Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan took three wickets each for Sri Lanka. England needed 350 runs to win the match, but Muralitharan's dismissal of three English batsmen with the second new ball ended the visitors' hopes of victory.
England resumed play at 9-1 in its second innings, and a 109-run stand between Ian Bell and Matthew Prior gave the visitors some hope. Bell had 74 runs before being bowled out by Muralitharan. Prior scored 63 before he too fell to the Sri Lankan bowler. The final score: Sri Lanka, 188 all out and 442-8 declared; England 281 and 261 all out.
The second test at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo starts December ninth. The third test is scheduled for Galle International Stadium beginning December 18th. England won the five-match, one-day series, 3-2.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.