Sri Lanka crank up heat on Cook with landmark series win

ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook fears the clock is ticking on his time at the helm following yesterday’s series defeat to Sri Lanka with the penultimate ball of the second Test at Headingley.

Resuming on 57-5 and chasing a victory target of 350, a dogged maiden Test century from Moeen Ali and an extraordinary display of blocking from James Anderson, who survived 54 balls without scoring a run, looked to have salvaged an improbable draw, until bowler Shaminda Eranga struck.

Cook has not scored a Test century in 24 innings, in which time England have suffered an Ashes whitewash and now the ignominy of a first home series loss to Sri Lanka.

The opener said: “If I keep losing form and matches I won’t be asked to captain for much longer, but I’m determined to make it right.

“It’s a huge honour to captain England and I’m in it for the long haul, for as long as I can be, because I believe I’m the right man for the job.

“I never quit on anything. I’m a determined bloke and I’m determined to turn this around.”

A combination of resistance and rainfall saw England reach lunch without losing a wicket, but Joe Root (38) and Matt Prior (10) were dismissed before tea.

After Chris Jordan and Stuart Broad fell to Rangana Herath (3-59), England had 20 overs to cling on. Yet they managed to do so manfully until Anderson looped a short ball to Herath.