Mahela Jayawardene completed his 37th Test fifty before rain washed out play on the third afternoon of the first Test to leave Sri Lanka on 165 for three on Wednesday in reply to West Indies's 580 for nine declared.
Only 4.1 overs were bowled after lunch but the few minutes of play was sufficient to allow Jayawardene to reach an unbeaten 51 off 87 balls. Thilan Samaraweera was 11 not out.
Sri Lanka, who need to reach 381 to avoid the follow-on, were kept under pressure by the West Indian bowlers, losing two early wickets on an overcast morning at the Galle International Stadium.
Opener Tharanga Paranavitana (10) went in the third over after he had his off-stump knocked back by Kemar Roach to end a 55-run partnership with captain Kumar Sangakkara.
Jayawardene joined Sangakkara (73) at the crease and the two played some attractive strokes in raising a partnership of 71 for the third wicket.
However, Dwayne Bravo produced a big inswinging yorker 15 minutes before the lunch break to comprehensively bowl Sangakkara and put West Indies back in command.
West Indies first innings: 580/9 decl
Sri Lanka first innings (overnight 54-1)
T. Paranavitana b Roach 10
T. Dilshan c Shillingford b Russell 0
K. Sangakkara b D Bravo 73
M. Jayawardene not out 51
T. Samaraweera not out 11
Extras: (b-4, lb-3, nb-10, w-3) 20
Total: (three wickets, 43.1 overs) 165
Fall of wicket: 1-6, 2-61, 3-132
Bowling: Roach 10-1-43-1, Russell 7-1-43-1, Shillingford 14.1-2-43-0, Sammy 3-0-11-0, DJ Bravo 9-3-18-1.