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Sri Lanka force draw after Cook ton

Alastair Cook's 18th Test century wasn't enough to guide England to victory on the the final day of the second npower Test at Lord’s.

Cook’s 106 helped England build a lead of 342 when they declared on 335 for seven. Ian Bell scored a lively 57 not out from just 43 balls and Kevin Pietersen added a crucial 72.

Sri Lanka never really looked liekly to repeat their final session collapse in Cardiff though, and the captains shook hands with the tourists 127-3.

England will be left to rue the rain which interrupted days three and four. England are 1-0 up ahead of the final Test at the Rose Bowl.

Cook carries on

Cook’s innings, which moves him level with David Gower and Michael Vaughan in the list of England century makers, continued at his own pace on the fifth morning with his second 50 taking 137 balls.

Pietersen meanwhile started in positive fashion, which included a rasping cover drive and arrow straight on drive for four from the same Chanaka Welegedara over.

He reached his first half century of the summer from 85 deliveries and looked a good bet for three figures before he was once again dismissed by left-arm spin.

The England number four - so often a victim of left-arm slow bowlers - will be less aggrieved by his dismissal to Rangana Herath than in previous innings though.

Herath found exaggerated turn down the slope from an over the wicket line and beat Pietersen’s defensive shot taking the batsman’s off-stump.

Pietersen’s critics might suggest he should have protected his stumps with his pads - safe from LBW as the ball had pitched outside leg stump - but it was a fine delivery.

Target practice

Bell was a flurry of activity from the moment he reached the crease, giving a much needed shot in the arm to England's run-rate.

He hit three fours from one Fernando over moments after reaching the crease and made his second half century of the match from just 40 deliveries.

Cook unveiled a few less conventional shots towards the tail end of his innings, including a couple of reverse sweeps, before reaching his century with a leg-glance to the boundary.

His dismissal sparked a flurry of wickets leading to the declaration - including the run out of Matt Prior who subsequently broke a window in the home dressing room on his return.

Prior and captain Andrew Strauss later apologised to MCC Members who were affected by the broken glass.

Damp squib

England set about forcing Sri Lanka into a difficult position, and got off to a good start when stand-in opener Kumar Sangakkara was caught at point off Chris Tremlett by Eoin Morgan.

Mahela Jayawardene was caught in the gully by Pietersen off Stuart Broad with the score on 66 and Jonathan Trott claimed his second wicket in Test cricket - Tharanga Paranavitana LBW for 44 - when it had reached 96.

But England never looked like bowling Sri Lanka out and the captains called it a day shortly after 6pm.


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