Sri Lanka, replying to England's first innings total of 351, emerged unscathed from the morning session on the third day to take their overnight score of 105-2 to 200 without further loss by lunch.
Jayawardene and Vandort, who joined hands on Monday afternoon with their team struggling at 22-2, flayed the England bowlers on the slow pitch at the Sinhalese Sports Club.
Tall left-hander Vandort was unbeaten at the break on 106, his fourth Test century that was studded with 16 boundaries.
Jayawardene was on 82 not out at his favourite hunting ground where he scored 374 against South Africa two years ago during a world record stand of 624 with Kumar Sangakkara (287).
England, who lost the first Test in Kandy last week, were denied quick wickets after removing the prolific Sangakkara and Upul Tharanga cheaply on Monday.
Sangakkara hit 152 in Kandy to become the first batsman in history to compile 150-plus scores in four consecutive Tests.
But the tourists were frustrated by