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Rain and runs to drive back home

cricket Updated: Jun 08, 2011 00:03 IST
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Alastair Cook scored his third century in four Test innings but England had to settle for a draw in the second match of their series against Sri Lanka at Lord's here on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka, set an imposing victory target of 343, finished on 127 for three with 15 overs left on the fifth and final day -- the earliest the sides could agree a draw.

This result left England 1-0 up heading into the third and final Test starting at the Rose Bowl on June 16.

The highest score ever made in the fourth innings to win a Test at Lord's is 344 for one, needing 342, by the West Indies against England in 1984.

There was never a realistic chance of Sri Lanka reaching a similar target, with the more immediate question whether they could avoid losing all 10 wickets in the 58 overs left when their second innings started.

Sri Lanka had, after all, been routed for just 82 in under 25 overs in Cardiff as England won the first Test by an innings and 14 runs.

But, on a typically good Lord's pitch, they held out with England frustrated as much by the 63 overs lost in the match to bad weather as by the tourists' batting.

England's hopes of a Cardiff repeat had been bolstered when Sri Lanka acting captain Kumar Sangakkara (12), opening in place of injured skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan, cut giant fast bowler Chris Tremlett to Eoin Morgan at backward point.

Sangakkara may have a Test average of over 56, but his exit continued a poor run of scores in England where his corresponding average is just above 26. By contrast, Mahela Jayawardene's previous two Test at Lord's had both yielded hundreds and the first innings of this match saw him make 49.

However, he could only manage 25 on Tuesday before edging an intended drive off a Stuart Broad outswinger to fourth slip, where Kevin Pietersen held a sharp diving catch. Occasional medium-pacer Jonathan Trott gave England renewed hope when he had durable opener Tharanga Paranavitana lbw for 44 with only his ninth ball.

Sri Lanka were now 96 for three, with 25 overs left, but an England attack missing injured Ashes star James Anderson couldn't manage another wicket. Thilan Samaraweera was 17 not out and Prasanna Jayawardene 12 not out.

Brief scores: England 486 (A Cook 96, M Prior 126, S Broad 54) and 335-7 decl (A Cook 106, K Pietersen 72, J Trott 58, R Herath 3-87) v Sri Lanka 479 (T Dilshan 193, T Paranavitana 65) and 127-3.