Mike Hussey scored an unbeaten 115 to drive Australia towards an aggressive declaration at 450 for five before Sri Lanka were reduced to 87 for four at stumps on the second day of the first Test on Saturday.
More than two hours of play were lost to rain but the Australians made the most of what time they had on the picturesque Bellerive Oval to take firm control of the opening match in a three-Test series.
Dimuth Karunaratne was the first Sri Lankan to fall but it was the cheap wickets of the experienced duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene that would have delighted Australia more.
Dilshan holds fort
Thilan Samaraweera was caught behind off the bowling of spinner Nathan Lyon for seven to bring an end to play and leave opener Tillakaratne Dilshan, who had made 50 not out, to resume on Sunday with Angelo Mathews.
“I think we're in a fantastic position after getting a couple of those late wickets,” Hussey said.