England captain Joe Root continued his mastery over spinners on the sub-continent, reaching a second consecutive hundred with his 186 in the second Test helping the tourists reach 339 at stumps on day three at Galle.
Root's 309-ball 186, laced with 18 boundaries, was vital in England reaching close to Sri Lanka's first innings total. The English skipper missed out on his double ton after getting run-out in the final over of the day. The visitors currently trail by 42 runs, with Jack Leach and James Anderson in the middle on fourth day's morning.
Root, who had posted his 19th career test hundred before lunch, also passed Kevin Pietersen’s tally of 8,181 test runs to become England’s fifth highest run getter in the five-day format.
Root tallied a double hundred in the first test that England won by seven wickets.
England batsmen have struggled against Sri Lanka’s spin but Root has remained untroubled.
Root’s plans against spin appeared simple: for full deliveries, defend on the back foot and play the sweep for ones that were short.
Sri Lanka placed three fielders in the boundary to cut off the sweep shot, but Root kept finding gaps.
He was dismissed for 55 as Sri Lanka reviewed a decision to give debutant Ramesh Mendis his maiden test wicket.
Buttler had attempted a reverse sweep but ended up edging the ball to his boot and the short leg fielder Oshada Fernando snapped up the catch. Sam Curran survived a leg before shout off Perera and later in the same over deposited one for six over mid-wicket.
In the last over before tea, Lasith Embuldeniya, who was given the new ball from the City End had Curran caught at slip to complete a five-wicket haul, his third in tests.
(With AP Inputs)