Sam Robson hit his maiden test century before England lost three wickets for three runs on Saturday to finish the second day on 320-6 and a 63-run lead over Sri Lanka in the second test.
While Robson answered his critics with 127 after making a combined 20 on his debut in the first test, Alastair Cook did not. He went for 17 to Dhammika Prasad, adding three to his overnight score at Headingley.
Gary Ballance and Ian Bell, on his 100th test appearance, made 74 and 64 respectively. Ballance and Joe Root (13) fell to Angelo Mathews, Bell flicked Shaminda Eranga’s delivery to Dinesh Chandimal down legside, and Moeen Ali went for Eranga’s second wicket on 2.
Matt Prior (3) and Chris Jordan (4) were at the crease at stumps.
England resumed on 36 without loss after bowling out the visitors on Friday’s first day, with Yorkshire fast bowler Liam Plunkett taking Test-best figures of five for 64 and Stuart Broad the second hat-trick of his Test career. Cook was 14 not out, having survived an appeal for a catch by Kumar Sangakkara in the slips on five when replays were inconclusive.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 257 (K. Sangakkara 79; L. Plunkett 5-64, S. Broad 3-46) v England 320-6 (S. Robson 127, G. Balance 74, I. Bell 64).