Sangakkara's 25th Test century was his first in England
Kumar Sangakkara's maiden Test century in England denied Andrew Strauss's side victory on the final day of the third Test at the Rose Bowl.
After Sri Lanka had resumed on 112-3, 81 behind, Sangakkara (119) shared 65 with nightwatchman Rangana Herath (35).
Herath eventually fell lbw to Graeme Swann before Thilan Samaraweera (87 not out) added 141 more with his captain.
Sri Lanka were 334-5, 141 ahead, when rain arrived at tea, leaving England to settle for a draw and a 1-0 series win.
England will rue the early chances they missed to dismiss Herath, with Strauss dropping a chance at slip off James Anderson and the Lancashire paceman missing with a shy at the stumps when the batsman was well short of his ground.
At the other end, Sangakkara took advantage of some below-par England seam bowling by punctuating some careful leaves with elegant drives through the covers and down the ground.
When pace gave way to spin, Herath was again lucky to survive as replays of an unsuccessful lbw appeal from Graeme Swann showed that the decision would have been overturned on review.
Herath eventually played a needless swipe across the line at Swann and was given out leg before.
But any hope that England had of picking up further wickets before lunch were snuffed out by Sangakkara and Samaraweera, who had moved Sri Lanka into the lead by the interval.
Alec StewartFormer England captain and 5 live summariser
“I've been very impressed with Sri Lanka's application, but until today they haven't played anything like what we expected from them. Sangakkara showed us why he is one of the greatest players in the modern game, he's too good a player to have kept failing in England and that was a match-saving hundred”
The arrival of the second new ball one over after the break presented England with their biggest chance of forcing a result, but Sangakkara's edge over the slips off Anderson was the closest the home side came to a breakthrough.
Samaraweera counter-attacked on his way to a half-century, while Sangakkara notched his 25th Test century to stretch the Sri Lankan lead past 100.
England captain Strauss juggled his bowlers in search of a wicket, but was hampered by a heel injury afflicting Stuart Broad.
Finally, with the bad weather closing in, Sangakkara was deceived by a slightly slower delivery from Anderson which he sliced to sub fielder Adam Rouse at point.
By the time the rain arrived as forecast at tea, England were already too far behind to harbour realistic hopes of forcing a positive result.
The home side will feel that bad weather - both at Lord's and in Hampshire - prevented them from a wider winning margin, while the tourists could argue that, but for one batting collapse, the series could have been drawn.
Sri Lanka's players were subsequently fined 20% of their match fees by the International Cricket Council for maintaining a slow over-rate, after match referee Alan Hurst ruled that they were two overs short of their target by the end of the game.
Stand-in skipper Sangakkara was fined 40% of his fee, while Sri Lanka accepted the penalty without contest.
Listen to Jonathan Agnew and Geoff Boycott's review of each day's play on the
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