Sri Lanka were made to work hard by England on the final day of the first Test in Galle before they wrapped up a 75-run win by bowling the tourists out for 264.
Jonathan Trott scored an excellent century but after his dismissal, England rapidly collapsed, losing their last six wickets for 31 runs as Sri Lanka prevailed.
His innings of 112 in 266 balls included ten fours and while he was batting with Kevin Pietersen (30) and Matthew Prior (41) a successful chase of 340 looked a possibility before Sri Lanka fought back.
Rangana Herath returned figures of six for 74 - equalling Vinoo Mankad's record of 12 wickets by a slow left-armer in a Test against England - and it was off-spinner Suraj Randiv (4-74) who took the final two wickets.
England were once again undone by spin, Sri Lanka's fielding was outstanding - excellent catches by Tillakaratne Dilshan to remove Trott, Samit Patel (9) and Panesar (0) turning the game in the home team's favour.
This was England's fourth consecutive defeat and Sri Lanka's first home Test win since the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan.
The second Test gets underway on 3rd April in Colombo.
© Cricket World 2012
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