A combination of obdurate batting and handily-timed rain saw England reach lunch on the final day against Sri Lanka without losing a wicket.
Having slumped to 57 for five chasing 350 on the fourth evening, the hosts appeared to be in tailspin and on the road to a first ever home series defeat to Sri Lanka.
But Sheffield’s Joe Root and Moeen Ali played conservatively and without major problems to take the score to 83 without incident.
The rain then came, first a light shower then a more substantial downpour and forced the umpires to take an early lunch at 12.30pm.
Although neither batsman was being tempted into pursuing the unlikely winning mark, Moeen kept the scoreboard ticking over with 22 runs, including three fours off Dhammika Prasad.
Root was playing an entirely defensive hand, though, and faced 42 balls for three runs.
A small psychological barrier was passed when Prasad, who claimed four wickets in a fine spell on day four, was taken from the attack without adding to his haul.
Spinner Rangana Herath, meanwhile, was restricted to a couple of half-hearted lbw appeals.