On a pitch that is traditionally known to assist seamers, Stuart Broad was accurate and economical. He bowled 17 maidens in Sri Lanka's second innings and attacked the timber far more than he usually does. In the first innings, Broad's three-wicket haul for just 20 runs triggered the hosts' collapse.
Angelo Mathews, who scored 71 in the second innings, faced 37 balls from Stuart Broad and managed to score only one run. Speaking in a post-match presser, Angelo Mathews stated that it felt like he was facing Stuart Broad in England and not in Sri Lanka:
"We all know what kind of a bowler Broad is - he's taken over 500 Test wickets and he's one of the best fast bowlers going around on any kind of surface. The wicket was not offering anything for the fast bowlers, but he was moving the ball," noted Matthews.
"During one spell, I felt like I was playing in England against Stuart Broad because he was moving the ball. That's very difficult for a fast bowler to do in these conditions in Galle," added Matthews.
Apart from Broad, England's spin-twins, Dom Bess and Jack Leach, also kept things fairly tight for the hosts. The duo bowled 74.5 overs between them in the second innings and took 14 of the 20 Sri Lankan wickets in the match.
Angelo Mathews acknowledged the off-spinners' accurate bowling, which piled the pressure on an inexperienced Sri Lankan batting line-up.
"Even the spinners didn't give anything away even though the wicket was turning, and they were trying to take wickets. It was pure Test cricket. They held on to a line and length and we made a lot of mistakes by trying to go for too many shots too early off good balls," noted Matthews.
The visitors won the series-opener by 7 wickets. The second and final Test between the two teams will begin on Friday and will also be held in Galle.