Opener Keaton Jennings ended his two-year wait for a second Test century with a career-best 146 not out as England inched towards a comprehensive victory in the opening match against Sri Lanka.
Openers Dimuth Karunaratne (seven) and Kaushal Silva (eight) survived seven overs, but Sri Lanka will need a near miracle to save the Test. Earlier, the tourist resumed on 38 without loss and its openers consolidated their position until it suffered a mini-collapse.
Debutant Rory Burns was out for 23 and Moeen Ali could not justify his promotion to number three, making just three. England captain Joe Root (three) also had a deja vu moment when Herath dismissed him for the second time in the match.
Jennings however looked confident against the spinners. Ben Stokes, Jennings’ partner in their 107-run fourth-wicket partnership, shrugged off his early tentativeness to clobber three sixes in his 62 before Dilruwan Perara spun one past his bat to hit the top of the off-stump. Jennings took a single off Dhananjaya de Silva to end his century drought. The 26-year-old pumped the air while running before taking his helmet off and raising his bat in celebration.
The left-hander’s patient 280-ball knock included nine fours. Jos Buttler made 35 and Ben Foakes contributed 37 before declaration.
Brief scores: England (1st innings) 342 all-out; Sri Lanka (1st innings) 203 all-out; England (2nd innings) 322 for six decl. in 93 overs (K Jennings 146*); Sri Lanka (2nd innings) 15 for no loss in 7 overs