England capped a superb fightback in the deciding Test at Colombo today by claiming four wickets in the final 13 overs.

The tourists' late rally reduced Sri Lanka to 221 for seven at the close of the opening day after the hosts had won their third toss of the series and looked set for a major total.

But instead, Ashley Giles and Robert Croft claimed two wickets apiece as England claimed four for 14 in 79 balls to give them a real opportunity of limiting Sri Lanka to a modest first innings total.

England, who dropped Worcestershire's out-of-form Graeme Hick in favour of Michael Vaughan, were given early hope when Andrew Caddick struck in the second over, knocking back Marvan Atapattu's leg stump.

Captain Sanath Jayasuriya and new batsman Kumar Sangakkara responded with an 86-run partnership. But both players fell just five runs short of their half-centuries when they were dismissed within 11 overs of each other after lunch.

Darren Gough made the breakthrough just five balls after lunch, Sangakkara chipping a slower ball straight to Vaughan at point.

Jayasuriya followed when he slashed Croft to Craig White at backward point.

Sri Lanka battled back with Aravinda de Silva and Mahela Jayawardene forging a 97-run partnership -- but only after De Silva was given not out by South African official David Orchard as he edged Giles off the shoulder of the bat to Nasser Hussain at slip.

He was finally caught at silly point by Vaughan off Giles for 38, with Giles then trapping Russel Arnold leg before for a duck.

Croft claimed two further wickets before the close including Jayawardene, caught behind for 71.

Australia's world record of 16 successive Test victories came to an end today when India won the second Test at Calcutta by 171 runs, levelling the three-match series at 1-1.