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Trott century not enough to save England

Jonathan Trott’s battling century could not quite save the first Test for England against Sri Lanka. Chasing an unlikely 340 to win in Galle, England had threatened to make the record total for much of the fourth day, until wickets started to topple in the afternoon.

Trott was at the heart of England’s resistance, accumulating a meticulous 112, with excellent support from Matthew Prior, before being caught by Dilshan. Once Trott had gone, England’s hopes began to dissipate, and the tail collapsed quickly.

England really lost the match in the first innings when they batted poorly, and were left trailing by the Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene’s impressive 180. "In truth we made too many mistakes to win the game,” the England captain Andrew Strauss admitted.

"We fought very hard and there were some outstanding performances from James Anderson, Graeme Swann and Jonathan Trott. But we left ourselves with too much to do. All credit to Sri Lanka, they put us under pressure, outplayed us and deserved the victory."

England’s defeat means they have to win the second Test in Colombo to salvage the series, although their status as number one Test nation in the world should not survive too long. They have played 4 Tests so far in 2012, and have lost all 4, confirming suspicions that they struggle against clever spin bowlers on Asian wickets.

"We've got one more game to show we can play better cricket in this part of the world," Strauss said. Certainly the captain has to show that his lengthy stretch of poor form has an end in sight.

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