Vaughan was admirably backed up by Gareth Batty and Chris Read who doggedly stood fast at the crease to foil the frustrated Sri Lankan bowling onslaught and brought the England second innings total to 285 for 7, leaving Sri Lanka 3 wickets short of a win.
The frustration really showed in the Sri Lankan corner and umpire Daryl Harper severely reprimanded them for constant appealing and running towards the umpire - match referee, Clive Lloyd, was expected to back up Harper at the close of proceedings.
Michael Vaughan was in buoyant mood, "It was a great a achievement and sets things up beautifully for the final match", said Vaughan.
The teams now move on to Colombo for the final match with England in hopeful mood.
Test Match Itinerary
1st Test - 2-6 December, Galle
2nd Test - 10-14 December, Kandy
3rd Test - 18-22 December, Colombo
Written by Martin Hardy on behalf of ISM