Cricket: Sr Lanka’s Jayawardene slams England’s tactics

LEEDS, June 23, 2014 (AFP) – Sri Lanka great Mahela Jayawardene questioned England’s tactics, their ability to handle pressure and the wisdom of home captain Alastair Cook’s pre-match spat with Shane Warne as the tourists moved to the brink of a memorable Test series win at Headingley. Sri Lanka seized control of the second and final Test on Monday’s fourth day, with paceman Dhammika Prasad taking a Test-best four for 15 as England collapsed to 57 for five in pursuit of a stiff target of 350 for victory.

That England had such a tough run-chase was due largely to Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews’s Test-best 160.

Sri Lanka gave their hosts an object lesson in how to play at Leeds, with Prasad rewarded for bowling a much fuller-length than his England counterparts.

This has been a fractious tour, with Sri Lanka particularly upset by the reporting of one-day off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake for a suspect action and Mathews unapologetic for the bowler’s ‘Mankad’ run out of Jos Buttler during their 3-2 one-day series-clinching win at Edgbaston.

Jayawardene, whose side have never won a Test series in England comprising more than one match, is regarded as one of cricket’s gentlemen as well as one of its most stylish run-scorers.

But the veteran batsman didn’t pull his