Angelo Mathews scored a gritty half-century to steady Sri Lanka after early strikes by England paceman James Anderson on day one of the second Test on Friday.
Sri Lanka, 0-1 down in the two-Test series, reached 155-3 at tea after electing to bat in Galle. Mathews was on 63 with stand-in-captain Dinesh Chandimal on 42.Anderson, 38, struck soon after lunch to send back Lahiru Thirimanne caught behind for 43. He has claimed all three Sri Lankan wickets so far to take his Test tally to 603.
But Mathews and Chandimal put on an unbroken partnership of 79 in a sweltering afternoon session.
Mathews, playing his 88th Test, recorded his 37th Test fifty with a boundary.
Anderson, who replaced fellow quick Stuart Broad as the only change from England's opening win, struck twice in one over in the morning session with the wickets of Kusal Perera (6) and Oshada Fernando (0).
Perera was caught at first slip by England skipper Joe Root. Fernando played a rising delivery onto his stumps as Sri Lanka slipped to 7-2.
Thirimanne and Mathews rebuilt the innings with a 69-run partnership to lunch.