Sri Lanka 184 (Tremlett 6-48) & 112-3 v
England 377-8 dec. (Bell 119no, Pietersen 85)
Third Test, The Rose Bowl, day four
England worked hard to further their chances of victory in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka at The Rose Bowl, closing the day 81 runs ahead needing to take seven further wickets to close Sri Lanka's second innings.
They declared 193 runs ahead when they reached 377 for eight with Ian Bell scoring his 14th Test century before Sri Lanka dug in to close on 112 for three.
In stark contrast to the first three days of the match, just two overs were lost and there were no weather interruptions, which gave England the chance first to push on with the bat and then attempt to close in with the ball.
Even nightwatchman James Anderson played his part with the bat, making 27 in 33 balls before he was caught by wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene off Chanaka Welagedara.
That opened the door for Bell and Eoin Morgan (71 in 110 balls) to put on 137 for the sixth wicket as they moved England into a healthy lead, Bell hitting 12 fours in 169 balls and Morgan hitting seven fours.
Morgan was dismissed when he was caught by Jayawardene off Suranga Lakmal before both Matthew Prior and Stuart Broad fell for ducks as they looked to score quickly, Lakmal benefiting to finish with three for 99.
England then struck quickly to have Tharanga Paranavitana nicely caught by Graeme Swann in the slips for ten as he failed to deal with Anderson but they were then frustrated by Lahiru Thirimanne (38) and Kumar Sangakkara (44 not out).
Both men showed the required application to get their side out of immediate danger, Thirimanne facing 112 balls before he eventually fell, caught by Andrew Strauss off the ever-dangerous Chris Tremlett.
England were celebrating once more before the close when Broad, who had bowled well for little reward after being relegated to first change, had Mahela Jayawardene caught by Prior for six.
Nightwatchman Rangana Herath was unbeaten on two when play ended.
England lead the series 1-0 following an innings-and-14-run win in Cardiff and a draw at Lord's.
© Cricket World 2011