Sri Lanka ended day two of the second Test against England in Kandy with a handy 46-run lead.
Having gathered 290 all out on the back of half-centuries from batsman Jos Buttler and all-rounder Sam Curran on Wednesday, England conceded 336 on Thursday, and are zero without loss going into Friday.
Roshen Silva top-scored with 85 and enjoyed support from fellow half-centurions Dimuth Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva.
Spinners Adil Rashid, Jack Leach, Joe Root and Moeen Ali shared nine wickets, with one run-out. Seamers James Anderson, Ben Stokes and Curran’s roles were all but reduced to non-existent in conditions largely conducive to turn.
The timing of the end of Sri Lanka’s innings left the hosts to face one threatening over. They remained intact, after opting to have nightwatchman Leach open the batting alongside Rory Burns instead of Keaton Jennings.
Silva, Karunaratne and De Silva will regret not converting to triple figures, as was the case with Curran and Buttler before them. However, the lead is important ahead of an intriguing couple of days.
Spin will likely continue to prove key, with seamer Suranga Lakmal not anticipated to bowl much. Burns, meanwhile, has a point to prove as the recently retired Alastair Cook’s replacement at the top of the order.
Jennings, when he does get to the crease, will be under characteristic pressure to put in a big contribution.