Stuart Broad took a hat-trick, and Liam Plunkett his maiden Test five-wicket haul, as England bowled Sri Lanka out for 257 at Headingley.
Broad began with the wicket of Kumar Sangakkara (79) and, with the first two balls of his next over, added those of Dinesh Chandimal and tailender Shaminda Eranga.
The bowler, his team-mates and crowd, however, were unaware of the sequence as the change of over confused one and all initially.
Broad's second Test hat-trick - he is the only England bowler ever to repeat the feat - is just the third on this ground, and consolidated Plunkett's good work.
Sri Lanka therefore lost four wickets for one run, vindicating Alastair Cook's decision to bowl first.
Sangakkara rode his luck on the way past 50 for the sixth consecutive time in Test matches, sharing half-century stands with Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews.
Before Broad's intervention, it then seemed Plunkett - who was also on a hat-trick in the early afternoon - might be the man to endorse Cook's judgement.