Sri Lanka rode openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne's unbeaten half-centuries to reach 133 and are now 135 runs away from a victory against New Zealand in the first Test of the two-match series at the Galle International Stadium here on Saturday.
Karunaratne and Thirimanne were batting on 71 and 57 runs respectively when bad light forced an early end to Saturday's play with the Kiwi bowlers struggling the entire day to get a wicket.
Chasing 268 runs, Karunaratne and Thirimanne put together an unbeaten 133-run partnership for the first wicket and denied the Kiwi bowlers any wickets.
On a challenging surface that continued to deteriorate, the duo was seen mostly defending a challenging opening spell from Trent Boult and Tim Southee in the first session. They shifted gears from the next session to swiftly take their side to over 100 runs in the 39th over.
It was also Sri Lanka's highest-ever partnership in the fourth innings.
Earlier, opting to bat, the visitors were bundled out for 249 runs, courtesy Akila Dananjaya and Suranga Lakmal, who scalped five and four wickets respectively. The islanders then managed 267 runs as Ajaz Patel rattled the Sri Lankan top-order.
The Kiwis were then again wrapped up for 285 runs in their second innings, setting a 268-run target for the hosts.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 267 all out and 133/0 (Dimuth Karunaratne 71, Lahiru Thirimanne 57) vs New Zealand 249 and 285