Alastair Cook surpassed Indian icon Sachin Tendulkar as the youngest batsman in history to score 10,000 Test runs as England wrapped up a comfortable series victory over Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street, despite stubborn resistance led by Dinesh Chandimal. As the first Englishman to reach such an impressive milestone, the 31-year-old captain joins an illustrious 12-man list also featuring the likes of Brian Lara, Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid and Jacques Kallis.
Resuming on 309-5 and needing 88 runs to force their opponents into batting again, the tourists, forced to follow on after making just 101 in their first innings, sustained an early blow when Milinda Siriwardana was coaxed forward by James Anderson and produced a firm edge that was caught by Alex Hales at slip.
It quickly became apparent that Chandimal's ability to stay in was likely to prove crucial to Sri Lanka's hopes of avoiding another heavy defeat and he was handed a reprieve when an inside edge carried behind before being dropped by wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow low to his left. He later survived an ill-judged lbw review after making contact with a delivery from Chris Woakes, who came into the side in the second Test as a replacement for the injured Ben Stokes.
The 26-year-old appeared increasingly confident and brought up a sixth century in 27 Tests and his first outside of Asia before lunch with a four to the third-man boundary. Veteran partner Rangana Herath was inexplicably put down by James Vince and reached 61 before being trapped lbw to become Anderson's 450th Test dismissal. His subsequent review was unsuccessful.
Anderson's 21st five-wicket Test haul was complete when he bowled Shaminda Eranga for one. Chandimal eventually posted 126 but was dismissed in disappointing fashion when he tried to launch Stuart Broad down the ground only to miss completely and see the ball clip the top of off stump. Closing duo Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep provided more late resistance and contributed 24 runs between them. Sri Lanka's dogged innings finally came to an end on 475 when the former sliced Woakes' shorter delivery high and into the hands of Broad at mid-on.
Set a thoroughly modest target of 79 for victory, Cook notched a single before reaching his landmark with a slow four through mid-wicket that trickled away to the fence. He was treated to a standing ovation from fans and teammates alike in Durham before preparing to face the next ball in typically determined fashion. The Essex stalwart lost opening partner Alex Hales when he was outfoxed by left-arm spinner Siriwardana for 11, but kept his own wicket intact and finished a satisfying day with 47 from 65 balls . Under-pressure Middlesex batsman Nick Compton survived an lbw review from Herath to add 22.
The third and final Test between England and Sri Lanka begins at Lord's on Thursday 9 June and the two teams will also compete in five ODI matches in Nottingham, Birmingham, Bristol, London and Cardiff. They then meet in a solitary T20 fixture at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Tuesday 5 July before Trevor Bayliss' side entertain Pakistan.