GALLE:Four wickets by Sri Lanka left-armer Chaminda Vaas destroyed England's top order, reducing the tourists to 61 for six wickets at tea on Thursday's third day of the third Test, effectively securing the series for the home side.
Only an extraordinary effort by the tail will prevent England following on, after Sri Lanka declared its first innings at 499-8 earlier on Thursday.
England's hopes of winning the test to avoid series defeat now look bleak. Resuming play in the second session on 24-4, England lost Ravi Bopara (0) with only one run added to the lunch score, caught by debutante Chanaka Welegedara off Vaas.
Paul Collingwood (23 not out) and Ryan Sidebottom (7 not out) showed some semblance of fight as they added 28 unbeaten runs for the seventh wicket before rain stopped play.