New Zealand fought back over the final two sessions on day two to put the first Test against Sri Lanka on an even keel in Galle.
|Thilan Thushara, centre, celebrates the wicket of NZ's Martin Guptill [AFP]
The visitors reached 87-2 at stumps after Thilan Samaraweera top-scored with 159 to take Sri Lanka to a first innings score of 452.
New Zealand opener Tim McIntosh was unbeaten on 36 in a patient 88-ball innings batting with night watchman Jeetan Patel on six.
Martin Guptil (24) was the first Kiwi batsman to be dismissed as he played a ball from seamer Thilan Thushara onto his stumps. Daniel Flynn (14) was bowled by spinner Ajantha Mendis approaching stumps.
The late wicket took some of the gloss off the Black Caps' performance on day two, which began with Sri Lanka in command at 293-3.
Mahela Jayawardene (114) added just six runs to his overnight score before being caught at slip by Ross Taylor off seam bowler Iain O'Brien in a rain-shortened first session.
He hit 15 boundaries in a 227-ball innings and was involved in a 166-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Samaraweera.
Sri Lanka first innings (overnight 293-3)
T Paranavitana c McCullum b Martin 0
T Dilshan b O'Brien 92
K Sangakkara c Flynn b Martin 8
M Jayawardene c Taylor b O'Brien 114
T Samaraweera c Patel b Vettori 159
A Mathews c McCullum b Vettori 39
P Jayawardene c Flynn b Vettori 7
N Kulasekara c McCullum b Martin 18
T Thushara c O'Brien b Vettori 0
M Muralitharan c McCullum b Martin 8
A Mendis not out 0
Total (all out, 117.4 overs) 452
Fall of wickets: 1-0 2-16 3-134 4-300 5-386 6-408 7-444 8-444 9-452
New Zealand first innings
T McIntosh not out 36
M. Guptill b Thushara 24
D Flynn b Mendis 14
J Patel not out 6
Total (two wickets, 29 overs) 87
Fall of wickets: 1-45 2-80
Seamer Chris Martin (4-77) and captain Daniel Vettori (4-78) played key roles in preventing the hosts recording the giant score they threatened when there were only four wickets down and the score approaching 400.
Samaraweera patiently reached his 10th Test hundred off 223 balls and more than 4 1/2 hours at the crease.
After reaching three figures, he cut loose with 59 runs in 54 balls before being caught by Patel off Vettori.
This was his third time passing 150 runs, with the two previous resulting in double hundreds.
Samaraweera's innings included 24 boundaries and a six.
Sri Lanka's last six wickets fell for just 66 runs.
Heavy morning showers at Galle International Stadium meant just one hour of play was possible in the first session.