London, June 8: Sri Lanka's top-order put on a gritty display of batting to deprive England of a series win by forcing a draw in the second test. On the final day, the hosts set the visitors a target of 343 to win, thanks largely to a 106 from Alastair Cook and useful contributions from Kevin Pietersen (72) and Ian Bell (57). Then the Lankan line-up played out 43 overs, losing just 3 wickets for a score of 127.
Resuming play on the final day at 149/2, England set about building on their lead of 156. Alastair Cook and Kevin Peitersen picked up from their overnight scores of 61 and 15 respectively, as the latter batsman struck two fours off Welegedera in the 44th over and two overs later subjected the hapless pacer to similar treatment, as England's score moved to 180/2 in 46 overs.
Then in the 49th over, Pietersen went after Lakmal, slamming him for two more boundaries. The batting duo took England across the 200-run mark in the 51st over. Peitersen's hand of 72 came to an end in the 66th over as Rangana Herath bowled him for 72 off 124 balls. New batsman Ian Bell upped the ante, clobbering Dilhara Fernando for three fours in the following over as the hosts raced past 250.
Bell had clearly assumed the role of aggressor, smashing Herath for two boundaries in the 68th over. In the 72nd over, Cook smacked Lakmal for a four to notch up his century off 222 balls and simultaneously taking England past 300/3. But a short while later, he was stumped off Herath for 106 as the score read 305/4.
The new man in the middle Eoin Morgan, tried to push things along, but immediately after dispatching Fernando to the fence, was packed off by the same bowler for 4 with England stuttering on 313/5. The next man to depart was Matt Prior who was run out for 4 as well. Then Bell struck two more boundaries off Herath, before Fernando had new batsman Stuart Broad stumped for 3. That was when England declared - at 335/7 in 78.1 overs, setting Lanka a target of 343. Lanka's second innings got off to a seemingly positive start with Kumar Sangakkara hammering
Chris Tremlett for two fours in the 3rd over. But two overs later, Tremlett got his revenge when he had Sanga caught by Morgan at backward point for 12 as the Lankan score read 13/1. The surviving opener Paranavitana and Mahela Jayawardene then began rebuilding slowly, taking the score to 27/1 in 120 overs.
In the 19th over, Jayawardene smacked Tremlett for two boundaries to take the score past 50/1. But three overs later, the same batsman was sent back by Stuart Broad for 25 off 71 balls. In the 25th over, Paranavitana looked to move the score along by smashing Broad for two fours, making the score 79/2. But in the 33rd over, the opener was trapped in front for 44 offf 86 balls by Jonathan Trott as the score read 96/3.
The new man at the crease Prasanna Jayawardene, struck Steven Finn to the boundary twice in the 34th over. He and Samaraweera played out 10 more overs, taking Lanka to 127/3 in 43 overs when the match was called off and a draw had been secured.