England faces battle

A poor display with the bat has left England reeling at the end of the second day of the third Test against Sri Lanka.

Chasing down the visitors' first innings total of 231 before a full house at Trent Bridge, England struggled to gain ascendancy over the Sri Lankan bowlers as they stumbled to 229 all out.

The Sri Lankans, down 0-1 in the series thus far, then set about compounding a formidable total as they went to stumps at 45-1 in their second innings, a lead of 47.

In contrast to recent on-field success, no England batsman was able to reach 50 with Paul Collingwood's gritty 48 taking almost four hours due to some splendid Sri Lankan bowling.

Muttiah Muralitharan took 3-62 in a haul that included the key wicket of Kevin Pietersen (41) and he was helped admirably by a spate of bowlers at the other end.

One key aspect in Sri Lanka's surprisingly impressive display on Saturday was the field placings.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene cut off Pietersen's boundary opportunities from the start, and denied Collingwood so much that despite an innings of nearly four hours, the Durham man failed to hit a single four.

Upul Tharanga and Kumar Sangakkara are at the crease for Sri Lanka after England bowler Matthew Hoggard had Michael Vandort bowled just prior to stumps.

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