Kane Williamson dug in and made an unbeaten 80 to put New Zealand back in with a chance in their second Test with Sri Lanka.
The Black Caps closed day three on 253 for five in their second innings, a lead of 118, thanks largely to Williamson.
The home side were reduced to 159 for five at one stage but an unbroken stand of 94 for the sixth wicket between Williamson and BJ Watling got them going again.
Sri Lanka will still fancy their chances of taking the game – and levelling the two-match series – especially if they can take early wickets on day four but could rue dropping Williamson on 30 and 60.
New Zealand had moved on to 75 without loss before they started losing wickets, Hamish Rutherford the first man to go.
He got to a studious 40 off 84 balls before guiding Nuwan Pradeep to the hands of Dinesh Chandimal at third man.
Three runs later his opening partner Tom Latham was following him back for 35, edging Pradeep behind where he was taken by Prasanna Jayawardene.
The wickets continued to come and Ross Taylor failed to get off the mark before he went, bowled past the outside edge by Rangana Herath.
That brought dangerman Brendon McCullum to the middle, and although he added 43 with Williamson, he did not hang around too long before being trapped in front by Dhammika Prasad for 22.
Jimmy Neesham joined Williamson and edged along to 19 before he went the same way as his skipper, this time Pradeep the bowler, leaving the score on 159 for five.
But Williamson and Watling steadied the ship sufficiently enough to give New Zealand some real hope.
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