Opener Sam Robson struck his maiden Test century to help England build a 63-run lead over Sri Lanka in the second day of the Headingley Test on Saturday.
However, the visitors fought back in the final session to take four quick wickets, including that of Robson (127) and Lord's Test double centurion Joe Root (13). England were 320 for six at stumps, in reply to Sri Lanka's first innings total of 257.
Skipper Alastair Cook's woeful form with the bat continued when he departed in the fourth over of the day. Gary Ballance (74) and Robson then stitched a 142-run stand but Angelo Mathews broke the partnership, dismissing the former.
Robson and Ian Bell, who is playing his 100th Test, made 83 runs for the third wicket but when Robson was castled by Nuwan Pradeep, Islanders picked three more wickets in quick succession. Bell (64), Root and Moeen Ali (2) were next to fall, as Matt Prior (3 not out) and Chris Jordan (4 not out) remain at the crease.
A late burst from the Lankan bowlers prevented the hosts from building a huge lead on the second day. Shaminda Eranga and skipper Mathews were the most successful bowlers with two wickets, while Pradeep and Dhammika Prasad took one wicket each.
"The first few sessions they batted really well, but if we can get them for under-400, we still have a good chance," Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne said. "If we bat well in the second innings, we can put them under pressure. They are batting in the fourth innings, and Rangana Herath can do something."
The Headingley pitch had nothing to offer for the spinners on the second day, with just odd deliveries turning but the 24-year-old southpaw believes the track will help spinners and the pitch will deteriorate as the match progresses.
"I think the wicket will turn in the coming days, because if you saw the lbw shout for Rangana, the projection showed it would turn quite a lot," Karunaratne said. "When England bowl in the third innings, the rough will become more pronounced. Rangana's got a great chance."
Meanwhile, Australia-born Robson explained he was trying to spend more time at the crease after getting out cheaply in the first two innings on his Test debut at Lord's.
"It's been a special day... one I certainly won't ever be forgetting," Robson said. "I tried to get myself in and get the team into a decent position and the more time you spend at the crease the more comfortable you feel. I felt good in the middle.
"I was just trying to soak it all up really, such a special, unbelievable moment. I didn't know what to do ... run around? Just carry on? Ian Bell at the other end said 'just enjoy the moment, take your time'. I raised my bat and did just that."
Where to Watch Live
The 2nd Test Day 3 is scheduled for an 11 am BST (3.30 pm IST, 6 am ET) start with live coverage on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2 in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Catch the action live on TV on Sky Sports 2 in the UK, while viewers can also live stream the action HERE.
Viewers in the US can watch the game on ESPN 3, while the action can also be live streamed HERE. Watch the match in Sri Lanka on CSN with the live streaming option HERE, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can view the match on SuperSport and live online HERE.