Cardiff: England skipper Andrew Strauss, who termed the rain-marred first Test against Sri Lanka "one of the drabbest", ended up calling it one of the most "extraordinary" matches after his side notched up an innings victory.
The rain-affected match looked poised for a draw here, but Sri Lankan batting collapsed for just 82 under 25 overs on the last day to hand an innings and 14 runs victory to England in the first of the three-match series.
England had declared their first innings at 496/5, a lead of 96, with only 51 overs left in the day's play. But England fast bowler Chris Tremlett (4-40) and Off-spinner Graeme Swann (4-16) ran through the Sri Lankan batting to give their side a 1-0 lead.
"This (Monday) morning I was saying this was one of the drabbest matches I've ever played and suddenly it changes round so quickly. That is great credit to the guys," Strauss was quoted as saying in the media here.
"I think it will go down as one of the most extraordinary cricket matches any of us have played in."
Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan said they will like to put behind this defeat and focus on the second Test at Lord's beginning Friday.
"It will be difficult to forget this Test match, but we have to stick together as a team," Dilshan said.
"We can regroup and come back for the Lord's Test in a positive mind and then we can play some good cricket there."
"It's very difficult to explain, I can't believe we got out in just 25 overs with such a good batting line-up like we have," he said.
It was Sri Lanka's lowest Test total in England since their 141 in Birmingham five years ago.