England's seamers reaped just rewards for bowling with great discipline as they took five Sri Lanka wickets on a cloudy third morning at Lord's.
The home attack drew a near blank on day two - but with England bidding for a 3-0 Investec Test series whitewash, Chris Woakes and Steven Finn (three for 52) bagged two quick wickets each to blast through the tourists' top order
On a resolutely placid surface, Woakes especially gave Sri Lanka no leeway as three wickets fell for seven runs on the resumption - and then Finn took over.
Woakes and Stuart Broad eliminated overnight batsmen Kusal Mendis and Kaushal Silva (79), without addition by either, and by lunch Sri Lanka's start-of-play 162 for one had turned into 218 for six in reply to 416.
Woakes, who had Dimuth Karunaratne dropped by Jonny Bairstow with his first delivery the previous day, was again immediately bang on target.
This time, with his first ball once more, he took catching out of the equation and merely needed umpire Sundaram Ravi to agree that movement down the slope in the air and off the pitch - enough to beat Mendis - was not too much to preclude lbw.
Woakes rightly got the verdict, and then three overs later at the nursery end Broad ensured Sri Lanka's mainstay Silva did not get started again either.
Silva had not scored from 13 deliveries when he got a thin edge, pushing forward in defence, to go caught-behind - for the ninth time in his nine innings to date against England.
Woakes had his second wicket when he got one to bounce and hold its line against the camber to have Angelo Mathews very neatly caught by Joe Root at second slip.
Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal tried to dig Sri Lanka out of trouble, and moved past 200 together.
But Finn got in on the act, trapping Chandimal on the crease lbw, and then having Thirimanne pushing out on the front foot and edging to Root again.