Pallekele: Unbeaten half-centuries from debutant Shaun Marsh and veteran Mike Hussey put Australia firmly in control of the second Test against Sri Lanka with the tourists extending their lead to 90 runs at stumps on day two on Friday.
Australia reached 264 for three when bad light stopped play shortly after tea in reply to Sri Lanka's first-innings total of 174. More than 21 overs of play was lost when umpires decided to call off the day's play when there was no improvement in the light.
Marsh was just 13 runs short of a century on his debut having faced 211 balls and hitting 11 boundaries. Hussey remained not out on 76 including eight boundaries off 152 balls. The pair produced an unbroken 148-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
Australia reached 264 for three when bad light stopped play.
Seamers Suranga Lakmal, Chanaka Welegedara and spinner Suraj Randiv picked up a wicket each.
Marsh made his test debut in place of Ricky Ponting who returned home for the birth of his second child.
Lakmal made an early breakthrough as Sri Lanka hit back with three wickets in the morning session to leave Australia on 133-3 at lunch.
Australia resumed the day on 60 without loss but Lakmal exploited early moisture on the pitch as opener Shane Watson left an inswinger and was bowled without adding to his overnight score of 36 and Australia also on the same total.
With Australia on 95, Phil Hughes was caught for 36 at forward short-leg by Tharanga Paranavitana off spinner Suraj Randiv, and captain Michael Clarke slashed at a Chanaka Welegedara ball to be caught at slip by Mahela Jayawardene for 13.
Success eluded Sri Lanka's toiling bowlers after the first session with Australia adding 131 runs without losing a wicket. In desperation, captain Tillakaratne Dilshan even used Kumar Sangakkara to bowl seamers and Thilan Samaraweera, an offspinner who does not bowl regularly in international cricket.
Sri Lanka was dismissed cheaply in its first innings on Thursday, with Anjelo Mathews top-scoring on 58.
Paceman Ryan Harris returned Australia's best bowling figures of 3-38, while Trent Copeland, Mitchell Johnson and spinner Nathan Lyon picked up two wickets each.