Rain Halts Impressive Sri Lankan Charge

Rain Halts Impressive Sri Lankan Charge
Rain Halts Impressive Sri Lankan Charge
©Action Images / Jed Leicester Livepic

England 486 (Prior 126, Morgan 79) v
Sri Lanka 372-3 (Dilshan 193)
Second Test, Lord's, day three
| Report by John Pennington

Rain brought about a premature end to the third day of the second Test between England and Sri Lanka, which closed with the tourists closing in on England's first innings score.

They had reached 372 for three in reply to 486 when the second rain interruption of the day eventually prevented any resumption after the first stoppage resulted in the players taking early tea.

The highlight of the day was Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan setting a new record score for a Sri Lankan at Lord's, surviving another painful blow to the thumb inflicted by Chris Tremlett to reach 193 and overtake Siddath Wettimuny's score of 190 achieved in 1984.

Dilshan started the day playing much as he had done during his belligerent innings so far, pouncing on England's bowlers continued inability to stick to a good line or length.

An early cut that raced to the backward point fence that was followed by a coruscating cover drive set the tone although the shot of the morning belonged to Kumar Sangakkara, who gracefully steered Steven Finn through the covers for four in classical fashion.

He lasted not much longer, done by the second new ball when Tremlett had him pushing tentatively outside off stump and a thin edge was taken by Matthew Prior and the left-hander was on his way having made 26 in 93 balls.

Dilshan continued on his merry way, helping to keep the scoreboard moving as Mahela Jayawardene struggled with an improvement from England. Tremlett and Stuart Broad had him in some trouble outside off stump but he dug in, committed to not throwing away his wicket and punishing wayward deliveries.

After Tremlett hit the same thumb that Dilshan injured yesterday, it was Finn who benefitted to get one past Dilshan's defences and have him bowled via his leg.

It brought to an end an outstanding innings of 193 in 253 balls that included 20 fours and two sixes and he deserved the standing ovation given him to him by an appreciative Lord's crowd.

The breaks due to the weather seemed to then favour England as Broad, Tremlett and Finn found more consistency as the day went on, making seasoned Thilan Samaraweera struggle as Jayawardene - desperately short of first-class form - had done.

Nevertheless, the class and experience of both men ensured they weathered the metaphorical storm with Jayawardene unbeaten on 40 and Samaraweera on one when a physical storm arrived to cut short the entertainment.

Dilshan had reached his century on , outscoring England's sole centurion Matthew Prior, who had made 126 earlier in the day to ensure that despite being reduced to 22 for three on the opening morning, England posted a good score of 486.

England lead the three-match series 1-0 after they secured a dramatic innings-and-14-run win in the opening Test at Cardiff.

© Cricket World 2011