Angelo Mathews scored his maiden test hundred to give Sri Lanka a handy first-innings lead of 157 against Australia on the fourth day of the third and final Test on Monday.
Mathews, unbeaten on 85 overnight, was stuck nervously in the nineties as he lost three partners in quick succession but finally got across the elusive 100-mark with a cover-driven four off Peter Siddle.
Mathews, on 95 when the ninth wicket fell, would have to thank last man Suranga Lakmal for hanging around for 37 minutes to help him get to his century.
The 24-year old all-rounder, who had twice been dismissed in the nineties in his 16-test career, jumped into the air to celebrate his century and was warmly applauded by his team mates in the dressing room.
Australia made early inroads into the Sri Lankan batting on Monday when Siddle breached the defence of debutant Saminda Eranga (12) and trapped Rangana Herath (3) leg before.
Chanaka Welegedara (1) was run out after a misunderstanding with Mathews that saw both batsmen stuck at the non-strikers end.
Siddle, who replaced the injured Ryan Harris for the final test, was Australia's best bowler, finishing with four wickets for 91.
Australian were 16-0 in their second innings, with Shane Watson and Phil Hughes at the crease at lunch.
Australia lead the three-test series 1-0.