A frustrating day for the fans in many ways as the continued poor weather disrupted play, but nevertheless England put themselves in a potentially match-winning position.
Kevin Pietersen made a superb 85 and looks to be regaining that sense of imperiousness that always characterises his play when he is at his best. A slight shame that he missed a real chance here for him to cash in against a poor attack and finally dispel the ludicrous thoughts of dropping him.
Pietersen’s straight drive off Herath’s first ball to him was a real sign of intent; truly, he has no mental issue against left-arm spin, it was merely a technical flaw which was being exposed. More telling though was the decision to take tea when the sun was briefly shining – it made a mockery of a professional sport and surely common sense should have prevailed. Test Match cricket is not a cheap sport to watch and the fans were shortchanged today, even if only by a few overs – it’s the principle that matters. This is Southampton’s first Test, many of these fans will be experiencing it for the first time. Don’t make them make it their last.
Largely down to weather, which happily seems a little more friendly. If England can get a lead of approaching 200 they will be very happy with the prospect of bowling on a still lively pitch against a Sri Lankan outfit who have a tail starting at seven and quite simply cannot handle the steep bounce of Tremlett, based on all prior evidence.