(CNN) -- Ian Bell continued his excellent form with the bat as his quick fire century put England in command going into the last day of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka the Rose Bowl.
Bell finished on 119 not out as England declared on 377 for eight wickets, a first innings lead of 193 in the rain-hit match.
Sri Lanka struggled to 112 for three wickets -- still trailing by 81 runs overall -- as the home side look to wrap up a 2-0 series victory having claimed the first Test in Cardiff.
It was Bell's second century in three Tests and his sixth wicket stand of 137 with Eoin Morgan (71) took the game away from the tourists.
He is in a rich vein of form, but admitted he looks back to the period when he was battling for his place in the England line-up.
"I've had times when it got very tough, when I got left out of the team, when I really was scratching about for runs," he told Sky Sports.
"You try to remember those times when you're in good form and that's what I'm trying to do now."
England had resumed Sunday on 195 for four after Kevin Pietersen's impressive 85 and they continued to score freely to set up Andrew Strauss' enterprising declaration.
Under pressure from the start of their second innings in still helpful bowling conditions, Tharanga Paranavitana (10) then edged James Anderson low to Graeme Swann at second slip.
Kumar Sangakkara, leading Sri Lanka in place of the injured Tillakaratne Dilshan, at last came good with the bat after a series of failures, combining with Test debutant Lahiru Thirimanne in a battling second wicket stand.
But it was ended when paceman Chris Tremlett, who took a Test-best six for 48 in the first innings, removed Thirimanne for 38 as he was caught in the slips by Strauss.
Just before the close, Stuart Broad struck a body blow when he had the experienced Mahela Jayawardene caught behind for just three.
It left Sangakkara unbeaten on 44 at the close with nightwatchman Rangana Herath for company and an uphill task to save the game on the final day.