Southampton, June 21: At stumps on the final day of the third Test between Sri Lanka and England, the former was leading by 153 runs with 5 wickets in hand. Although losing the series 1-zip, the Lankans managed to save the final encounter, courtesy a fighting 119 from Kumar Sangakkara and a supportive 87 not out from Thilan Samaraweera.
The day began with Sri Lanka at 112/3, trailing England by 181 runs. Sangakkara resumed batting on his overnight score of 44 with nightwatchman Rangana Herath, on 2. Sanga set the tone of the day by smacking Chris Tremlett for the first four of the morning. The batting duo soon found a groove as Sanga struck Tremlett for another boundary to bring up his 50.
In the 59th over, Herath ran a double of Stuart Broad to take Lanka over 150/3, before celebrating with a boundary. England captain Andrew Strauss brought seamer Jonathan Trott onto bowl, but the move had little impact: Herath clobbered him for two fours in the 64th over. But in the 67th over off-break Graeme Swann trapped the same batsman in front for 36 off 72 balls.
A short while later, new batsman Thilan Samaraweera hammered James Anderson for two fours to bring up Sri Lanka's 200. The two lasted out till lunch with the score reading 226/4 in 79 overs with Lanka having taken the lead. After the break, Sangakarra and Samaraweera settled into a comfortable partnership, taking the score to 255/4 in 87 overs.
Then at the end of the 92nd over, Sangakara took a single off Broad to notch up a well-deserved century. Three overs later, Sri Lanka had reached 300/4 in 95 overs. The run-flow sped up and slowed down in alternation, before Sangakkara was eventually dismissed by Anderson for 119 off 249 balls. By tea, Sri Lanka had reached 334/5 in 104 overs with Samaraweera not out on 87 and Prasanna Jayawardene on 6. Inclement weather then ensured that there would be no more play for the day and the Test was declared a draw.