Cardiff, May 30: Jonathan Trott ground his way to a painstaking, chanceless double century as the rain-affected first test between England and Sri Lanka headed for a draw on Sunday.
Trott was finally bowled for 203 five overs from the close, his second test double hundred, in an England total of 491 for five at the end of the fourth day.After rain had delayed the start of play by 210 minutes, England lead Sri Lanka by 91 runs with Ian Bell on 98 not out.
Alastair Cook was dismissed for 133 early in the day's play and Bell then shared a stand of 160 with his Warwickshire colleague Trott. Kevin Pietersen (3) succumbed to left-arm spin for the 19th time in tests in just over three years.
Trott, 125 not out overnight, laboured for much of the day in an innings lasting 513 minutes. His test career average swelled to 66.77 and only Don Bradman (99.94) has a better average among players who have featured in as many matches as Trott's 19.
Sri Lanka's initial success was that of prolific opener Cook. He added just four runs to his overnight score when he was undone following a rare loose stroke that ended a stand of 251 with Trott.
Cook, after compiling his fifth century in eight tests, tried to square drive a short Farveez Maharoof ball over gully off the back foot but managed only a faint edge to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene. He had faced 274 balls and struck 10 fours.
Pietersen, in his first test innings since surgery on a double hernia, was dismissed lbw for three by Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath. The ball kept low and skidded wickedly on to his pad and then bat. Umpire Billy Doctrove rejected the appeal but Sri Lanka were successful with the review.
Pietersen was stationary for about 15 seconds before leaving the field, clearly disappointed not to be given the benefit of any doubt.
Trott raised his 150 and the 50 partnership with Bell by on-driving Herath for his 13th boundary. It was the fourth time he had gone past 150 in a test career that is not yet two years old.
Bell was aggressive from the outset, charging down the pitch and striking Herath over his head for a six. It was England's first boundary of the day and came from the 84th delivery
The best, or at least most elegant, shot of the day was by Trott, a straight drive off Suranga Lakmal for four that registered the 100 partnership with Bell. The stroke also gave Trott the record highest test score by an England batsman against Sri Lanka, surpassing Graham Gooch's 174 in 1991.
Bell, dropped on 19 by Kumar Sangakkara at gully off Maharoof, sustained his positive intent and reverse swept two boundaries in successive overs off Herath and Tillakaratne Dilshan to go to 84.
Bell's innings apart, the day lacked entertainment but one of several comical dives in the field by Sri Lankan fielders brought much derision from the crowd. Evene Trott smiled when Maharoof slid to cut off a drive on the cover boundary only to stop short of the ball, which trickled over the rope a metre away from him.
Trott's patient vigil was ended when he missed a straight ball from Dilshan, trying to cut.