Finn dropped for Anderson

England opt to bowl first after morning rain delays Rose Bowl start

Last Updated: 16/06/11 12:14pm

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Anderson: returns to England XI after side strain

Anderson: returns to England XI after side strain

Sky Bet

England won the toss and decided to bowl first after morning rain cleared to allow a 12.15pm start in the third Test between England and Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl.

Steady rain fell all through Thursday morning at the Hampshire venue - hosting its maiden Test - with the covers only just coming off by the time of the scheduled 11am start.

Umpires Aleem Dar and Rod Tucker inspected and decided to get proceedings under way at 12.15pm, England captain Andrew Strauss calling correctly at the toss and choosing to bowl.

The hosts, who hold a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, welcomed back James Anderson to lead their bowling attack after he missed the drawn second Test at Lord's with a side strain.

Steven Finn was the man to make way for Anderson's return in the only change to England's starting XI.

Sri Lanka made two alterations to their team, including a debut for opening batsman Lahiru Thirimanne.

Thirimanne replaced skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan, who scored 193 at Lord's but was ruled out with a broken thumb, while seam bowler Thisara Perera was preferred to Farveez Maharoof.

Former captain Kumar Sangakkara takes charge in Dilshan's absence and admitted he would also have liked to bowl first.

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