Moeen Ali struck early to remove nightwatchman Malinda Pushpakumara but Dimuth Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva threatened to grind the tourists down with a confident 96-run stand that comfortably eclipsed anything England managed in their first-innings 285.
Root pleaded not guilty to the charge and, as such, a hearing took place after the day's play following which the match referee found the England captain guilty of dissent as charged and handed him an official reprimand and one demerit point. With Nos. 9, 10 and 11, he put on partnerships worth 41, 56 and 28 respectively, placing Sri Lanka in a position of some strength when they had seemed likely to concede a significant first-innings lead.
England took the second new ball in the 83rd over, but to no avail, and soon captain Joe Root went back to his spinners. Stand-in skipper Suranga Lakmal was unbeaten on 15 at the end.
The 20-year-old's excellent, attacking knock frustrated Sri Lanka as he motored from 16 to 51 in the space of 27 deliveries, building a 60-run partnership with James Anderson (7 not out) for the final wicket.
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'That's going to give us a great chance'.
"As we were walking back Burnsy [Rory Burns] said to me 'I've been waiting a long time to open the batting for England and you've done it too quickly". The hosts were handed a five-run penalty in a freakish incident during the final session, after the match officials ruled Sri Lanka's batsmen to have breached the law governing deliberate short runs. "We have a lead of 46 and the important thing would be to get a few wickets before they erase the deficit".
Welcome! Day 3 of the Pallekele Test is upon us and fair to say that Sri Lanka are ahead at this stage.
The best performance with the willow, though, came from Roshen Silva, who was the last Sri Lankan wicket to fall in the innings.
Silva, Karunaratne and De Silva will regret not converting to triple figures, as was the case with Curran and Buttler before them.