Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen combined for 63 runs to lead England to within 229 runs of victory over Sri Lanka in their first cricket Test in Galle.
Trott, on 40, and Pietersen, on 29, were batting at the end of the day after Rangana Herath took the wickets of opening batsmen Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook.
Sri Lanka set top-ranked England what would be a ground-record 340 to win after making 214 in its second innings on the third day.
The home team added 130 runs to its overnight score of 84-5 as England spinner Graeme Swann completed figures of 6-82. Seventeen wickets fell on day two as England was bowled out for 193 in reply to Sri Lanka’s first-innings 318.
The highest fourth-innings total in 18 previous Tests at the ground was Sri Lanka’s 253 in a losing run chase against Australia last year. Sri Lanka’s 96-0 against India in 2010 is the highest winning score batting fourth.
The teams are scheduled to play two Tests. England is seeking to rebound from a 3-0 sweep of losses against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in January and February, while Sri Lanka is without a Test series win since August 2009.