Virtual Test: England clinch convincing win over Sri Lanka
Sky Sports statistician Benedict Bermange is using a cricket simulation to play out a Virtual Test Match of the postponed series between Sri Lanka and England
Last Updated: 23/03/20 12:08pm
Ben Stokes struck the boundary which brought England a fifth successive Test victory in Sri Lanka as the visitors clinched a convincing seven-wicket win an hour after lunch on day five of the first Virtual Test Match.
Benedict's Virtual Simulation
Sky Sports statistician Benedict Bermange is using a cricket simulation that takes into account batting averages, strike-rates, bowling averages and bowling speeds and plays out a five-day Test match based on those figures.
A great deal of the credit on the final day should go to the openers - Zak Crawley (51) and Dom Sibley (72) - who banished any overnight nerves England may have had chasing 148 to win by adding 87 without loss in the opening session.
Even a slight wobble just after lunch in which England lost three wickets for six runs in 13 deliveries didn't derail their push for victory.
Crawley eventually edged Dhananjaya de Silva to Niroshan Dickwella for a well-constructed 51, his second Test fifty, and lightning struck twice as Sibley fell just four balls later, clipping the off-spinner to Angelo Mathews at short-midwicket for 72.
Joe Denly's stay at the crease was a short one, unlucky to be trapped lbw by Dilruwan Perera with a ball that scarcely rose above ankle height, bringing back memories of a similar dismissal suffered by Nasser Hussain at the hands of Carl Hooper at Port-of-Spain in 1998.
There would be no further alarms for England, however, as Stokes (14no) sealed victory by striking Perera over midwicket for a one-bounce four to finish things off.
Dom Bess was named Player of the Match for his nine wickets in the contest.