Cook and the weather stall S.L.

The weather spoiled Sri Lanka’s hopes of wrapping up a convincing series victory on day four with England showing much improvement on their first innings effort finishing the day on 102-1 when the rain came just before lunch.

Michael Vaughan was England’s only casualty of the day falling to debutant Chanaka Welegedara for 24. Alastair Cook applied himself well and went through to his ninth Test half century off 103 balls.

Weather was always going to play its part in this game yet it has not affected the outcome of the series too much as England have never been in a position to try and force a victory that would have levelled the series and nor do they deserve to share the spoils as Sri Lanka’s cricket generally has been of a much higher standard.

England cannot rely on the weather for tomorrow and should be concentrating solely on their front line batsmen to produce the goods and dig them out of this hole that they are, in large, responsible for.

Cook began the process today, not always a pleasant easy to watch batsman but today he displayed his desire to stay at the crease and make his runs count. Ian Bell, who partnered Cook through to the close, also looked at ease and should be confident of seeing tomorrow through considering the form he has shown so far in this series. Despite the majority of England’s top order looking in decent nick at some point during this tour, it is a point to remember that no England player has registered a century on this gruelling tour, something that these two players will be keen to address, if weather permits, tomorrow.

Vaughan is one of those players that looked very good in both innings at Colombo, but when he reached 24 today he played a drive at a wide ball from Welegedara that flew to the hero of yesterday, Mahela Jayawardene, whose safe hands in second slip saw England’s captain on his way.

The crowd that were in Galle’s International Stadium today would have deeply disappointed when the heavy downfall arrived and called a premature end to the day’s play.

England still need a further 317 runs to ensure Sri Lanka bat again.

Sri Lanka 499-8 dec

England 81 all out & 102-1
Alastair Cook 53*

England trail by 316 runs

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