Leach's fellow spinners, Moeen and Adil Rashid, continued to dominate - taking a wicket apiece to reduce their hosts to 239-9 - before Rangana Herath (in his last ever Test) was run out by Stokes.
The second match of the three-test series is in Kandy, starting on November 14, before the final contest in Colombo from November 23. I may play some first-class cricket but we will see how it goes.
The openers began the day well with a 51-run stand, rationing England to a solitary chance in the first hour - Dimuth Karunaratne uncharacteristically dropped by Ben Stokes at slip to deny Moeen.
The final result might have seemed nearly inevitable at the start of play, with Sri Lanka pursuing a world record chase of 462 or the equally unlikely prospect of batting two full days for a draw, but the scale of the achievement should not be underplayed. "We had a really good start in the first session but we couldn't capitalise on it", he said. In Test cricket, especially on wickets like these, it is very hard to come back, ' he said.
England laid traps and Sri Lanka's batsmen sometimes fell into them with such willingness, it was as if they were "school kids". The Sri Lankan all-rounder shrugged off his recent lukewarm run in Test cricket with twin fifties, something Hathurusingha believes can be an encouraging starting point for another consistent run with the bat, urging his senior player to push himself to match the likes of Virat Kohli, Joe Root and Steve Smith. It was eventually the debutant who accounted for Herath, a good pick-up running him out by a frame.
England's Jack Leach successfully appeals to dismiss Sri Lanka's Kaushal Silva during the fourth day of the first test cricket match between Sri Lanka and England in Galle, Sri Lanka, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.
But both fell after attacking shots, with Kaushal leg before trying to sweep Leach for 30 and Karunaratne caught and bowled by Ali for 26 and skipped down the pitch for an attempted heave. "Our batting was below-par during the game, you can't stay in the game (with this kind of batting)". Angelo Mathews scored his second fifty of the match and Kusal Mendis contributed 45 runs to the cause but the rest of the batting order could not hold up and bundled out for 250 runs.
Stokes took out Dhananjaya de Silva (21) with the last ball before lunch to put England in complete control heading into the afternoon session and more steady progress followed. "After reducing them to 100 for five, if you had given only another 150 runs for the next five batters, we would have been still in the game at this stage".