Second Test, Fourth Day: Sri Lankans restore some pride but England cruise to victory

England earn an unassailable lead in the Test series after another dominant performance against Sri Lanka.

England v Sri Lanka Second Test, Fourth Day: Sri Lankans restore some pride but England cruise to victory
Captain Cook became the youngest batsman to make 10,000 Test runs (photo: Getty Images)

After a spirited Sri Lankan second innings, England eventually secured victory in the Second Test at Durham with a day and nine wickets to spare, as captain Alastair Cook achieved the milestone of becoming the youngest player to make 10,000 Test runs.

Sri Lanka fight back through Chandimal and Herath

Restarting play at 309-5 and still 88 runs behind, Sri Lanka were fighting for pride with a victory out of sight as Dinesh Chandimal and Milinda Siriwardana returned to the crease. It looked like an early end was in sight as James Anderson removed Siriwardana without the batsman adding to his overnight score of 35 as he slashed at a ball outside of off stump, only to edge it into the grateful hands of Alex Hales.

Chandimal should have been heading back to the hutch not long after, as an inside edge off Anderson was put down by a previously in form Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps. That missed opportunity would prove frustrating for England as Chandimal and Rangana Herath began to build a partnership. Chandimal steadily made his way to three figures, his first century outside Asia, whilst the experienced Herath set about attacking the England bowlers on their home turf.

The pair took Sri Lanka into the lead just before lunch and their counter-attack continued after the break with a stroke of luck as James Vince dropped a swirling ball of Herath. The number eight went on to make 61 before Anderson eventually trapped him leg before wicket with his 450th Test wicket. The partnership was worth an excellent 116.

That wicket was to provide England with the surge they were seeking, as Anderson soon took his fifth wicket of the innings, delivering a beauty to knock Shaminda Eranga over for just one. Chandimal soon followed as an excellent 126 came to an end when he missed an attempted drive to be bowled by Stuart Broad.

Chris Woakes joined in on the act at the end of the innings as tailender Suranga Lakmal found Broad at mid-on to leave Sri Lanka 475 all out and England chasing just 79 to win. The tourists would have been left wondering what could have been if they had batted like that in the first innings. 

Dinesh Chandimal celebrates his sixth Test century (photo: Getty Images)
Dinesh Chandimal celebrates his sixth Test century (photo: Getty Images)

Cook makes 10,000 and leads his team to victory 

The attention turned to Alastair Cook who required just five runs to make 10,000 in Test cricket. He soon knocked those runs off without a problem, becoming just the twelfth and the youngster man to reach the milestone. Cook and Alex Hales took England almost halfway to the total at tea, only for the latter to be bowled by Siriwardana for eleven just after the break.

Cook then made another record as he passed Michael Atherton to become the highest run scorer as England captain, as he led by example alongside a cameo performance from Nick Compton to take England to a comfortable nine wicket victory. Cook fell three runs short of half century, but the day belonged to him and his England team as they clinched the Test series with a game to spare.