New Zealand’s pace attack posed a greater threat on the second morning than Sri Lanka had done in similar conditions on the first day, Trent Boult and Tim Southee testing the top order with movement in both directions, and Neil Wagner striking on his comeback.
The Lankans went into lunch for the loss of opener Kusal Mendis, who was playing his second Test, and the debutant Udara Jayasundera, the alien environment proving too much to handle for their inexperience.
A delivery from Boult slanted away from the right-hander that got Mendis, who had pushed forward with firm hands, causing the edge to carry to BJ Watling for his 100th dismissal.
Southee tested Karunaratne with two consecutive yorkers that hooped into the left-hander and homed in on his boot.
The runs had come faster for New Zealand early in the morning, when their last two wickets added 22 in 6.1 overs to take the score to 431.
Bracewell, resuming the day on 32 off 39 balls, continued his attack, pulling and slashing Nuwan Pradeep for fours in the day’s third over, soon after Wagner had top-edged a hook for six off Dushmantha Chameera in the previous over.