Michael Hussey rescued Australia with a battling 95 after Sri Lanka stung the tourists with pace and spin in the first cricket Test on Wednesday.
The crafty left-hander narrowly missed his 14th century as Australia, caught on a difficult dusty wicket, recovered from a shaky 157-5 at tea to 273 all out by stumps on the opening day.
Seamer Suranga Lakmal and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath claimed three wickets each to give Sri Lanka the edge in the series opener at the Galle International Stadium. Hussey was last man out, leg-before wicket to Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Brief scores: Australia 273 (Hussey 95, Herath 3-54, S Lakmal 3-55).