Sri Lanka claimed wickets at both ends of a dour morning session which produced just 59 runs as they restricted West Indies to 72 for two in reply to the tourists' paltry first innings of 169 on the second day of the first Test in Antigua on Monday.
In between the dismissals of captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Nkrumah Bonner, the hosts crawled along with a second-wicket partnership of 56 in 21 overs between Bonner and fellow-Jamaican John Campbell.
Having seen Braithwaite fall to a regulation catch at second slip by Dhananjaya de Silva off seamer Suranga Lakmal without any addition to the overnight score, Campbell and Bonner rode their luck through almost the entire session in the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Bonner, "Man of the Series" in his debut campaign in Bangladesh last month, should have been dismissed at third slip when on 17, only to be recalled after television replays showed fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera had delivered a no-ball.
Neither batsman was able to dominate the disciplined Sri Lankan attack but the looked set to reach lunch safely until Bonner fell.
Attempting to pull a short ball from left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya, Nonner was struck high on his right thigh, prompting umpire Gregory Brathwaite to give him out leg before.
Bonner reviewed the decision but the replay showed the ball would have clipped the top of off stump and he departed for 31.
Campbell, who has batted for almost three hours and faced 116 deliveries for his unbeaten 27, will resume in the afternoon session in partnership with Kyle Mayers.