Trott and Cook combine with twin hundreds in Cardiff

Having batted Australia into submission during the Ashes, England pair Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott lit up the third day of the first npower Test against Sri Lanka with superb twin hundreds in Cardiff.

Cook (129no) and Trott (125no) were in superb form Down Under over the winter, scoring a combined 1,211 runs, often in tandem, and they carried on where they left off with an unbroken stand worth 240 to see England to 287 for two at stumps.

With Sri Lanka posting 400 and rain taking more time out of the game today, the hosts may not be able to force a result but in Cook's 17th Test century, Trott's sixth and England's highest partnership against Sri Lanka they have reason enough to be cheerful.

Cook was first to the landmark with his fifth century in eight Tests and Trott, who joined him in the third over of the day, was hot on his heels with a fourth from his last seven outings.

As the duo cashed in to resounding effect, the absence of retired stars Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga from the touring attack was all too apparent.

Nightwatchman James Anderson played a curious cameo in the morning, seemingly ignoring the side strain that rules him out of bowling for the remainder of the match as he missed with two almighty heaves at Ajantha Mendis.

He departed soon enough, edging the spinner to slip without adding to his overnight single.

That brought Cook and Trott, England's Ashes bankers, together.

Trott got off the mark after seven balls but soon had a moment of concern when an Ajantha Mendis delivery kept low on him.

Suranga Lakmal got another to shoot through from the other end as the pitch hinted at some uneven bounce that never transpired.

Cook, meanwhile, looked serene and did not look to force the scoring rate in a quiet first half hour.

Trott picked up the first boundary of the day in the 12th over of play, easing Lakmal through cover to a sizeable cheer.

Cook's first four was a compact cut off Rangana Herath, who alongside Thisara Perera allowed the scoring rate to rise.

Successive fours off the latter brought Cook to 46 before drinks and his half-century came up off 112 balls.

The fifty partnership followed and England moved past three figures with eight off a Perera over, capped by a Trott four through cover.

Cook drilled Herath to the ropes in the next over as he continued to combine judicious leaves with some fluent strokes.

He flashed at one wide-ish ball from Farveez Maharoof but otherwise his judgment was impeccable.

Sri Lanka were unable to exert any pressure at this stage, with four overthrows to Trott's name and four byes off Mendis keeping things ticking.

Trott wasted no time in bringing up his 50 after tea, pushing his 102nd ball to point for two.

Lakmal finally caused some alarm when he squeezed a fuller one through Trott's defences but the ball squirmed past the leg stump.

Tillakaratne Dilshan was finding it hard to shuffle his inexperienced attack to any great effect, with a run out attempt against Trott providing a rare wicket chance.

Cook missed out on a couple of four balls from Mendis, who was otherwise economical despite causing little danger. The 26-year-old is described as a 'mystery spinner' but Cook and Trott appeared to have solved the mystery some time ago.

Trott, in particular, was relentless in working anything straight into the onside for ones and twos.

He was also quick to push for the brisk single as the game settled into a low-key phase of play.

Cook, having gone into his shell at the start of a long evening session, almost fell 13 short of his hundred.

He went to sweep Herath into the leg-side but sent the shot straight at Tharanga Paranavitana at short-leg. He stood up bravely but could not hold on to what would have been a superb catch.

After the 150 partnership, and the England 200, passed, Cook attempted the same stroke against Dilshan but this time picked up four to move to 97.

On 99 he saw two full-blooded cuts off Lakmal stopped at gully but threaded a third through the gap to reach three figures with his eighth boundary.

Trott, who accelerated after Cook's hundred, also celebrated his ton with a four, driving Lakmal square through cover.

The Warwickshire man's century occupied 196 balls, 28 fewer than his partner's.

Runs came easily from there on, with Cook's driven four off Perera and back-to-back Trott boundaries off Mendis highlights.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks