Sri Lanka’s bowlers restricted England to 336 all out in their first innings of the third and final Test on Saturday as the visitors’ tail folded inside half an hour.
The hosts then made a solid start to reach 74-1 at lunch on day two in Colombo, with Dimuth Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva both unbeaten on 28 having withstood pressure bowling by England.
Reaching a decent 312-7 overnight after a Jonny Bairstow century, England only managed to add 24 runs with Moeen Ali falling for 33, Stuart Broad for a duck and Jack Leach 2.
Ali skipped down the pitch and lifted the ball to long off, Broad was bowled trying to sweep left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan and Leach’s attempted heave saw him caught.
Sandakan was the pick of the bowlers, taking five wickets for 95 runs while finger spinners Dilruwan Perera and Malinda Pushpakumara took 3 for 113 and 2 for 64 respectively.
Danushka Gunathilaka was the only man out for Sri Lanka before lunch, caught superbly at short leg by Keaton Jennings for 18 off Leach, his first left-handed victim of the series.
Broad, brought into the side in place of James Anderson, impressed on a tough wicket for quicks, getting Karunaratne to edge the ball — only to be dropped by captain Joe Root.
England are 2-0 up in the three-match series after impressive wins at Galle and at Kandy.