Friday, 30 March 2012 - 8:03
SL beat England in fist home victory without Murali



England lost their last six wickets for 31 as they collapsed to a 75-run defeat in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Chasing a record 340, England seemed well set as Jonathan Trott and Matt Prior took them to 233-4.

But Prior's dismissal to Rangana Herath for 41 sparked the latest collapse of what, for Andrew Strauss's side, has been a miserable winter.

England, the world's top Test side, has now lost four successive matches.

Just as in their 3-0 series defeat by Pakistan earlier this year, the failure of the batting order was again to blame, with players unwilling to play patiently on a pitch that seemed to hold few demons.

England, who lost their final five wickets for 12 runs, required 84 with three wickets remaining and it proved well beyond them.

The lower order quickly subsided with Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Monty Panesar all offering minimal resistance as Randiv and Herath ripped through.

Sri Lanka needed only seven balls after tea to take the final two wickets and record a first home victory since Test cricket's leading wicket taker Muttiah Muralitharan retired in July 2010.

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