Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. Hales 41*, Finn 6*
  2. Cook yet to bat after blow to knee
  3. England earn first-innings lead of 128
  4. Sri Lanka slip from 162-1 to 288 all out
  5. England lead three-Test series 2-0

Live Reporting

By Stephan Shemilt, James Gheerbrant and Justin Goulding

All times stated are UK

Get involved


That's it from us today. Thanks for your company - and join us again for Test Match Special highlights from 10:00 BST tomorrow. In the meantime, there's some football happening in France which you might be interested in...

Steve Finn says re Alastair Cook "He's sore, but we'll see how he is in the morning and he may come striding out at number 7" #bbccricket

As you can see, there is some rain in the air on Sunday. But with a healthy lead, six wickets in hand and Sri Lanka needing to bat last on a pitch that is showing signs of unpredictable bounce and increasing turn, England will surely fancy their chances of wrapping up a 3-0 series win at some point over the next two days.

What about the weather tomorrow?

Weather forecast

Alastair Cook, who was struck on the knee while fielding at silly point, is yet to bat, but England expect their skipper to do so tomorrow, presumably after an evening with an ice pack for company.

Lovely bowling from Pradeep from the Pavilion End (McGrath-esque circa 2005, in fact), but it's too late for SL. England in effect 237-4

'Very good day' for England

More from England's Steven Finn: "We've had a very good day. Only taking one wicket yesterday, to come back and bowl them out for 288 was a very good effort. To be 237 runs ahead and the balls spinning a little bit...

"If we can get far enough ahead and get an unassailable lead, we can put Sri Lanka under some pressure."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"It's fluctuated. I'd say Sri Lanka won that last session."

England's Steven Finn, who took 3-59, on Sky Sports: "We did speak about how we were going to take wickets, about not to get too disheartened, especially with the state of the pitch.

"I've felt good in this game, back to normal. It's good to contribute again. I was maybe feeling for it a bit. Once I got into the spell I thoroughly enjoyed it."

The debate over England's top order continues, but coach Trevor Bayliss can be happy with how his bowlers performed on a far from helpful pitch, particularly after Sri Lanka resumed on 162-1 today.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"I wouldn't go back to Bell. Keep Vince, they have to give a player a good chance. He's got a bit to do. Compton, sadly, they will have to pick somebody else. The selectors have to identify someone and say 'his chance is now'."

Jonathan Agnew

BBC Test Match Special

"There was too much of a revolving door in the 1980s, but at least you were picked on form. It takes forever for someone to get dropped from this England team."

So England ended the day leading by 237, although not without a couple of late scares...

Hales dropped on 39
Finn edged for four

Hales received assistance from the ever-resourceful Jonny Bairstow until the first-innings centurion fell late on for 32.

Pradeep bowls Bairstow for 32

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"The England top order has failed. The middle-order batting and the bowlers get England their wins. It doesn't fill you with confidence. The ball to get Compton was straightforward line and length. He was late on it. The slope did for Vince, nipping back to take the top of off stump. He hasn't taken his chance." 

With Alastair Cook unable to bat because of this...

Cook hit by Perera drive

... it was left to opener Alex Hales to see England through to the close.

Hales drives for four

Cue England's predictable top-order collapse, as Nick Compton (again), Joe Root (again, sort of) and James Vince (again) failed. From 45-0, they were suddenly 50-3.

Compton dismissed for 19
Pradeep bowls Root for four
Pradeep claims two in two

But Sri Lanka's last three wickets fell without addition to the score as Chris Woakes finished with 3-31 and Steven Finn 3-59.

Perera caught behind for feisty 42
Lakmal dismissed for a duck
Woakes strikes again to close innings

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Woakes was the best bowler yesterday, so they were smart enough to bowl him first this morning. England had a wonderful session, taking 5-56. It wasn't lucky, it was high-quality Test match bowling. But they got carried away with the new ball, straining to get through the lower order."

Kusal Perera offered Sri Lanka resistance...

Perera drives Finn for four

...despite Chandimal and Thirimanne falling cheaply.

Dinesh Chandimal dismissed for 19
England claim fifth wicket of the session

England were far from perfect, though...

Joe Root drops diving chance at second slip

England - led by the impressive Chris Woakes - began with three quick wickets.

Angelo Mathews caught for three

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"The start of the day, Sri Lanka were 162-1 on a flat pitch. The plan that England devised was executed by Broad's excellent bowling. It was top stuff."

England end the day boasting a lead of 237. Not mammoth or match-winning, but hefty nonetheless - and enough to make the hosts favourites to win this game, in my opinion.

Jonathan Agnew

BBC Test Match Special

"That's been a really good day. If Sri Lanka took their catches England would be on the back foot."

Close - Eng 109-4 (lead by 237)

Finn, the ultimate team man, even turns down a single to deep square leg so he can keep the strike and protect Hales. And that's that on a thoroughly entertaining day.

Get Involved


Matt Green: Are England wanting to have Cook join his opening partner tomorrow?

not-outEng 109-4 (37.3 overs)

An appeal of sorts from Pradeep as he pins Finn on the pad with one that is a smidge high and probably going down leg.

How's stat?!

Andrew Samson

BBC Test Match Special statistician

"Jonny Bairstow ends the series with 387 runs at an average of 129, that's the third highest for an England wicketkeeper in any series and the third-highest ever for a three-match series."  

Pradeep bowls Bairstow for 32

Eng 109-4 (lead by 237)

This has suddenly got interesting. England, far from looking like bossing the game, will be much the happier of the two teams to leave the field. Herath can't make anything happen in that over, his last of the day, I suspect. Here's Nuwan Pradeep with the final six balls...

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"I've got no sympathy for them. Even club sides would have two slips for the new man."

Finn dropped on 1

Eng 107-4 (36 overs)

And another! Finn this time gets a reprieve as an edge flies between keep and slip. Hands on heads all round.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Where's Alan Knott when you want him? For both teams. There's the chance."

Hales dropped on 39

A chance. And it's Alex Hales too. Leg side from Pradeep, Hales gets a tickle on it and wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal spills it diving to his left. Could be costly.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"A nightwatchman? Crowd him, get men round the bat, get him out."

England, 229 runs to the good in a Test series they lead 2-0, decide that Steven Finn is needed as a nightwatchman. Please, somebody explain that to me.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"That wasn't the greatest of shots. He was trying to work it through mid-wicket when I'd like to have seen him play straighter. Sri Lanka have slowed the scoring rate down and when you do that, usually something happens."


Bairstow b Pradeep 32 (Eng 101-4)

Bairstow goes, thanks to a moment of madness that is so out of keeping with what we've just seen. It's full from Pradeep and Bairstow is attempting to work across the line. There's the thinnest of edges, if anything at all, and the stumps are splattered. Sri Lanka have their man.

At the current rate (13 overs-an-hour) today, the 105 overs needed in a four-day Test would take 8 hrs and 4 mins, finishing at 8.04pm