SOUTHAMPTON, June 21, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka star Kumar Sangakkara called on his side to find “new ways of winning Tests” after his century in the drawn finale against England failed to prevent a 1-0 series loss. Sangakkara’s 119, together with 87 not out from Thilan Samaraweera, helped Sri Lanka defy England on the last day of the first Test ever staged at Hampshire’s Rose Bowl ground before rain, which blighted this three-match series, poured down after tea to seal a draw.
England took the series after dismissing Sri Lanka for just 82 inside 25 overs in an innings and 14-run first Test win in Cardiff.
This was the eighth successive winless Test Sri Lanka had played since the retirement of off-spin great Muttiah Muralitharan, who bowed out with a world record 800 Test wickets.
Although their batting failed the tourists in Cardiff, of arguably greater concern was the fact their attack managed just 29 wickets in the series and rarely looked like bowling England out twice. Even allowing for the fact so much playing time was lost to rain the lack of penetration in a Sri Lanka bowling line-up also missing retired seamers Chaminda Vaas and slingshot fast bowler Lasith Malinga was clearly evident.