Rangana Herath led Sri Lanka's fightback Wednesday (27), grabbing three wickets in the morning session as Australia went to lunch at 146-6 on the second day of the first cricket test.
A 29-run lead with only four wickets in hand reflected Australia's failure to capitalize on a splendid bowling effort on day one, when the Lankans were bundled out for 117.
Adam Voges was unbeaten on 41 from 103 balls at the interval.
The Australians put on 80 for the loss of four wickets on the second morning after resuming at 66-2. Herath had Steve Smith (30) stumped to end a 62-run third-wicket partnership with Usman Khawaja.
Herath (4-35) then trapped Khawaja (26) lbw as Australia slipped to 70-4.
A 60-run stand between Voges and Mitchell Marsh (31) was broken by rookie spinner Lakshan Sandakan.
Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and had opted to bat. However they failed to make use of the won toss and were bundled out for a mere total of 117. It was a combine effort from the Australian bowling attack as each one of them picked at least a wicket. Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon bagged 3 wickets each, while O’Keefe and Mitchell Starc had 2 to their names too.
Sri Lanka 117 (Dhananjaya de Silva 24, Kusal Perera 20; Mitchell Starc 2 for 51, Josh Hazlewood 3 for 21, Steve O’Keefe 2 for 32, Nathan Lyon 3 for 12) trial Australia 146 for 6 (Steven Smith 30, Adam Voges 41*, Steve O’Keefe 3*; Nuwan Pradeep 1 for 24, Rangana Herath 4 for 35, Lakshan Sandakan 1 for 35) by 29 runs.