Anderson and Tremlett put England on top
Sri Lanka 81 for 4 (Samaraweera 24*, P Jayawardene 10*) v England
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Ten out of eleven days in this series have now been impacted by the weather after the Rose Bowl's entry to Test cricket was limited to 38 overs, but James Anderson and Chris Tremlett took two wickets apiece to ensure England gained control. The start of play was delayed and two further interruptions made it tough for the batsmen as Sri Lanka limped to 81 for 4, although they did well not to be in deeper trouble.
Andrew Strauss had no hesitation asking Sri Lanka to bat first and two lengthy stoppages meant the pace bowlers remained fresh. Anderson highlighted his value to the team, and reaffirmed how much he was missed at Lord's, with a probing performance even though his consistency of line wasn't quite at its best, while Tremlett caused a host of problems with steepling bounce from a good length. There certainly wasn't much in Sri Lanka's favour but failures by Kumar Sangakara and Mahela Jayawardene, coupled with Tillakaratne Dilshan's absence, left them exposed.
It took a few overs for England to find their feet and a highly critical assessment of the day would say Sri Lanka's batsmen weren't made to play enough throughout. Anderson pushed a series of deliveries across the left-handed openers and it was a change of line that did the damage when he came round the wicket to draw debutant Lahiru Thirimanne into a loose drive which flew to Strauss at first slip. Thirimanne, replacing the injured Dilshan, had looked solid on his first appearance at Test level but Anderson's skills eventually proved too much.
Tharanga Paranavitana needed early treatment after a blow on the glove from Stuart Broad and also survived a review when England were convinced he was caught behind on 6 but Billy Doctrove, the third umpire, didn't see enough evidence to overturn the on-field decision. Paranavitana collected the only boundary before lunch off Broad, who had been given the new ball ahead of Tremlett but struggled for rhythm during his four-over spell.
Tremlett, on his former home ground, was introduced in the 10th over and immediately found some extra bounce from a good length and that pressure played a part in Anderson's success. However, moments after England made the breakthrough more rain forced the players off for two hours.
On the resumption it didn't take long for England to cause further problems. Tremlett trapped Paranavitana lbw with a very full delivery that caught the batsman on the crease and there wasn't any point using a review. Anderson then claimed the key scalp of Sangakkara who played a horrid drive at a wide delivery, symptomatic of a player with plenty on his mind performing a role he doesn't want to in this match. Sangakkara knew the shot did him no favours and left with a frustrated swipe of the bat.
England were sensing blood when further heavy rain descended and it wasn't until 6pm that play resumed. Mahela Jayawardene was given a thorough working over, by the height of Tremlett and swing of Anderson, before edging a lifting delivery from Tremlett to Matt Prior leaving Sri Lanka in deep trouble at 39 for 4.
With the last pair of recognised batsmen together England could have got close to running right through Sri Lanka but the visitors dug deep during the final hour. Thilan Samaraweera played a couple of handsome drives while Prasanna Jayawardene hung in against the moving ball although the quicks may have gained further reward by pitching a touch fuller, particularly Broad who still waited to make a significant impact.
However, England know there isn't much to come in Sri Lanka's lower order and will have visions of keeping them below 150. All that, though, depends on the weather playing ball and the forecast suggests there will be more significant time lost in this game.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo