FIRST TEST RATINGS: Root shines but there are ominous signs for Sibley

FIRST TEST RATINGS: Joe Root’s double century was one of the great innings by an England batsman as he racked up another win as captain against Sri Lanka… but Dom Sibley had an ominous taster of things to come

  • England sealed a routine seven-wicket victory in the first Test over Sri Lanka
  • Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence ticked off the final 36 runs on Monday in Galle
  • England captain Joe Root led by example as he racked up another Test victory
  • Dom Sibley had a Test to forget, with just six runs to his name in two innings 
  • Lahiru Thirimanne produced a gutsy century in the second innings for Sri Lanka 

England cruised to victory in the first Test over Sri Lanka in Galle, after Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence guided Joe Root’s side over the line to a seven-wicket win on Monday.

Following a brief scare near the close of play on the fourth day after a rush of quickfire England wickets, Bairstow and Lawrence knocked off the final 36 runs in Galle to put the tourists 1-0 up ahead of the second and final Test – starting on Friday.

Following the emphatic victory, Sportsmail’s Lawrence Booth has rated both England and Sri Lanka’s players for their efforts during the first Test…

Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence saw England over the line as they beat Sri Lanka in first Test


Joe Root – 9: Was heading for the perfect 10 until he was run out on a chaotic fourth evening. But his 228 was one of the great innings by an England batsman, full of pinpoint sweeps and decisive footwork. Still misses the occasional trick in the field, but is racking up the Test wins.

Stuart Broad – 8: Three previous Test trips to Sri Lanka had brought him three wickets at 83. But he doubled his tally on the first day to set England up, and was unhittable in the second innings. A match analysis of 26-14-34-3 was masterful.

Jos Buttler – 8: His best game with the gloves, and with Foakes breathing down his neck. Pulled off his first Test stumping, and a smart catch to dismiss Mendis in the second innings. Made a useful 30 too.

Dan Lawrence – 8: His international debut produced 94 high-class runs for once out on a turning track – and the sense that England have uncovered a batsman with the nous and the shots to play Test cricket. The dolly he dropped on the first morning can be put down to butterflies.

England captain Joe Root was in a class of his own with a superb double century in Galle

Jonny Bairstow – 7.5: Played two nerve-settling innings, adding 114 with Root in the first, then an unbeaten 52 with Lawrence in the second after England threatened to stumble over a small target – although Root won’t thank him for his part in the run-out.

Dom Bess – 7: Match figures of eight for 130 didn’t tell the whole tale. His first-innings five for 30 was freakish, and he was made to work harder in the second. But the wickets of Chandimal and Dickwella were crucial in prising open Sri Lanka. Still needs to work on a consistent length.

Sam Curran – 7: Given the new ball in search of any early swing, but instead made two important incisions with the old ball, removing both openers to break the back of Sri Lanka’s second-innings resistance. Will face competition from Chris Woakes for a place in Friday’s second Test.

Jack Leach – 7: Wasn’t flattered by figures of one for 55 in the first innings, and looked understandably rusty on the third day. But found his groove to the right-handers, and finished with his second Test five-for, both in Sri Lanka.

Jos Buttler produced his best game with the gloves with pressure on him from Ben Foakes

Mark Wood – 6: Wicketless, but energetic – and his extra pace proved useful for Root when he wanted to disturb the batsmen’s rhythm. May miss out on the second Test: a long history of injuries means he needs looking after.

Zak Crawley – 3: Back down to earth after he finished the summer with 267 against Pakistan. He chose the wrong ball to attack in the first innings, then poked to gully in the second like a rabbit in a headlight. One to chalk down to experience.

Dom Sibley – 2: Welcome to Asia. After plenty of runs in South Africa and England last year, Sibley was given an ominous taster of the first of six Tests on the subcontinent. Two innings, six runs, one horrible leave. And a bad drop when Thirimanne was only 51 runs into his 111.

But for Dom Sibley, it was a Test to forget after putting on just six runs for England

Sri Lanka

Lahiru Thirimanne – 8: Made up for a lame dismissal to leg slip in the first innings with a gutsy century – his first in Tests for nearly eight years.

Lasith Embuldeniya – 7: Still only 24, he looks like a spinner Sri Lanka can base their attack around for the next decade. Caused England serious jitters on the fourth evening.

Angelo Mathews – 7: Almost made a game of it with his second-innings 71, but his first-day slice to slip summed up Sri Lanka’s carelessness.

Kusal Perera – 7: Threatened twice, but twice gave it away: a reverse sweep to slip, followed by a carve to deep backward point. England, though, should be wary.

Asitha Fernando – 6: Bowling seam in Sri Lanka can be thankless, but he found himself on a hat-trick in England’s first innings after removing Buttler and Curran.

Dilruwan Perera – 6: Late wickets massaged his figures in the first innings, when his off-breaks lacked consistency, and he couldn’t match Embuldeniya’s menace in the second. 

Lahiru Thirimanne recorded a gutsy century in the second innings to frustrate England briefly

Dinesh Chandimal – 5: Sri Lanka’s captain couldn’t quite set the example: got to 20 twice, before falling to the spinners.

Niroshan Dickwella – 5: Can be dangerous, but never quite got going – except behind the stumps, where he rarely stops.

Wanindu Hasaranga – 4: His leg-breaks were milked for four an over in the first innings, and Chandimal barely trusted him in the second. A good googly, though.

Kusal Mendis – 4: Deserves a few points for surviving 102 minutes in the second innings, which he began with the prospect of a record-equalling five Test ducks in a row.

Dasun Shanaka – 4: Hard to see what a seam-bowling all-rounder is doing in the side at No 8 in these conditions. Made 23 and four, and bowled seven overs. A wasted space.

Dasun Shanaka was ineffective, struggling with the bat while only bowling seven overs in total

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