Sri Lanka squandered the advantage of a first innings lead after its batsmen forgot the art of playing spin on a day that clearly belonged to the bowlers.
At the end of day two of the first Test between Sri Lanka and England, it was clear that the host, struggling at 84 for five in its second innings — a lead of just over 200 — had let England back into the game.
Over 300 runs were scored on the second day, but the batsmen did not stick to their tasks as 17 wickets fell. Poor batting has been a defining feature of both sides in the three innings thus far. In comparison, the quality of bowling has been much better.
A result on the third day itself appears a possibility as the England bowlers put up a commendable show late on Tuesday afternoon on another hot day. It was inspired bowling by the Englishmen which had left the first Test wide open.
Mahela Jayawardene (180) and James Anderson (five for 72), who reached the 250-wicket mark, hogged the limelight on Monday.
Day two belonged to spinners Rangana Herath (six for 74) and Graeme Swann (four for 28). England conceded a first innings lead of 125 and Swann, who disappointed in the first innings, was in the thick of action.
The off-spinner got rid of both Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara — arguably the best players of spin from both teams — edging to the slips.
Jayawardene was surprised by the bounce which took his glove, while Sangakkara's forward defence showed that he had misread the spin and turn.
Earlier, a defensive England batting line-up was bowled out for just 193. Its batsmen created fear for themselves when there was actually nothing vicious in the Galle pitch.
Ian Bell (52) was the only England batsman who put up a fight. The world's best-ranked Test team was bowled out in just 46.4 overs.
The relentlessly-probing left-arm spinner Herath, who considers Galle his best hunting ground, once again delivered with a six-wicket haul.
With Stuart Broad around, there always has to be some controversy. After being trapped in front by Herath and given out, Broad showed his bat to the umpire.
A TV review, however, did not support his claim and as he was walking out Broad had a word with the umpire.
In the morning, Sri Lanka added 29 runs to its overnight score and was all out for 318. England cleaned up the two remaining wickets in 6.3 overs. Anderson hardly bowled a bad delivery in the entire innings and was rewarded with his 12th five-wicket haul.
Sri Lanka — 1st innings: L. Thirimanne c Swann b Anderson 3, T. Dilshan c Strauss b Broad 11, K. Sangakkara c Prior b Anderson 0, M. Jayawardene c Prior b Anderson 180, T. Samaraweera (run out) 20, D. Chandimal c Bell b Patel 27, P. Jayawardene lbw b Anderson 23, S. Randiv (run out) 12, R. Herath lbw b Patel 5, C. Welegedara lbw b Anderson 19, S. Lakmal (not out) 0; Extras: (lb-14, nb-4): 18; Total (in 96.3 overs): 318.
Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-11, 3-15, 4-67, 5-128, 6-170, 7-191, 8-253, 9-307.
England bowling: Anderson 20.3-5-72-5, Broad 21-3-71-1, Panesar 23-11-42-0, Swann 23-3-92-0, Patel 9-1-27-2.
England — 1st innings: A. Strauss lbw b Herath 26, A. Cook lbw b Lakmal 0, J. Trott st. P. Jayawardene b Herath 12, K. Pietersen b Welegedara 3, I. Bell b Herath 52, M. Prior lbw b Herath 7, S. Patel lbw b Herath 2, S. Broad lbw b Herath 28, G. Swann c Dilshan b Randiv 24, J. Anderson (not out) 23, M. Panesar lbw b Randiv 13; Extras: (lb-2, w-1): 3; Total (in 46.4 overs): 193.
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-40, 3-43, 4-65, 5-72, 6-92, 7-122, 8-157, 9-157.
Sri Lanka bowling: Welegedara 11-2-46-1, Lakmal 9-2-45-1, Herath 19-5-74-6, Randiv 7.4-0-26-2.
Sri Lanka — 2nd innings: L. Thirimanne b Swann 6, T. Dilshan b Broad 0, K. Sangakkara c Bell b Swann 14, M. Jayawardene c Anderson b Swann 5, T. Samaraweera st. Prior b Swann 36, D. Chandimal (batting) 17, S. Randiv (batting) 2; Extras: (b-1, lb-3): 4; Total (for five wkts. in 34 overs): 84.
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-8, 3-14, 4-41, 5-72.
England bowling: Anderson 5-0-18-0, Broad 5-2-8-1, Swann 12-2-28-4, Panesar 7-1-19-0, Patel 5-2-7-0.