England Take Series 1-0 After Rain Closes In

England Take Series 1-0 After Rain Closes In
England Take Series 1-0 After Rain Closes In
©REUTERS/Philip Brown (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

Sri Lanka 184 (Tremlett 6-48) & 334-5 (Sangakkara 119) drew with
England 377-8 declared (Bell 119no, Pietersen 85)
Third Test, The Rose Bowl
| Report - John Pennington

The weather washed out the final session of play in the third Test between England and Sri Lanka, handing England the series 1-0 although Sri Lanka were well on the way to saving the game without the weather's intervention.

Resuming on 112 for three, they limited England to a wicket per session and had reached tea on 334 for five in their second innings - a lead of 141.

They had been outstandingly led by Kumar Sangakkara, who scored his maiden Test century in England with a majestic 119 in 249 balls which was full of flowing cover drives and precise shots down the ground and England could find no way through until after lunch when James Anderson had him caught by substitute fielder Jade Dernbach at point.

By that time, Sangakkara had shared in substantial partnerships of 75 with Rangana Herath (36) and 141 with Thilan Samaraweera (87) to take his side out of danger.

Nightwatchman Herath frustrated England and showed an expansive side by hitting four fours in 72 balls before he was trapped in front by Graeme Swann attempting another big shot through, or maybe over, midwicket.

England were not at their best on the final day, missing an early opportunity to grab a wicket and then displaying some uncharacteristic fielding lapses and Sri Lankan compounded things - Sangakkara and Samaraweera in particular - by making batting look relatively easy.

Despite England taking the new ball, they remained comfortable at the crease, Sangakkara reaching his 25th Test century and Samaraweera his 27th Test half-century.

Samaraweera was unbeaten on 87 when play was called off, having faced 128 balls and hit nine fours.

England had batted and bowled themselves into a strong position on day four thanks to Ian Bell's unbeaten 119 and a good early bowling effort.

However, Sri Lanka showed the fight that they had desperately needed at Cardiff - its absence in the final session there handed England the innings-and-14-run win that proved to be the difference between the two sides.

© Cricket World 2011