England held the slight advantage over Sri Lanka at stumps on day one of the second Test in Durham, posting 310 for six thanks to two top half centuries.
Alex Hales (83), Joe Root (80), and Jonny Bairstow (48) put the bulk of the runs on the board at the Riverside Ground, and despite Sri Lanka breaking the partnerships at opportune times, the day belonged to the hosts by a whisker.
The day began with England winning the toss and opting to bat, despite clouds overhead and a seemingly good bowling deck. This proved accurate, as the Sri Lankans took two wickets in the morning.
The first was that of England skipper Alastair Cook, who is still an agonising five runs short of his 10,000 Test runs. He started the innings needing only 20 runs, but despite facing 42 deliveries, as out for 15 to Suranga Lakmal.
Under fire number three Nick Copmton was the other morning victim, as he failed to reach double figures in his quest to convince fans and pundits that he should be in this team. He was caught by Lakmal of Nuwan Pradeep for nine.
This left Hales and Root to continue together after lunch, and Hales added another half century to his records as the pair put on 96 runs for the third wicket. Hales was out for 83 to Milinda Siriwardana.
James Vince then contributed a handy 35 as Root advanced to 80 at the other end, but their wickets fell within seven runs of each other. Root was out to Pradeep, and then Vince was gone to Siriwardana three overs later.
The bulk of the evening session saw Bairstow and Moeen Ali negotiate the deck, with Moeen batting much slower than Leeds centurion Bairstow, who survived an LBW review late in the day. But he was unable to remain unbetaen, and was caught behind off Pradeep with three overs to go.
Ali, who made 28 not out, ended off the day alongside Chris Woakes (8 not out), who had been brought into the side as replacement for the injured Ben Stokes.