Matthew Prior hit his fifth test century on Saturday as he and Stuart Broad guided England to a first-innings 486 all out on day two of the second test against Sri Lanka.
With England resuming on 342-6 at Lord's, Prior made the most of two missed catches in the slips to score 126 and help take England past 400 for a fourth straight innings.
England added 68 off the first eight overs of the morning session before Broad fell lbw for 54 to Chanaka Welegedara, who removed Graeme Swann in the same over and finished with 4-122.
Chris Tremlett added a valuable 24 not out to put further pressure on the tourists.
With Alastair Cook, Eoin Morgan and Ian Bell also having hit half-centuries to lead a recovery from 22-3, England has a good total to defend on a pitch promising assistance for the home side's pacemen.
Such is the bounce, Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath was even denied an lbw decision when replays showed the ball was going over the top.
With Cook having hit 96 on Friday, when Morgan struck 79 and Bell scratched out 52, the pitch looks to hold few surprises. Sri Lanka, though, was skittled out for 82 this week to lose the first test by an innings and 14 runs and will be up against the pace of Broad, Tremlett and Steven Finn.
England's brisk scoring slowed once Broad was back in the pavilion - his 108-run, 91-ball partnership with Prior ended when he leaned across Welegadara. Swann quickly followed for 4, caught five balls later by a catch from first slip Tharanga Paranavitana - who held on despite the wicketkeeper flying across him in hope of catching the ball himself.
Prior began declining singles in an effort to protect Tremlett at the other end, although England still added a respectable 21 runs from the five overs after Broad and Swann fell.
Prior instead wheeled out his more unorthodox strokes in hope of finding the boundary. With the score on 452-8 and lunch in sight, he tried to smack Herath and was bowled.
Prior added 53 runs from 48 balls in the morning session, reaching his fifth test century and second at Lord's. Of wicketkeeper-batsmen, only Andy Flower and Adam Gilchrist have a better test average than Prior.
But having exposed the start of the tail by getting rid of Morgan toward the end of the first day, Sri Lanka's bowlers looked short of ideas and low on morale early on.
England's woeful start to Friday's first day, when Andrew Strauss, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen fell early to leave their side flailing at 22-3, was a distant memory as Prior quickly rolled on from his overnight 73.
On 94 he thick top-edged Welegedara to Mahela Jayawardene at third slip, only for the veteran to put down a straightforward head-height catch. Broad hit the subsequent delivery back over Welegedara's head for a boundary and reached his 50 off 47 balls from the next with his ninth four.
Prior got his second reprieve in the subsequent over as he edged through the gap between wicketkeeper and first slip to move onto 99. He completed his 107-ball century with a routine single.
England declined the declaration and a chance to bowl at Sri Lanka for 20 minutes before lunch, and Herath polished things off by bowling last-man Finn for 19.