Moeen Ali, Jack Leach power England to historic whitewash

This was England's first overseas sweep in a series of three or more Tests since Ted Dexter's England won 3-0 in New Zealand in 1963.

England on Monday completed a historic series whitewash, beating host Sri Lanka by 42 runs in the third and final Test in Colombo.   -  getty images

England on Monday completed a historic series whitewash, beating host Sri Lanka by 42 runs in the third and final Test in Colombo.

Chasing a daunting 327 for victory, Sri Lanka was 284 for nine at tea on day four. Malinda Pushpakumara and captain Suranga Lakmal, however, delayed the inevitable with a nagging 58-run partnership for the final wicket before Jack Leach ended Lakmal's resistance with a flat delivery that skidded off the pitch and trapped him in front.

Scoreboard and as it happened

The batsman reviewed but the replays showed the ball hitting middle and leg.

This was England's first overseas sweep in a series of three or more Tests since Ted Dexter's England won 3-0 in New Zealand in 1963.

Kusal Mendis, who hit a gritty 86, and Roshen Silva, who made 65, put on 102 runs for the sixth wicket to launch Sri Lanka's resistance campaign on a turning wicket.

 

Leach broke the stand with a one-handed pick-up and a bullet throw at the non-striker's end that got Mendis run out.

Mendis, who started the day on 15, registered his seventh Test fifty as he smashed eight fours and a six during his defiant knock.

Silva hit a fighting half-century but was finally trapped lbw by Ali.

Buttler saves England the blushes

England was bowled out for 230 in its second innings on Sunday with Jos Buttler making a crucial 64 after it had fallen to 39-4 against the opposition spinners.

Jonny Bairstow, returning from injury, made his presence felt with 110 in England's first innings of 336 after it elected to bat first.

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid then claimed five wickets to help dismiss Sri Lanka for 240 as the tourist took a crucial lead into the second innings.

It was a complete domination by the touring England side which clinched the one-day internationals 3-1 and the only Twenty20 match.