Bell century puts England ahead of Sri Lanka

SOUTHAMPTON, June 19, 2011 (AFP) – 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. Sri Lanka were 112 for three in their second innings at stumps on the fourth day — still 81 runs behind England’s first innings 377 for eight declared.

England, pressing for a win that would give them the series 2-0, saw their pacemen back up Bell’s 119 not out with a disciplined display.

Shortly before the close Stuart Broad, bowling a much fuller length after wastefully dropping short for much of this match, had the experienced Mahela Jayawardene caught behind for just six off an excellent leg-cutter.

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara — the other proven class batsman in the tourists’ ranks — was 44 not out at the close.

Nightwatchman Rangana Herath was unbeaten on two after a day where the rain, which has taken 155 overs out of this match, stayed away.

Sri Lanka interim coach Stuart Law said the fate of the match could rest with Sangakkara.

“He’s a world-class act and one of the best players on the planet so he’s always very important,” the former Australia batsman tol