Cardiff: Spinner Graeme Swann and pace bowler Chris Tremlett led England to a sensational victory as they defied the elements to beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 14 runs in the first Test at Sophia Gardens on Monday.

Swann took 4-16 and Tremlett 4-40 as England bowled Sri Lanka out for 82 at Sophia Gardens to win by an innings and 14 runs for a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

The last eight wickets fell for 49 runs in 12 overs as England clinched victory in the final session after the test had seemed destined to end in a draw. Thisara Perera was Sri Lanka's top scorer with 20.

A draw had seemed inevitable after England had declared on 496-5 as soon as Ian Bell completed his century, by clipping a delivery from Perera to the third man boundary.

Bell, who finished on 103 not out from 159 balls with one six and 11 fours, raised his arm to celebrate and immediately ran off the field, accompanied by Eoin Morgan, who finished on
14 not out.

That gave England a slender lead of 96, but hopes of an improbable home victory were ignited when Tremlett struck with the 12th ball of the Sri Lanka innings to remove Tharanga
Paranavitana, who edged a catch to England captain Andrew Strauss.

Tremlett struck again eight balls later, catching Tillakaratne Dilshan off his own bowling. Dilshan referred the decision, but replays showed the ball had grazed his glove.

Kumar Sangakkara lived dangerously, slicing Tremlett over the slips for two, but survived with Mahela Jayawardene to the tea interval, leaving Sri Lanka 63 behind with a minimum 39 overs remaining.