Southampton: Sri Lanka coach Stuart Law described England batsman Ian Bell as "a pain in the backside" after he plundered a third century in his last five Test innings on Sunday.
Bell`s chanceless 119 not out, his 14th test hundred, helped give England a chance of winning the rain-affected third test, which would seal a 2-0 series win and a fifth successive series victory.
The 29-year-old middle-order batsman produced another stylish innings that gave him a fifth consecutive Test score of over 50.
"Playing good cricket is all about consistency and Ian has done that in the last 12-18 months," Law told reporters.
"He`s improved that consistency level in his play and he`s started to fulfill the promise he showed coming through the ranks as a youngster at Warwickshire.”
"It was another great innings today, he`s a pain in the backside to be honest with you, the way he plays, and he keeps it very simple. Scores quickly but hits the ball in 360 degree arcs. It`s very difficult to contain.”
"He`s full of confidence and you can see that in the way he plays. Hats off to him, he played another great knock today."
Bell`s knock, made off 169 balls and including 12 fours, is part of an impressive sequence which started with 115 against Australia in Sydney, 103 not out at Cardiff in this series and 52 and 57 not out at Lord`s.
"I feel like I`m batting as well as I can at the minute," Bell said. "It`s nice to contribute to us getting in winning positions. The goal really is to be as consistent as possible.”
"In the past I`ve played well at times, probably not when it`s got very tough, but hopefully in the last 12-18 months I`ve started to put in performances when the team have needed them most and doing it more consistently, which is what you want to do as a batsman."