Christmas dinner is going to taste like a million dollars in the Ed Smith, household after England secured a much deserved series victory in Sri Lanka on Sunday. England’s National Selector will be signing autographs with ink made out of caviar after his bold selections in recent months paid off.
Joe Root’s side entered sweep mode in Pallekele as they swept their way to victory and swept their way into the record books.
Let’s get straight into the player ratings.
Burns – Two very good knocks from the Surrey lad. Particularly his 59 in England’s second innings. Burns, along with Jennings, cut off that deficit in no time to build a solid platform for Root and Co. 7/10
Jennings – Catches win matches and Jennings did his talking on the field. The part he played in dismissing a settled Karunaratne during the run chase was nothing short of spectacular. That re-bound catch from Ben Foakes was Geraint Jones-esque from the 2005 Ashes. 6/10
Stokes – Even when Stokes doesn’t produce the goods with bat or ball, he somehow has an impact on the match. Another player who had a brilliant game in the field. 6/10
Root – One of, if not his best knock in an England shirt. The tempo and ease in which he scored his 100 was Kevin Pietersen-esque. Let’s hope Root doesn’t follow the same path as KP and end up texting a few of the opposition players. 10/10
Buttler – At the start of the year, Buttler wasn’t even playing red ball cricket and now he’s arguably been one of Root’s standout players in the last six months. 8/10
Ali – A change of action in the summer and a fresh mindset has done Ali the world of good. 9/10
Foakes – If Foakes gets a football related injury after being tackled by Jonny Bairstow in these next few days then it won’t surprise me. Jonny’s not getting the gloves back anytime soon, that’s for sure! 8/10
Curran – Errr, he hit more sixes in this match than overs bowled. What a f*cking genius! 10/10
Rashid – Are you watching Yorkshire? 8/10
Leach – Are you watching selectors of the past? 9/10
Anderson – Outscored five Sri Lankan players. What a man! 10/10
None of the following players have been paid, btw!
Karunaratne – SL’s best player on show. Karunaratne could have ended up winning the game for his side had he not been dismissed by two magical fielding efforts during both innings. 8/10
K. Silva – You got outscored by Jimmy, mate! 1/10
D. de Silva – Set a platform for his side in the first innings, but others around him couldn’t build. 6.5/10
K. Mendis – Take those pictures of Jimmy batting off your wall, mate! 1/10
Matthews – SL’s recently-sacked captain is letting his batting do the talking. 7/10
R. Silva – Impressive knock in the first innings. Roshen Silva frustrated England down the order and played one of the best individual knocks of the game. 9/10
Dickwella – Errr, you got out to England’s fourth choice spinner! 1/10
D. Perera – The experienced off-spinner dismissed Stokes twice in the game. Its best Perera stayed away from any Sri Lankan bars until the England players return home! 7/10
Dananjaya – Brilliant six-fer in the game. However, I am going to have to put a dampener on his performance and say there’s no way he chucks better than Muttiah Muralitharan. 0/10
Lakmal – The only seamer to take a wicket during the game. 10/10
Pushpakumara – Costly runs conceded in the second innings. 4/10
There we go then, another glorious victory by England. Overseas as well. What the bloody hell is going on?! It was tighter than the Brexit margin and like Brexit, there’s zero chance whatsoever of a Sri Lankan victory in another referendum!