The second match of the three-Test series is in Kandy, starting on Nov. 14, before the final contest in Colombo from November 23.
The final result might have seemed nearly inevitable at the start of play, with Sri Lanka pursuing a world record chase of 462 or the equally unlikely prospect of batting two full days for a draw, but the scale of the achievement should not be underplayed.
The Surrey wicketkeeper was not even in the original touring party, a late call-up as cover for the injured Jonny Bairstow, but ended his first day in worldwide cricket with a deeply assured 87 not out to his name and dreams of a second day century when play resumes.
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Dimuth Karunaratne (26) and Kaushal Silva (30) kept England at bay for 22 overs - Ben Stokes dropping the former off Moeen - but their partnership of 51 proved to be the biggest of Sri Lanka's second innings.
Set a mammoth 462 to win, sustained pressure from Ali, fellow spinner Jack Leach and aggressive seam bowling from Ben Stokes bundled out the hosts for 250 on day four.
Kusal Mendis added 46 runs with Mathews for the fourth wicket, but he too could not convert a good start into a big innings and fell for 45.
Whoever is left out, it appears Moeen will move down the batting order after Bayliss said the all-rounder "hasn't been able to take advantage" of his chances at No. 3. "But everybody has to take a decision at the right time", Herath told Sky Sports shortly after leaving the field to a warm ovation.
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"We've got a fantastic squad of players; we came into this tour knowing that we've got different options".
"Credit goes to England, they played some outstanding cricket".
"I've not seen an outfield that wet in my entire career", England captain Heather Knight told BBC Test Match Special.
"Test cricket is grinding. Jonny, whether he plays or not, has to accept that until Foakes gets injured or messes up that he is the back-up wicketkeeper-batsman and he's now going to have to think as a frontline batter". Chandimal, who was nursing a groin strain, could miss the second test at Pallekele next week. "To see them work, to see the hard work leading into the game pay off, is great", Root said.
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"I'm thankful for all those years that I have played, those people who have been behind me, especially the team-mates, Sri Lanka Cricket, all the people".