Jonny Bairstow put on 140 on his home ground and James Anderson and Stuart Broad took 5-16 and 4-21 respectively to enforce the follow-on, as England took control on Day Two of the First test versus Sri Lanka at Headingley.
Bairstow and his partner Alex Hales continued their effort in clawing back the hosts, as the two put on an unbeaten 141, with Hales falling short of a maiden test century.
Broad and Anderson then reeled the tourists in with yet another spell of dazzling bowling. At stumps in reply, Sri Lanka had been skittled out for 91 in their 1st innings and were 1-0 after following on, when bad light halted play.
Hosts looked to build on partnership
The hosts began Day 2 on 171-5 after play was abandoned on Day 1 due to rain.
As Hales and Bairstow strode out to the middle, England were in need of an improved display that might get them to a competitive total, albeit in good bowling conditions.
England opener Hales was closer to three figures on 71 than his partner at the opposite end, but was by far the more watchful of the two. So much so, that as they passed the 100 partnership, Yorkshireman Bairstow had almost drawn level.
Rash of wickets for Sri Lanka
English cricket in recent times as been subject to mini collapses during almost every innings, before the now customary recovery. Once again this was the case on day two, as it was yesterday.
Hales' patient watch came to an end, when after an 205-ball stand, his next one was wildly flashed at from Rangana Herath and a diving Dushmantha Chameera snaffled the catch. Hales was understandably dejected falling 14 shy of a ton.
The Notts' man's dismissal signalled a flurry of wickets for The Lions. First, Moeen Ali fell for a duck, before Broad added just two, after a wild swish of the bat found the inside edge, playing on to his stumps.
Bairstow ton, but chances missed for tourists
Edging toward his hundred as his team-mates fell, Bairstow was on 98, with England still only 233-8. The home county man didn't have to wait long however as after a mis-field in the covers by Kaushal Silva, Bairstow ran through for overthrows, to record his first century on home soil.
England were continuing their steady progress, but were in truth gifted a metaphorical handful of cats' lives. In fact, three of them. Both Bairstow and Hales chances were spurned and Steven Finn was dropped on seven, all at cricial times in the innings.
With Bairstow passing 100, he began to throw caution to the wind and reached 140 before Nuwan Pradeep removed his man for 140. Bairstow left the crease to a standing ovation. The hosts added 10 more, to reach 298 all out.
Sri Lankans rattled early on
England would have been satisfied with their total of just under 300 but would still need to strike early with the duke ball. Once more, Anderson and Broad ran in to begin, with the former almost creating a run-out.
It wasn't long before the hosts did strike and it was that man again. Broad running in got one to nip away and Bairstow - this time with the gloves - received the cherry gratefully.
Anderson did get in on the act, removing Silva for 11, before another Broad classic did for Ajantha Mendis. The tourists were in the mire at 12-3.
Wickets continue to tumble
After play was suspended due to bad light, Sri Lanka had steadied the ship somewhat, but at 43-3, there were still holes in the boughs.
Ben Stokes did nothing to help matters. With the first ball on resumption, the Durham paceman got some seam and Dinesh Chandimal could only thick edge to the careening debutant James Vince in the slips.
Angelo Mathews attempted a rear-guard action but fell for 34. He was then followed back to the hutch by Dasun Shanaka next ball with an outside edge and when Herath followed for just a single, to Sri Lanka were left dangling at 83-7, still 16 short of avoiding the follow on, with Anderson on fire.
England enforce the follow-on
Broad wasn't going to be left out of the action and after two smart catches from Finn, took the scalps of Chameera and Lahiru Thirimanne to take his fourth wicket.
It was Anderson however, who took the five-for after removing Shaminda Eranga. For the first time since last years Ashes series, England would enforce the follow-on.
Following on, a weary Sri Lanka made their may out to the middle, but at 1-0 their blushes were saved as bad light stopped play.
With three days left to play still, England are in total control of the first test. With the forecast for day three poor though, that may become just two. Nevertheless, the hosts are in a strong position.