England hold nerve to beat Sri Lanka

Second Test, day five (stumps)England 460 & 97-2 beat Sri Lanka 275 & 278 by 8 wicketsCOLOMBO - Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen kept their nerve to lead England to victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test. After dismissing the hosts for 278 - Graeme Swann taking 6-106 - England had a brief wobble in pursuit of 94.
Andrew strauss (left) and his team mates cherished a series-squaring win.
Andrew strauss (left) and his team mates cherished a series-squaring win.

Second Test, day five (stumps)

England 460 & 97-2 beat Sri Lanka 275 & 278 by 8 wickets

COLOMBO - Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen kept their nerve to lead England to victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test. After dismissing the hosts for 278 - Graeme Swann taking 6-106 - England had a brief wobble in pursuit of 94.

Andrew Strauss was bowled in the first over of the run chase, with Jonathan Trott also falling cheaply.

But Cook (49no) and Pietersen, with a rapid 42, wrapped up the victory which levels the two-match series and keeps England top of the world rankings.

“This was a good Test played in very difficult, tiring conditions and England came out on top because they had the guts and determination - and they’ve played some very good cricket.”

England’s run-chase was subject to trial by spin, with the Sri Lankans keen to prey on any bad memories from Abu Dhabi when Strauss’s side were bowled out for 72 against Pakistan.

And there must surely have been some butterflies in the tourists’ dressing room when the England skipper was bowled by Tillakaratne Dilshan after playing an indecisive shot to a turning delivery.

The usually reliable Jonathan Trott was also removed, with 63 runs still needed for victory, but Cook and Pietersen took the game by the scruff of the neck to lead England to their first Test victory of a difficult winter.

Fresh from his scintillating 151 in the first innings, Pietersen took only 28 balls to score his 42 runs and he sealed victory with a six.

It means England remain at the top of the world Test rankings, heading into their summer challenges against the West Indies and the team desperate to take their number one crown, South Africa.

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