Rain and resistance slow England

On a heavily rain-affected third day at Edgbaston, Michael Vandort and Tillakaratne Dilshan frustrated England with a strong fifth-wicket stand of 125. Dilshan proved to be the only casualty that Sri Lanka suffered in the day, leaving them in a good position to earn something out of the match.

Monty Panesar was lofted over mid-on early on in his spell by Vandort who brought up his 162-ball half-century in the process, but found enough drift and spin throughout his testing spell to cause the Sri Lankan batsmen problems. Earlier, Hoggard had been the one who gave Vandort and Tillakaratne something to think about as his full-length swinging deliveries beat the edge on occasions.

Dilshan followed Vandort in making his fifty, but, with just nine more runs to his name, an off-cutter bowled by Hoggard struck high on Dilshan’s pads and umpire Aleem Dar raised the finger.

After the fall of Dilshan, a fiery Hoggard beat the bat of Farveez Maharoof several times and Monty Panesar also continued to trouble the nightwatchman who had infuriated England at Lords.

However, both Vandort and Maharoof survived to the close of a day where around six hours were lost and which Sri Lanka, undoubtedly, had the better of. Wickets early tomorrow morning are essential if England are to regain their strong position they held prior to the beginning of the day’s play but, if Sri Lanka continue to build partnerships, then England could end up chasing a difficult target against Muttiah Muralitharan on a fifth-day pitch.

Sri Lanka 141 all out
Chaminda Vaas 30*, Tillakaratne Dilshan 27, Lasith Malinga 26
Liam Plunkett 3/43, Sajid Mahmood 2/25, Andrew Flintoff 2/28

England 295 all out
Kevin Pietersen 142, Andrew Strauss 30,
Muttiah Muralitharan 6/86, Lasith Malinga 2/68

Sri Lanka 194/5
Michael Vandort 89*, Tillakaratne Dilshan 59
Matthew Hoggard 3/52, Monty Panesar 2/72

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