Sri Lanka 240 (Karunaratne 83, Dhananjaya 73, Rashid 5-49, Stokes 3-30) and 53 for 4 needs 274 runs to beat England 336 (Bairstow 110, Stokes 57, Sandakan 5-95) and 230 (Buttler 64, Dilruwan 5-88)
Colombo: A record chasing 327, Sri Lanka were 53 for 4 at stumps on third day at SSC, Colombo on Sunday.
The host needs another 274 runs to win the third and final Test and avoid a series whitewash.
Kusal Mendis not out on 15 while night watchman Lakshan Sandakan playing on one at stumps on day 3.
Clearly England are well on course to clinch the series 3-0. Well, England with an overnight lead of 99
Earlier, England were all out for 230 in their second innings Sunday setting Sri Lanka the mammoth task of scoring 327.
Coming back from 39-4 in the morning session, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes (42) and Ben Foakes (36no) got the runs that left Sri Lanka facing a mountain to climb with two days left to play.
Dilruwan Perera took Keaton Jennings lbw with the first ball of the day lbw to shake England, and took five wickets in all. But after the top order scare, spinner Lakshan Sandakan made two basic blunders that set the tone for the tourists' recovery.
The left-arm spinner had Stokes caught at cover on 22, then at slip on 32, only for replays to show Sandhakan had overstepped the bowling line on each occasion.
England scored 336 in their first innings and Sri Lanka 240.