Andy Wilson, in The Guardain, 25 June 2014, with the title “Chris Adams has no mixed feelings as he hails Sri Lanka’s famous win”
There were no mixed feelings for Chris Adams as he celebrated his involvement in a famous Sri Lanka victory against an England team coached by his old Sussex friend Peter Moores. Adams and Sri Lanka also had the last laugh on England and Paul Farbrace, who was lured from their coaching set-up to work with Moores weeks before the series, shortly after being involved in their World Twenty20 triumph in Bangladesh.
“It’s been an incredible two Tests, hasn’t it?” said Adams, who had been looking for a fresh opportunity in the game since being dismissed by Surrey last summer. “I had a feeling England would dig in and do everything they could, so all credit to them and especially Moeen – that was a sensational first Test century for him, but I’ve really enjoyed my time with Sri Lanka. They are a great set of lads, very talented and absolutely delighted with the history they’ve made today.”
History was the word on the lips of the captain, Angelo Mathews, and his veteran lieutenants, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. “It means everything to be honest,” said Mathews, who became Sri Lanka’s youngest Test captain when he took over last year, and who was also named their player of the series after scoring a century in each of the Tests at Lord’s and Headingley. “People don’t expect us to come and win [a series] over in England. We’ve proved that we can. We just kept trying – until the last ball is bowled, the game is never over.”
Mathews cited Shaminda Eranga’s winning delivery as evidence to refute a suggestion from the former England captain Michael Vaughan early in the game that Sri Lanka’s seam attack was a glorified county attack. “Eranga bowled a brilliant ball to dismiss Anderson,” said Mathews. “I hope my attack is better than a county attack … there was a little bit of debate about that. But I think we showed we are, and I’m happy about that.”
Mathews was involved in some lively verbal exchanges with the England batsmen, especially Joe Root early in the day, and the umpires Steve Davis and Billy Bowden had a word with him on two occasions. Jayawardene was also a consistently chirpy presence in the slips, presenting further evidence of the ill-feeling that has simmered between the teams since the reporting of Sri Lanka’s off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake for a suspect bowling action during the one-day series, followed closely by the controversial run-out of Jos Buttler at Edgbaston.
But there were handshakes all round when Sri Lanka completed their victory in such dramatic circumstances, albeit after a delay while the tourists converged in a joyful group on the outfield while Jimmy Anderson slumped over his bat in despair at the Kirkstall Lane End.
Sri Lanka’s celebrations were understandable. Having beaten England in a T20 international, and also in the 50-over series that followed, it was a Test triumph that they most craved. They managed to avoid defeat by the skin of their teeth to keep the series level coming north to Headingley, then hung in through some tough periods in the second Test when England seemed to be dominating the game in favourable conditions.
“The four and a half weeks we were here before the series were crucial,” added Adams. “We’ve got some superstars of Sri Lankan cricket in that team, and you can imagine that any team winning in those circumstances would be delighted.”