England face a battle for survival on the final day of the first Test against Sri Lanka after being reduced to nine for one in pursuit of a victory target of 350 in Kandy on Tuesday.
Kumar Sangakkara's first century against England had set the platform for Sri Lanka's declaration late in the day.
Alastair Cook was caught at slip from Chaminda Vaas' fourth ball to complete a pair and give the worst possible start to his side's quest to save the game.
But history suggests the tourists have a chance of salvaging a draw as, four years ago at the same ground, a century from Michael Vaughan allowed England to bat throughout the final day to safety after being set 368.
Vaughan will resume tomorrow in the company of nightwatchman James Anderson on a pitch that has improved on each day of this Test after Sri Lanka were reduced to 42-5 on the first morning.
After getting out for 92 in the first innings Sangakkara made sure he reached three figures second time around, though he did enjoy a let-off on 98.
Ryan Sidebottom was left kicking the floor in frustration when Ian Bell failed to cling on to a straightforward catch at first slip. Had the chance been taken it would have been the third time Sangakkara would have been dismissed in the 90s against England.
He was eventually caught at mid-wicket off the bowling of Paul Collingwood for 152, meaning he becomes the first man to ever make scores of 150 or more in four successive Tests.
England's hopes of regaining control of the contest had rested on quick wickets as they begun in the morning already trailing by 74.
However, instead of making early inroads they toiled through the first session, not managing to make a breakthrough until 10 minutes before lunch.
Not even Monty Panesar's belated introduction into the attack could help turn the tide as Sri Lanka batted them into submission, even if the declaration was a long time coming in the final session.
A third-wicket stand of 122 forced Vaughan to delay taking the second new ball and it came as a surprise when Mahela Jayawardene perished for 65.
The Sri Lanka captain was strangled down the leg side by Matthew Hoggard, who was forced off the field at the start of the afternoon session with a sore back.
Chamara Silva (37) came out to add 71 with Sangakkara before becoming Monty Panesar's first wicket of the innings.
The spinner also tempted Jehan Mubarak to hit straight out to sub fielder Graeme Swann at long-on before bowling Lasith Malinga to finish with 3-132 from 45 overs of work.