Pallekele (Sri Lanka): Australia's bowlers left Sri Lanka in tatters on the opening day of the second cricket Test in Pallekele on Thursday. (Agencies)
The hosts, electing to bat after winning the toss, slipped to 14-3 by the eighth over and 76-5 by lunch, before groping to 150-8 at tea at the Pallekele International Stadium.
Angelo Mathews returned unbeaten on 43 with two sixes and four boundaries, while tailender Suranga Lakmal had yet to score.
Fast bowler Ryan Harris picked up three wickets and seamer Trent Copeland and off-spinner Nathan Lyon two each as the tourists looked to build on their 125-run victory in the first Test in Galle.
Former captain Kumar Sangakkara revived the hosts with a defiant 48, adding 43 for the fourth wicket with Thilan Samaraweera and 52 for the sixth with Mathews.
The elegant left-hander looked set for a major knock when he lost his wicket to part-time bowler Mike Hussey, whose slow medium delivery was driven to Phil Hughes at short-cover.
It was only the third wicket in 61 Tests for Hussey and compounded Sri Lanka's woes on a wicket that had rolled out well in favour of the batsmen.
Harris struck the first blow in his second over when he forced Tharanga Paranavitana to edge a catch to wicket-keeper Brad Haddin.
It was the second successive duck for the left-handed opener, who had failed to score in the second innings at Galle.
Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan made four when he tried to leave a ball from Copeland which swung back sharply to clip his off-stump.
Copeland also removed Mahela Jayawardene in his next over as Hussey dived to his left at gully to pick up a stunning catch.
Jayawardene, whose classy century in Galle failed to save Sri Lanka, managed only four this time.
Sri Lanka would have lost Sangakkara cheaply, but Shane Watson spilled a catch at first slip off Mitchell Johnson when the batsman was on 27.
Samaraweera was dismissed 20 minutes before lunch, caught behind off Harris for 18, while Prasanna Jayawardene threw away his wicket just before the break.
The Sri Lankan wicket-keeper smashed off-spinner Nathan Lyon for a six and four, but holed out in the deep off the last ball of the over.
Australia made one change from the side that won the first Test, bringing in debutant Shaun Marsh for former captain Ricky Ponting, who has returned home for the birth of his second child.
The left-hander received his baggy green Australian cap before the start of play from his father, Geoff Marsh, a former opening batsman who played 50 Tests and 117 one-dayers before retiring in 1992.
Sri Lanka included leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna for his maiden Test match after both Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis were ruled out with injuries.
Herath, who bagged a five-wicket haul in Galle, injured a finger in practice, while Mendis woke up on Thursday with a back strain.
Pallekele (Sri Lanka): Australia's bowlers left Sri Lanka in tatters on the opening day of the second cricket Test in Pallekele on Thursday.