A draw is the best hope for the New Zealand cricketers after Sri Lanka amassed a first innings total of 452 on day two of the opening test in Galle which ended with the Black Caps on 87 for 2.
Thilan Samaraweera top scored for Sri Lanka with 159 but New Zealand took some credit from the day for sticking to their task in the field and gritty batting late in the day.
Daniel Vettori and Chris Martin each took four wickets, and the not out batsmen are Tim McIntosh on 36 and Jeetan Patel 6. Patel went in as nightwatchman after the dismissal of Daniel Flynn just before stumps.
The day was shortened at both ends by rain and bad light, and more rain is forecast for the last three days.