Prasanna Jayawardene led an impressive Sri Lanka batting display in Cardiff yesterday with a century on his maiden Test appearance in England.
Prasanna stroked his way to an entertaining 112, which helped Sri Lanka put 400 on the board in their first innings.
Coming to the crease at the fall of the fourth wicket with 159 on the board, the wicketkeeper took the visitors to within three runs of the 400-run mark before Stuart Broad found the edge of his bat.
England suffered a blow in reply as they lost Andrew Strauss in the last over of the day after previously looking unbothered against a tame Sri Lankan attack.
The England captain edged a delivery from Suranga Lakmal to Mahela Jayawardene at second slip for just 20.
Alastair Cook (24 not out) and James Anderson (1 not out), who was serving as nightwatchman, saw out the remaining balls of the day to leave England at 47 for one.
Starting the day on 133 for two, Sri Lanka lost Mahela in the third over of the morning without a run being added to the overnight score.
Anderson found the edge with one that shaped in and Strauss took a fine catch at first slip.
Chris Tremlett then brought Tharanga Paranavitana's (66) vigil to an end, the batsman dragging the ball onto his stumps.
Sri Lanka seemed to be in a spot of bother at that moment, but Thilan Samaraweera and Prasanna took the visitors to lunch without any further setbacks.
Samaraweera (58), who had a top score of eight in his previous four innings in England, added 84 runs for the fifth wicket with Prasanna before the new ball ended their partnership. Anderson again providing the breakthrough.
Prasanna, however, continued his defiance, adding 35 with Farveez Maharoof (16), 68 with Thisara Perera (25) and 51 with Rangana Herath (25) to help Sri Lanka post a healthy first innings score and put themselves in a strong position going into today's third day.
England were hampered by the absence of Anderson for most of the day.
The seamer, who started with four consecutive maidens in the morning, left the field to get treatment for back and side stiffness.
* Compiled by Ahmed Rizvi