Galle, Sri Lanka:Thilan Thushara and Muttiah Muralitharan shared six wickets as Sri Lanka seized control of the first Test against New Zealand on Thursday, reducing the visitors' first innings to 281-8 at stumps on day three.
Resuming the day on 87-2 the Black Caps played Muralitharan and his spin partner Ajantha Mendis creditably in the rain-shortened opening session, losing only night watchman Jeetan Patel (26) before going to lunch on 137-3.
After lunch, Muralitharan got an lbw decision against opener Tim McIntosh, who had scored a painstaking 69 runs off 226 balls in nearly five hours at the crease.
Thushara provided two further wickets in the middle session to hamper the visitors' effort to match Sri Lanka's first innings score of 452.
He elicited an edge from Ross Taylor (35) to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardena and then bowled Brendon McCullum (1).
When Jacob Oram then went for 12, New Zealand was in some danger of following on, but Jesse Ryder made 42 and added 36 runs for the eighth wicket with his captain Daniel Vettori.
Vettori was batting on 33 at close with Iain O'Brien on 3.
Muralitharan returned the best figures of 3-66 while Thushara recorded 3-80.
The match started 90 minutes behind schedule for a third day because of morning rain at Galle International Stadium.
Sri Lanka was bowled out for 452 on Wednesday, losing the last six wickets for just 66 runs as seamer Chris Martin and spinner Vettori took four wickets each.
Thilan Samaraweera top-scored with 159, Mahela Jayawardene made 114, while Tillakaratne Dilshan provided the momentum with a quickfire 92.