Jayawardene hit a masterful century (144 off 150 balls) as the visitors levelled the five match series 1-1.
Headingley: Mahela Jayawardene struck an imperious century to inspire Sri Lanka to a convincing 69-run win over England in the second one-day international in Leeds on Friday, leveling the five-match series at 1-1.
Jayawardene's classy knock of 144 off 150 balls — his 15th ODI hundred and highest score in 321 limited-overs innings — helped the tourists post a formidable 309-5 under sunny skies at Headingley.
England's reply started positively, reaching 201-4 after 38 overs with one-day specialist Eoin Morgan (52) looking in prime form.
Yet the Irish-born batsman's dismissal provoked a stunning collapse, with England losing its final six wickets for just 39 runs.
Spinners Suraj Randiv (3-43) and Jeevan Mendis (2-31) were instrumental in stifling the hosts' run chase, which if successful would have been England's biggest on home soil in ODI internationals.
All of England's top-order batsmen got themselves in good positions but none of them were able to go on to make a big score, with wickets falling at regular intervals.
Captain Alastair Cook impressed with a rapid 48 off 52 balls but was caught on the off-side boundary by Angelo Mathews off the bowling of Randiv, leaving England on 85-2.
Lasith Malinga then took a sensational diving catch to his right — meters from the rope — as Mendis dismissed Kevin Pietersen (13), who was looking in fine shape.
Jonathan Trott (39) was bowled by a yorker from Suranga Lakmal but Morgan stepped up the run rate, bludgeoning successive sixes off short balls by Mendis over the midwicket boundary and quickly reaching his 13th ODI half-century, off 37 balls.
Morgan departed when he was deceived by the flight of a Randiv delivery, Sangakkara taking a difficult stumping opportunity, before the hosts imploded.
Jayawardene, with his fifth ODI century against England, had earlier underpinned Sri Lanka's recovery from 45-2 after the early run-outs of captain Tillakaratne Dilshan (9) and Dinesh Chandimal (5).
Both crazily attempted quick singles after prodding deliveries towards the mid-on area but Stuart Broad landed a direct hit to dismiss Dilshan before the diving James Anderson did the same to Chandimal, recalled to the team in place of retired veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya.
Jayawardene and Sangakkara were unruffled, though, leaning on more than 600 matches of ODI experience to gain control of England's bowlers.
The way they eased the attack around Headingley revived memories of the World Cup quarterfinal between the teams in March, when Dilshan and Upul Tharanga hit delightful centuries in the Sri Lankans' 10-wicket thrashing in Colombo.
Playing at the same pace but with slightly more vision than Sangakkara, Jayawardene unleashed his full repertoire of strokes, from chops down to the third-man boundary to vicious straight drives and over-the-shoulder paddles.
Jayawardene, dropped by Swann at first slip when on 7, went on to strike 14 boundaries before his excellent knock ended, caught stranded down the crease as he went after the off-spinner (2-42). His previous best score was 128 against India in 2000.
With Sangakkara, also stumped by Craig Kieswetter off Swann, gone by then as well after an assured 85-ball knock featuring five fours, Sri Lanka found itself on 271-4 with five overs remaining.
The dangerous Mathews (46) swatted seven balls to the boundary in an entertaining cameo at the death.