Rain ruins final day at Lord's

14 June 2016

Man of the series Jonny Bairstow with England skipper Alastair Cook // Getty Images


Wet weather wipes out day five at Lord's, as the final Test ends in a draw

England v Sri Lanka Tests, Third Test


England had to settle for a 2-0 series victory over Sri Lanka after rain wiped out almost the entire final day of the third Test at Lord's on Monday.

Home hopes of a 3-0 whitewash gradually receded and the final Test ended in a draw.

England's declaration on 7-233 had left all results possible and the likelihood of an intriguing culmination to a series already wrapped up by Alastair Cook's team with crushing wins at Headingley and Chester-le-Street.

But set a ground-record 362 to win, Sri Lanka's mettle was tested for just 12.2 overs against a pedigree pace attack.

That was enough - after play got under way at 1.20pm and then briefly resumed following another two-and-a-half-hour interruption - for James Anderson to strike with a brilliant piece of swing bowling to see off Kaushal Silva.

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Under cloud cover, Anderson produced a devilish inswinger up the slope to have Silva lbw playing no stroke.

But two more downpours confirmed the inevitable draw shortly after 5pm, Sri Lanka having moved to 1-78 from 0-32 at the start of the day.

A slightly untypical Lord's pitch had demonstrated increasingly variable bounce - from the pavilion end especially - and some sharp turn too on day four.

England therefore fancied their chances of inflicting their first whitewash in any series of three matches or more since they beat India 4-0 in 2011.

Jonny Bairstow's unbeaten 167 in the first innings, and career-best batting too from Chris Woakes first time round and then Alex Hales - who fell just six short of a maiden Test hundred - earned a position to push for victory.

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But it was not to be, England having to resort to spin at each end in classic seam-bowling conditions as worsening light compromised them even before rain returned for the last time.

The hosts are therefore left with a 10-2 lead in the inaugural Super Series - and 12 points still to play for in five one-day internationals and one Twenty20, starting at Trent Bridge on June 21.

"It could have been a really good day's cricket - 100 overs to get 300 runs on a pretty good Lord's wicket," admitted Cook.

"It would have been good to see our guys under pressure and I think it would have been good for the crowd, but the English weather got in the way."

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Nevertheless, Cook was able to take great satisfaction from a dominant display across a one-sided series.

"We won two, one by an innings, one by nine wickets and we declared in the other to try to set up a win," he added. "A pretty good three games.

Meanwhile, Bairstow was delighted to silence the doubters after being named man of the series.

The Yorkshire batsman has cemented his place in the Test side's middle order and hit a whopping 387 runs in the three-match series.

Meg Lanning Steve Smith