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England Salvage Draw with Sri Lanka, Lose Series


England's cricket team has ended its third test against Sri Lanka in a draw thanks to 118 runs from Alastair Cook and a tropical downpour that ended play early in Galle.

Play ended 31 overs before the scheduled close when torrential rains struck the grounds after tea. England had reached 251-6 in its second innings, but still trailed the hosts by 167 runs.

Cook was able to restore some dignity to the English, who were all out for 81 in their first innings. His 285-ball innings included partnerships with Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen and wicketkeeper Mathew Prior. Muttiah Muralitharan took three wickets while allowing 91 runs in England's second innings.

The final score was Sri Lanka 499-8 declared and England, 81 all out and 251-6. The hosts won the three-match series, 1-0, by taking the first test in Kandy. The second test in Colombo was also a draw.

This was the first test to be played at Galle International Stadium since the 2004 tsunami devastated the area. England's series loss means they will drop from second to fifth in the International Cricket Council rankings. Sri Lanka moved to third in the rankings behind Australia and South Africa. India stayed fourth, but hopes to improve when it plays a four-test series against Australia starting Wednesday in Melbourne.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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