Sri Lanka were all out for 203 in reply to England`s first innings total of 342 on day two of the opening test against England on Wednesday.
Angelo Mathews top-scored for the hosts with a battling 52, while off-spinner Moeen Ali was the pick of the English bowlers claiming 4-66.
Mathews was batting on 52 as Sri Lanka reached 136 for five at tea. He had put on 75 runs with skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who made 33, after the hosts slipped to 40-4 in response to England's 342 in the first innings.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid got Chandimal stumped to break the key stand as the islanders still trail England by 206 runs. Niroshan Dickwella, on 11, was batting alongside Mathews at the break.
England, on the other hand, has scored 38 runs for the loss of no wicket at Day 2 end.
Earlier in the day, wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes hit a century on his Test debut to hand England a challenging first innings score of 342.
Angelo Mathews top-scored for the hosts with a battling 52.