Botham consoled by Moeen success

England

Former captain Ian Botham took solace in the standalone performance of batsman Moeen Ali, as England succumbed to a 100-run defeat – and one-nil series loss – to Sri Lanka on day five of the second and final Test in Leeds.

Former captain Ian Botham took solace in the standalone performance of batsman Moeen Ali, as England succumbed to a 100-run defeat – and one-nil series loss – to Sri Lanka on day five of the second and final Test in Leeds.

Ali struck a patient 108 not out, which spanned all of 385 minutes and 281 deliveries and featured 17 boudaries. The cool, calm and collected, vigil, however, was not enough to force a late draw at Headingley.

"Moeen looked magnificent. I thought he looked in full control. He was annoyed with himself when he flashed outside the off-stump in the first innings. He cut all that out in his second innings. I think he played two play-and-misses in that whole innings," <i>Sky Sports</i> quoted Botham as saying.

"Test cricket is by far the best game there ever will be because it ebbs, flows and changes. The other formats are the icing on the cake but Test cricket is the flagship. We've had a great game at Lord's and a great game here."

The tourists' victory, which marked a maiden two-Test series win in the United Kingdom, was clinched in the final scheduled over. Ali and defiant tail-ender threatened for a substantial period, before fast bowler Shaminda Eranga got the better of Anderson with a pinpoint short ball.

"It would have been quite some effort for England to have saved this game, after two games they were bossing the game and then Sri Lanka came back at them," added Botham.

"There was a lot of passion and determination from both sides. England got so close to saving it but congratulations to Sri Lanka, who were brilliant. Not many people will have thought that the Sri Lankan seamers would out-bowl the England seamers at Headingley in English conditions."

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