COLOMBO, (Reuters) – England won the second test against Sri Lanka in some style when man of the match Kevin Pietersen smashed Tillakaratne Dilshan for six over mid wicket to complete an eight-wicket victory on the fifth and final day yesterday.
Pietersen followed his momentum-swinging first innings knock of 151 with an unbeaten 42 off 28 balls, including two sixes and four fours as England raced to their target of 94 inside 20 overs.
Alastair Cook was unbeaten on 49 with six fours when England achieved victory which enabled them to retain their position as the world’s number one test team.
England’s victory charge was triggered by off-spinner Graeme Swann, who claimed his second 10-wicket haul to bowl Sri Lanka out for 278 in their second innings.
England lost their captain Andrew Strauss for a duck in the first over and Jonathan Trott for five in the run chase but Cook and Pietersen forged an unbeaten 66 runs stand for the third wicket to see them home and draw the two match series 1-1.
Sri Lanka were all dismissed five minutes before the lunch break, leaving England two sessions to chase down the runs.
Swann, who bowled unchanged the entire morning session, took six for 106 for match figures of 10 for 181.
Sri Lanka, resuming at 218 for six, added 60 runs for their remaining four wickets, two falling to Swann with Samit Patel and Steven Finn picking up one apiece.
The day began frustratingly for for England as they spilled two catches off Angelo Mathews with Cook at forward shortleg giving the batsman a life at 3 and 12.
England’s joy of trapping Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene (58) lbw by James Anderson was short-lived when he challenged the decision and TV replays showed an inside edge.
England pressed hard for victory and were rewarded when Swann finally ended Jayawardene’s 191-ball resistance, getting a ball to turn and bounce sharply off a good length which the batsman could only glove to a diving Cook at forward short leg.
Swann also accounted for Prasanna Jayawardene when he was bowled around his legs for two sweeping.
Patel got into the act by having Rangana Herath caught by Anderson at slip for two.
However, Mathews and last man Suranga Lakmal put up some resistance in a 27-run last wicket partnership before Finn finally had Mathews caught by Andrew Strauss at square leg off a miscued pull for 46.