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Sangakkara leads the way

Sri Lanka batted themselves into a formidable position against England on the third day.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 03:35 IST

Sri Lanka underwent a total personality change at Trent Bridge on Sunday to bat themselves into a formidable position against England on the third day of the third and final test.

The visitors ground their way to 286 for seven by the close, for an overall lead of 288, with two days remaining. England's best fourth-innings total to win a test match at Trent Bridge came two years ago, when they made 284 for six.

Sri Lanka's coach Tom Moody had challenged his batsmen to take their chance to level the series and they responded magnificently, even if it meant replacing their trademark lavish strokeplay with attritional defence.

Kumar Sangakkara led the way with a faultless 66, captain Mahela Jayawardene added a watchful 45 and the 19-year-old Charmara Kapugedera, in only his second test, sealed a perfect day for the touring side with a maiden unbeaten 50 not out.

Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar took three for 73 for England, who lead the series 1-0.