Saturday, 07 April 2012 - 16:17
Cook guides England to victory after Swann sets tourists up to retain No 1 ranking



England secured their first win of the year and ensured they would start the summer on top of the world rankings as they defeated Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the second Test.

Chasing 94 to end a four-match losing streak, England did not allow memories of their fourth-innings capitulation for 72 against Pakistan earlier in the year affect them.

Graeme Swann had earlier taken two wickets, finishing with six in the innings and match figures of 10 for 181. Play resumed with Sri Lanka 33 ahead on 218 for six, with England eventually claiming the final four wickets for 60 runs.

It took the entire morning session and there was no shortage of talking points - with dropped catches, a DRS reprieve for Mahela Jayawardene and a frustrating last-wicket partnership that added 28 to the England chase.

Swann, whose double strike in the penultimate over last night tipped the balance of the match in England's favour, almost struck with the fourth ball of the morning.

Captain Andrew Strauss did fall for duck in the first over, but Alastair Cook hit a fluent 49 not out and Kevin Pietersen made an explosive 42no - hitting a match-winning six midway through the final afternoon at the P Sara Stadium.

Kevin Peterson was adjudged as the man of the match for his brilliant century.

Mahela Jayawardana was adjudged as the man of the series for his brilliant batting and captaincy and expressed his sentiments at the presentation ceremony.