x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Sri Lanka looking down the barrel in England

Ian Bell scores an unbeaten century as England take an 81-run lead after Sri Lanka poised at 112 for three at stumps on day four of the third Test.

Ian Bell's second hundred in three matches helped England stay on top in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl yesterday.

Sri Lanka were 112 for three in their second innings at stumps on the fourth day — still 81 runs behind England's first innings 377 for eight declared. England, pressing for a win that would give them the series 2-0, saw their pacemen back up Bell's 119 not out with a disciplined display.

And shortly before the close Stuart Broad, bowling a much fuller length after wastefully dropping short for much of this match, had the experienced Mahela Jayawardene caught behind for just three off an excellent leg-cutter.

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara - the other proven class batsman in the tourists' ranks - was 44 not out at the close.

Nightwatchman Rangana Herath was unbeaten on two after a day where the rain, which has taken 155 overs out of this match, stayed away.

Bell's innings enabled Andrew Strauss, the England captain, to make an enterprising declaration with his side 193 in front - nine more runs than the tourists managed in their first innings 184.

His century - the first Test hundred at the Rose Bowl - followed his unbeaten 103 in England's innings and 14-run first Test victory in Cardiff. Together with Eoin Morgan, who made a breezy 71, he shared a sixth-wicket stand of 137 against a flagging Sri Lanka attack.


Sri Lanka (1st Innings) 184

England 1st Innings (overnight 195-4):

A Strauss c Paranavitana b Welegedara 3

A Cook c Samaraweera b Fernando 55

J Trott c P Jayawardene b Lakmal 4

K Pietersen c P Jayawardene b Perera 85

I Bell not out 119

J Anderson c P Jayawardene b Welegedera 27

E Morgan c P Jayawardene b Lakmal 71

M Prior c M Jayawardene b Perera 0

S Broad c sub (Randiv) b Lakmal 0

Extras (lb2, w3, nb8) 13

Total (8 wkts dec, 92.4 overs) 377

Did not bat: G Swann, C Tremlett

Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Strauss), 2-14 (Trott), 3-120 (Cook), 4-191 (Pietersen), 5-236 (Anderson), 6-373 (Morgan), 7-374 (Prior), 8-377 (Broad)

Bowling: Welegedara 24-3-90-2 (2nb, 1w); Lakmal 24.2-2-99-3 (2nb, 1w); Fernando 10.2-0-47-1 (4nb, 1w); Perera 24-3-101-2; Herath 9-0-33-0; M Jayawardene 1-0-5-0

Note: Fernando went off after two balls of his seventh over, completed by Lakmal

Sri Lanka (2nd Innings):

T Paranavitana c Swann b Anderson 10

L Thirimanne c Strauss b Tremlett 38

K Sangakkara not out 44

M Jayawardene c Prior b Broad 6

R Herath not out 2

Extras (b8, lb2, w1, nb1) 12

Total (3 wkts, 49 overs) 112

Fall of wickets: 1-25 (Paranavitana), 2-86 (Thirimanne), 3-110 (M Jayawardene)

To bat: T Samaraweera, P Jayawardene, T Perera, D Fernando, S Lakmal, C Welegedara

Bowling: Anderson 12-5-22-1 (1w); Tremlett 13-4-34-1 (1nb); Broad 11-4-22-1 (1nb); Swann 10-3-16-0; Pietersen 3-1-8-0