England opted to stick with a losing side after rain delayed the toss by 50 minutes in Nottingham.
They named the same side beaten at Headingley last Friday and Lord’s on Sunday but captain Alastair Cook declined to say whether there might be a change to the batting order in an attempt to prevent Sri Lanka taking an unassailable lead in the series.
Cook opted to bowl when the toss eventually took place after several beefy showers forced the teams to abort their pre-match warm-up and return to the pavilion.
The start of the match was put back to 2.40 – 40 minutes late – but the tea interval has been reduced to 35 minutes in an attempt to make up for some of the lost time.
But further delays are likely as more showers are predicted by the met men (weather forecasters rather than those supposedly investigating alleged phone hacking at the News of the World).
This is the 48th one day international between England and Sri Lanka and it couldn’t be more evenly balanced with 24 wins apiece. The more relevant fact though is that Sri Lanka have won the last two matches. Another win for them here will reduce the finale at Old Trafford on Saturday to a dead rubber.