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Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara's maiden Test hundred in England looked set to help the tourists save the series finale at the Rose Bowl here today.

Ian Bell's second hundred in three matches helped England stay on top in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl here on Sunday.

Chris Tremlett marked his return to the Rose Bowl with a Test-best haul to leave Sri Lanka on 177 for nine when rain forced an early close to the second day of the third and final Test here on Friday.

Sri Lanka slumped to 81-4 against England by the end of a rain-affected day one of the third Test on Thursday, leaving the tourists' hopes of a series-equaling victory at the Rose Bowl in tatters.

James Anderson marked his England return with the wicket of debutant Lahiru Thirimanne, leaving Sri Lanka on 23-1 when rain forced the teams to take an early lunch on day one of the third and final Test at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.

England will be a step closer to its dream of top spot in the world if they beat Sri Lanka in the third Test at the Rose Bowl starting on Thursday.

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan will miss the third Test against England with a broken thumb, team manager Anura Tennekoon confirmed Tuesday.

England have named pace bowler James Anderson in place of Jade Derbach in their 12-man squad for the third and final Test of the series against Sri Lanka starting at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Thursday.

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan is almost certain to miss the third Test against England starting next week because of a fracture to his right thumb.