Moeen Ali took four wickets as England dismissed Sri Lanka for 203 after Ben Foakes had completed his century on debut. The Three Lions began day two of the first Test in Galle on 321-8, with Foakes 13 runs short of joining the select band of players who have reached three figures in their maiden Test innings.
The Surrey man lost overnight partner Jack Leach for 15 and needed number 11 James Anderson to hang around long enough for him to get over the line.
The 25-year-old was last man out for a superb 107, with England dismissed for 342 – an excellent total given they were 103-5 at one stage.
It was then Sri Lanka’s turn to struggle at the top of the order as they slipped to 40-4, with Anderson removing opener Dimuth Karunaratne for four and Sam Curran trapping Kaushal Silva for a single.
The spinners then took over as Kusal Mendis fell to Leach for 19 and Dhananjaya de Silva made 14 before being bowled by Moeen.
The middle order rallied slightly as injured captain Dinesh Chandimal amassed 33 from 72 deliveries, while Angelo Mathews reached 52 before Moeen claimed his scalp.
Niroshan Dickwella hit 28 but, with Leach and Adil Rashid taking two wickets each, the tourists dominated the day. Moeen ended with 4-66 to ensure he played a part in the match after falling to a first-ball duck on day one.
There was still time for England’s openers to extend their side’s lead to 177 as Keaton Jennings ended unbeaten on 26 and Rory Burns was 11 not out, with Joe Root’s men 38-0 at stumps.
With such a commanding lead and three days to go it seems the writing is on the wall and all the Sri Lankans can do is hope for rain.