England close in on victory

June 20, 2011

By Freaky Tim

An Ian Bell century put England in charge on day four against Sri Lanka at The Rose Bowl.

England moved along to 377-8, before declaring 191 runs ahead of Sri Lanka. Before the close England had the tourists 112-3, which still leaves them 81 runs adrift with just 7 second innings wickets in hand.

Providing the rain stays away England should wrap up the series 2-0 today, especially on a pitch that is now providing assistance to all of England’s bowlers with its extra bounce.

Earlier in the day Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan had made batting look easy with an outstanding partnership of 137 that pushed the home side into a position where an early declaration was possible.

Bell finished on 119 not out which further underlines how good a player he has become over the past 18 months. His new found assurance at the crease is something that he lacked in the early part of his career, and combined with his faultless technique he is sure to score many more hundreds for England. Bell recorded his 14th Test match century yesterday.

Eoin Morgan is fast making the number 6 position his own, with another classy half-century. Morgan is a crowd favourite and he provided excellent afternoon entertainment with his stroke play all-round the wicket before falling to Lakmal for 71.

The only thing standing in England’s way today of winning the series 2-0 is Southampton’s weather system.

Chris Murtagh 20/06/11

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