Left-armer Simon Kerrigan took four wickets as England Lions claimed a 122-run first-innings lead in the third and final unofficial Test against Sri Lanka A in Colombo.
The Lancashire spin bowler was given a chastening introduction to senior Test cricket last summer, going for 53 off eight overs without claiming a wicket in the final Ashes match at the Oval in August.
However, he enjoyed a far more productive outing for England's second string, taking four for 86 as Sri Lanka A were bowled out for 339 in reply to England's first-innings 461.
The hosts resumed on 166 for one on the third day of four at the Premadasa Stadium and Kerrigan made the first breakthrough when Madawa Warnapura nicked one behind to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, having made 71.
The 24-year-old struck again to dismiss Bhanuka Rajapaksa for 13, caught by Liam Plunkett, before Tymal Mills claimed the prize wicket of centurion Upul Tharanga for 149.
The promising Essex paceman finished with figures of three for 49, with team-mate Kerrigan also accounting for Jeevan Mendis (six) and Dushmantha Chameera (seven) to bring the innings to an end.
England were 39 for one in their second innings at stumps, with Alex Lees the man out for nine.
The match looks set to end in a draw on Saturday, which would hand the Lions a 1-0 win in the three-match series.