Our View: Switching fortunes
Kevin Pietersen scored a thrilling, if controversial, century to put England in the driving seat of the second Test against Sri Lanka.
Pietersen was at his scintillating best as he reached his 20th Test century in 109 balls, Alastair Cook having earlier fallen six short of the same landmark.
At tea he had 106 not out, with England 77 ahead on 352 for four.
But his tactics were causing plenty of consternation among the Sri Lankan side, who complained about him repeatedly altering his stance during the bowler's run-in.
It is an issue Pietersen has confronted before with his infamous 'switch-hit' and he did not allow a warning from umpire Asad Rauf to ruffle him here.
In fact, he reached three figures with a pre-meditated reverse sweep and celebrated in ecstatic fashion.
England started the day on 154 for one, with Cook on 77 and Jonathan Trott 15.
That left Sri Lanka's lead at 121, a figure they whittled down to 100 inside six overs. Trott was doing most of the scoring, mostly in ones and twos but with an occasional boundary.
Sri Lanka lost both reviews in the space of six balls - one a decent appeal for a gloved catch against Cook, the second a dreadful lbw shout following an inside edge from Trott.
The new ball helped get Cook back into the runs, with two fours in five Suranga Lakmal deliveries, but it also claimed his wicket for 94.
He was six short of his 20th Test ton when Tillakaratne Dilshan, who also accounted for Andrew Strauss yesterday, found the edge with his first ball of the day.
Pietersen was off the mark quickly, pulling Lakmal contemptuously for his first boundary, while Trott was typically ruthless through the on-side as he passed 50.
Pietersen offered one half-chance before lunch, looping over short-leg via bat and pad, but England reached the interval without further loss on 239 for two.
Pietersen settled into his afternoon's work with a mighty straight six off Dilshan but Trott did not seem as comfortable as he had before the break.
He survived a stumping chance after three balls courtesy of Prasanna Jayawardene's fumble but was gone in the fifth over of the session, held at slip to give Herath a first wicket of the match.
Pietersen was not affected by the dismissal, taking fifteen off Randiv's next over including fours on each side of the wicket and another six down the ground.
A third maximum, again off Randiv, brought up a 59-ball half-century and, more importantly, took England into the lead. Pietersen looked in particularly inspired form, thrashing back-to-back fours off the victimised Randiv and picking a gap in the off-side field to carve Herath to the extra-cover ropes.
New batsman Ian Bell bedded in quietly around his partner's fireworks.
Mahela Jayawardene packed his leg-side field and ordered defensive lines in an attempt to stifle Pietersen but he responded by unveiling a series of paddles, reverse sweeps and even his little-seen switch-hit.
The runs kept flowing, but Sri Lanka were unhappy with Pietersen's tactics and Dilshan twice aborted his run up as the batsman got into position early.
The umpires appeared to take Dilshan's side but it was the bowler who lost his composure, with Pietersen taking 18 runs off the over in question, smashing three terrible deliveries for two fours and a six.
Pietersen, never shy of a confrontation, went down early again to reverse sweep Dilshan for the two runs that brought up his century and celebrated with an exaggerated sprint and fist punch.
Bell departed for 18 before the break, his innings a sideshow to Pietersen's dramatics.