England crash to fourth successive defeat
England are set to relinquish their status as number one Test nation as they cannot win the two-match series in Sri Lanka after losing by 75 runs in Galle.
Chasing an unlikely 340 to win, Jonathan Trott's century seemed to be guiding England towards their target when the side passed 250 with only five wickets down.
But then Samit Patel threw his wicket away and Trott fell for 112 in the following over, sparking a collapse that saw England lose their last five wickets for 12 runs to be bowled out for 264.
Rangana Herath finished the match with 12 wickets, but again questions will be asked of England's batting.
South Africa can now take over at the top of the world rankings, but fans booking hospitality packages for the Test match at Lord's against the Proteas this summer could see England take a step towards regaining top spot through winning that series.
The last time England lost four or more Test matches in a row was in the 2006-07 Ashes whitewash in Australia.
By Ted Walker