Kumar Sangakkara key for Sri Lanka, says Stuart Law

Kumar Sangakkara
Sangakkara is leading Sri Lanka in the absence of Tillakaratne Dilshan

Sri Lanka coach Stuart Law says Kumar Sangakkara is key to his side's chances of escaping the third Test against England at the Rose Bowl with a draw.

The stand-in captain is 44 not out overnight as Sri Lanka closed on 112-3, 81 behind the home side.

"Sangakkara is a class act, one of the best players around. We need him to get stuck in tomorrow morning," said Law.

"He looks determined and that's a good thing. When he scores runs, everyone else seems to follow."

After bad weather wiped out most of the first three days and with further rain forecast for day five, England declared their first innings on 377-8 midway through the fourth afternoon, 193 ahead of the tourists.

"The declaration was common sense," added Law. "We knew we would be batting today, either before or after tea.

"They played positively after lunch and we knew we were under the pump. They are playing good cricket and we're going to have to fight tomorrow."

Ian Bell made an unbeaten 119 for the hosts, his 14th Test century and fifth successive score of 50 or more.

"It was nice to get out there and get some runs," said the Warwickshire batsman. "I feel in pretty good nick at the moment. I'll keep working hard with the coaches and hopefully the performances will keep coming.

"I've had tough times before and been left out of the side. You try and remember those times when you're in good form."

"We can't control what happens with the weather tomorrow, so we wanted to have as many overs as possible. We wanted to get out and have a bowl before tea.

"There are still some good players to come, so we'll go out tomorrow and try and do what we did today."