Leeds - Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews defied England's attack after fast
bowler Liam Plunkett took two wickets in two balls as the second Test
neared an intriguing conclusion.
The tourists in their second innings were 311 for seven at lunch on the fourth day at Headingley on Monday, a lead of 203 runs.
who scored a hundred in the drawn first Test of this two-match series
at Lord's, was 79 not out and Rangana Herath seven not out.
England, whatever happened now, faced a challenging total for victory on a wearing pitch.
Lanka resumed on 214 for four, a lead of 106, with star batsman Mahela
Jayawardene 55 not out and Mathews, who'd taken four wickets in the
first innings, 24 not out.
The batsmen, against less than
attacking fields, cashed in by scoring 40 runs in seven overs before
England took the new ball, with Jayawardene twice cover-driving paceman
Chris Jordan for four.
England took the new ball as soon as possible, with Sri Lanka 254 for four off 80 overs.
Jayawardene was dropped on 79 when Ian Bell put down a low chance in the gully off Stuart Broad.
the 37-year-old Jayawardene, in probably his last Test innings in
England, hadn't added to his score when he drove loosely at James
Anderson, the bottom hand coming off the bat handle, and was caught by
wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
Sri Lanka were now 268 for five.
that soon became 277 for seven as Plunkett, who'd taken a Test-best
five for 64 on his home ground in the first innings, struck twice in two
balls with the aid of catches by Yorkshire team-mates.
Chandimal pulled Plunkett straight to Gary Ballance at deep square leg
and next ball Dhammika Prasad, trying to steer over the slips, was well
caught low down by Joe Root, running in from short third man.
was Mathews who faced the next ball, after the umpires ruled the batsmen
had crossed, with Plunkett on a hat-trick for the second time in the
But the all-rounder steered the ball safely away.
Mathews then drove Plunkett for a ferocious six over mid-wicket and smashed Anderson back down the ground for four.
And in the last over before lunch Herath pulled Broad for four to give Sri Lanka a lead of more than 200.