The hard-fought win clinched the three-match series for England as they earned an unassailable 2-0 lead.
In a match where fortunes swung wildly from one side to another, it was the tourists who fared better at the crucial moments to record a famous win.
Here, we rate the performances of both sets of players after what has been an enthralling Test battle.
Dimuth Karunaratne – 8/10
The Sri Lankan opener performed his job as well as he could have done by notching up half-centuries in both the innings. Will be miffed that he failed to convert either one of them into a ton.
Kaushal Silva – 3/10
Not the best of returns to the Test side for the Sri Lankan opener who could muster only 10 runs from his two innings at Pallekele.
Dhananjaya de Silva – 6/10
The all-rounder registered a crucial 59 in the first innings but could add just one more to his tally in the second. He bowled a total of just six overs with his off-break.
Kusal Mendis – 2/10
A Test match to forget for the talented right-hander. The top-order batsman was dismissed for one run in both his innings.
Angelo Mathews – 7/10
The former Sri Lanka skipper once again showed his class with his third half-century in four innings. His battling 88 under the most difficult of circumstances in the second innings gave the islanders some hope of pulling of a dramatic win.
Roshen Silva – 7/10
The lower-order batsman carved a fine 85 to help Sri Lanka take a vital first-innings lead and was looking good in the second innings too before falling to Moeen Ali.
Niroshan Dickwella – 6/10
The wicketkeeper-batsman chipped in with some handy contributions with the bat in both innings with his early dismissal on Sunday extinguishing all Sri Lanka hopes of a win.
Dilruwan Perera – 7/10
The senior Sri Lanka spinner picked up a seven-wicket haul across the two innings and cannot be faulted for his efforts. However, he and the remaining Sri Lanka spinners were upstaged by their England counterparts.
Akila Dananjaya – 7/10
The youngster came into the match under the cloud of a suspect bowling action and picked up eight wickets including a career-best 6-115 in the second innings. He was, however, highly expensive.
Malinda Pushpakumara – 6/10
Three wickets in the first innings for the left-arm orthodox spinner but he could pick up just the one in his second go and was the weakest of Sri Lanka’s three-man spin contingent.
Suranga Lakmal – 7/10
On a wicket where spinners picked up 38 of the 40 wickets to fall, Lakmal was the only seamer to pick up one. Did as well as he could do on a surface not ideal for the pacers.
Rory Burns – 7/10
After a disappointing debut Test, Burns showed his class with a crucial 43 in the first innings. He brought up a maiden Test half-century in the second and showed he can be a long-term successor to Alastair Cook.
Keaton Jennings – 5/10
Jennings’ most important contributions in the Test came through his sensational bits of fielding at short-leg in the second innings.
Ben Stokes – 4/10
The England all-rounder was promoted to No3 in the batting order in the first innings but disappointed with a score of just 19. Was dismissed for a duck in the second innings. Stunning runout of Karunaratne in the first innings was a momentum shifter.
Joe Root – 9/10
The England skipper would have been disappointed to score just 14 in the first innings but he more than made up for it with a match-winning counter-attacking ton in the second.
Jos Buttler – 7/10
The England middle-order batsman continues to prove his worth to the Test squad with two more handy contributions lower down the order. His combined 98-run tally was crucial in England’s win.
Moeen Ali – 8/10
The England all-rounder was excellent with the ball, especially in the second innings where he picked up four wickets. Will however be disappointed to be dismissed on 10 with the bat in both innings.
Ben Foakes – 7/10
The Surrey wicketkeeper-batsman continued to impress in his second Test outing with a highly valuable unbeaten 65-run knock in the second innings that helped England set Sri Lanka a daunting chase.
Sam Curran – 7/10
His left-arm pace barely created any impact in the match but the youngster’s 64-run knock batting with the tail in the first innings might be the biggest turning point.
Adil Rashid – 7/10
Four wickets and a handy 31-run knock in the first innings from Adil Rashid whose contributions waned as the match progressed.
Jack Leach – 9/10
The left-armer was perhaps the best spinner on display from either side which speaks volumes about his performance. A maiden five-for in Test cricket in the second innings is just reward for his perseverance.
James Anderson – 5/10
A rare wicketless outing for the England veteran seamer but it was just not the type of surface for him to thrive on.
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