Colombo: Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne helped Sri Lanka to 85 for two at stumps on a rain-hit day one of the second Test against New Zealand in Colombo on Thursday.
Only 36.3 overs were possible after rain washed out the first session and bad light ended play for the day with Karunaratne unbeaten on 49.
Karunaratne, fresh from a match-winning century in the first Test in Galle last week last week, hit six boundaries during his 100-ball stay in overcast conditions.
The left-hander batted with positive intent despite losing opening partner Lahiru Thirimanne and Kusal Mendis either side of tea.
Thirimanne never looked comfortable and his 59-minute stay at the wicket produced just two runs.
His misery ended when he pushed a William Somerville delivery and was caught at extra cover by skipper Kane Williamson. He had been earlier dropped by wicketkeeper B.J. Watling off Somerville.
Mendis looked good as he reached 32 with four fours and put on 50 runs with Karunaratne to steady the batting.
Colin de Grandhomme, who made the XI in place of Mitchell Santner, got Mendis caught behind on a seaming delivery outside the off stump and Watling gloved the catch.
Former captain Angelo Mathews joined Karunaratne in the middle to remain unbeaten on nought after facing 14 deliveries.
The hosts only need a draw to clinch the two-match series.
Both teams made one change from the first match.
Sri Lanka included veteran spinner Dilruwan Perera in place of Akila Dananjaya, who was reported for a suspect bowling action after the first Test.
The entire opening session and another hour was lost due to persistent rain and the toss took place at 1:10pm (0740 GMT). The afternoon session went uninterrupted but play was again delayed by 28 minutes after tea due to rain.
After 7.3 overs in the evening session, play was called off due to bad light.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will return to Pakistan after a nearly two-year absence for three short-form cricket games later this year, the sports minister said on Thursday.
“We are not in a position to send the team to Pakistan to play the two Tests, but we will be in Pakistan for about eight days to play the ODIs or the T20 matches,” Harin Fernando told reporters in Colombo.
No dates were announced, but the minister said the games would be scheduled for later this year.
Citing safety fears, Fernando said two Tests could instead be played in UAE, where Pakistan has held many of its home series.
International teams have stayed away from Pakistan over security concerns.
In October 2017, Sri Lanka played a T20 match in Lahore for the first time since a terror attack near the same venue in March 2009.
That attack left eight people dead and seven Sri Lanka players and staff injured.
D. Karunaratne not out 49
L. Thirimanne c Williamson b Somerville 2
K. Mendis c Watling b de Grandhomme 32
A. Mathews not out 0
Extras (b1, lb1) 2
Total (36.3 overs) 85-2
Fall of wickets: 1-29 (Thirimanne), 2-79 (Mendis)
Bowling: Boult 7-2-20-0, Southee 12-4-22-0, De Grandhomme 8.3-2-14-1, Somerville 6-3-20-1, Patel 3-1-7-0