Colombo: England captain Michael Vaughan was furious with the umpires after Sri Lanka grabbed four wickets in the final session to scuttle his team's confident start in the second Test here at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) on Sunday.
Fast bowler Lasith Malinga took two wickets off successive balls as England, electing to take first strike in good batting conditions, slumped from 168 for 1 to 258 for 5 by close of the opening day's play.
Vaughan hit 87 and opening partner Alastair Cook made 81 to give the tourists an early boost after they lost the first Test in Kandy.
But three unfortunate dismissals set England back by the end of an eventful day's cricket.
Vaughan said television replays should have been called for after frontline batsman Kevin Pietersen was given out caught in controversial circumstances in the post-tea period.
Pietersen edged Chaminda Vaas to second slip where Chamara Silva dived to scoop the ball off the turf and Kumar Sangakkara at first slip caught the rebound.
Australian umpire Daryl Harper consulted with his square-leg colleague Aleem Dar before ruling the batsman out without seeking the help of replays, which showed the ball hit the ground before Silva scooped it up.
Pietersen, who saw the replay on the giant screen, stopped near the boundary line to see if the umpires would reverse their decision, but Harper once again raised his finger.
"I really do think common sense should prevail. You have got the technology and you are allowed to use it," said Vaughan. "It's very difficult to be 100 percent sure all the time if a catch has carried.
"Common sense should have prevailed, and I'm sure the umpires will feel exactly that way now. It has cost us a wicket, but 258 is still a lot of runs on a first-day wicket."
Vaughan and Cook put on 133 for the first wicket, England's first opening century stand since the Headingley Test against Pakistan in 2006 -- 15 Tests ago.
Vaughan, timing the ball superbly and looking set for his 18th century, fell against the run of play to give Sri Lanka a timely break midway through the afternoon session.
The batsman flicked Muttiah Muralitharan hard but the ball lodged between the knees of short-leg fielder Jehan Mubarak, who fell backwards by the impact but ensured the ball did not hit the ground.
Vaughan, who had cut the previous delivery for his 12th boundary, stood in disbelief at the crease for a brief while before walking off.
Left-handed Cook, who returned to form after being dismissed for zero and four in the Kandy Test, was unlucky to be declared leg-before by Harper off Malinga bowling with the second new ball.
Replays indicated the ball would have missed leg stump and loud jeers rang out from 3,000 travelling English supporters who outnumbered local fans.
Malinga then yorked Ravi Bopara first ball to make England 237-5 before Paul Collingwood (49) and Prior (10) saw out the day.
"We have got five guys out there who, we hope, can get us to 400 and beyond and put them under a lot of pressure," Vaughan said.
"We are going to need 400 and we are one good partnership away from that target."
Vaughan said he was happy the way he himself batted.
"I did feel good and I'm disappointed I did not go out and get a big hundred because that is what I set out to do."