Tillakaratne Dilshan passed the highest score by a Sri Lanka batsman at Lord’s with a superb 193 on a rain affected third day at the Home of Cricket.
Just 38.2 overs were bowled before the weather struck in the afternoon session as England’s bowlers once again toiled in the field.
The players reappeared after taking an early Tea, but rain returned after just five balls and ensured that Sri Lanka will start day four on 372-3, still 114 runs behind England.
Dilshan resumed his innings on 127 after undergoing a scan on an injury sustained to his thumb when he was hit by Chris Tremlett on the second day.
He and Kumar Sangakkara negotiated some testing early overs from Tremlett and Stuart Broad with Sangakkara in particular looking in solid, watchful nick.
Dilshan was guilty - as he often is - of some airy wafts outside the off stump but he found the middle of the bat more often than the edge, hitting Swann for two fours and reaching his 150 in the same over.
England turned to the new ball for a breakthrough and were immediately rewarded with the scalp of Sangakkara - Tremlett enticing the left-hander into a thin edge through to wicket-keeper Matt Prior.
Any hopes the hosts might have had of running through the Sri Lanka batting in overcast, seam friendly conditions quickly evaporated though.
Mahela Jayawardene - twice a Lord’s centurion - joined his skipper and together they raced to a 50 partnership from just 41 balls with the hard new ball disappearing fast to the boundaries.
England’s seamers were frustratingly inconsistent, frequently sending Prior tumbling down the leg side to collect wayward deliveries.
Records & rain
England’s bowlers were evidently given the hard word at Lunch and returned from the interval with renewed vigour.
Dilshan, fluent in the overs before the break, passed Sidath Wettimuni’s previous high score for a Sri Lankan at Lord’s with two through point before taking a nasty blow on the thumb from Tremlett.
The 6’ 8" bowler’s brutish delivery was a repeat of the same ball which forced Dilshan to have a scan on his thumb at the close of day two.
Dilshan, as with the day before, bravely batted on but was clearly unsettled by the incident and was clean bowled just three overs later by Finn, who got one to move back down the famous Lord's slope.
Thilan Samaraweera survived a tricky spell before the rain came to force an early Tea and players were once again frustrated by the weather in the evening session when heavier rain ended proceedings.