The West Indian bowlers kept the pressure on Sri Lanka by capturing two early wickets on the third day of the first test to leave the hosts struggling on 148-3.
Mahela Jayawardene (35) and Thilan Samaraweera (10) were the Sri Lankan batsmen at the crease at lunch on Wednesday, trying to haul the hosts to the required 381 to avoid the follow-on after the tourists declared their first innings on 580-9 on Tuesday.
On an overcast morning at the Galle International Stadium, the West Indian bowlers swung the ball with ease and captured the wickets of opener Tharanga Paranavitana for 10 and the prize scalp of captain Kumar Sangakkara for a well-composed 73.
Paranavitana went in the third over of the morning after he had his off stump knocked back by Kemar Roach to end a 55-run partnership with Sangakkara.
Jayawardene joined Sangakkara at the crease and the two played some attractive strokes and looked to be in total control 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.