Sri Lanka closed on 32-0 at stumps on day four of the third test against England, requiring 330 more runs for victory on the final day after some impressive batting from the home side set them a target of 362 to win.
Cook and Hales rack up the runs
Resuming on 109-4 after the events of day three, England were forced to wait to pile more runs on as the rain saw a delayed start at Lord's.
Once they did get underway, it wasn't long before nightwatchman Steven Finn fell for seven, bringing Alastair Cook to the crease. Indeed, despite coming in at seven following a blow to the knee on the previous day, Cook was partnered with his opening partner Alex Hales - the two taking it to the Sri Lankan's.
Hales momentarily thought that he was out too, bowled by Nuwan Pradeep, only for the umpires to conclude that the delivery was a no ball.
Surviving that scare, he went on to make another half-century, edging ever close to that long awaited maiden test hundred, as his and Cook's partnership reached 82.
Tourists need mammoth effort on day five
However, Hales did again fall short of three figures, gone for 94 after Angelo Matthews had him leg-for. The rain then started falling again after tea, Cook and Moeen Ali constantly hauled on and off, with the England captain playing some more expansive strokes than we've come to expect, before the declaration came with the score at 233-7.
That gave James Anderson and Stuart Broad around 12 overs to try and find an opening as the light faded, but there wasn't to be one as the tourists batted to the close impressively.
Sri Lanka are still in with a chance of recording an unlikely victory tomorrow, but England remain favourites to win and take the series 3-0, or to settle for a draw should the rain return.