Chris Tremlett claimed career-best figures but rain again stalled England's charge on day two of the third Test against Sri Lanka.
Tremlett added four wickets in the 23.2 overs possible and Graeme Swann chipped in with a scalp as the tourists were reduced from 81-4 to 177-9.
The Surrey paceman, playing on his former home ground having started his career with Hampshire, had figures of 6-42 when rain brought an early tea and did not relent.
Inclement weather also wiped out the morning session and, with only 38 overs possible on day one, the Rose Bowl's inaugural Test is in danger of turning into a damp squib.
That will not overly concern England, who hold a 1-0 lead and require only a draw to clinch the series.
The only significant stumbling block for England, or Tremlett, proved to be Prasanna Jayawardene - who turned his overnight 10 into 43, from 104 balls in all.
Tremlett struck in each of his first two overs, with the final delivery both times.
Thilan Samaraweera had just been struck a painful blow on the right hand, and had then brought up his 50 stand with Jayawardene by clipping two runs past midwicket, only to be outdone by extra bounce when an attempted push-drive flew to Kevin Pietersen at gully.
Thisara Perera managed to register only two runs, mis-hooked just short of long-leg off Tremlett, before he edged a wild swish at the same bowler and was well caught behind by Matt Prior.
Andrew Strauss took James Anderson out of the attack, and brought on Stuart Broad.
But it was up at the pavilion end that it was all happening, and Tremlett completed his second five-wicket haul in Tests when Rangana Herath's attempts to hit Sri Lanka out of trouble ended with a hook into the hands of fine-leg.
Jayawardene, who had spent much of day one in stout defence alongside Samaraweera, decided it was time to play more shots.
The wicketkeeper has out-batted many of his more illustrious colleagues throughout the tour so far, and it was he who had hastened the end of Anderson's spell with a well-timed boundary off his legs and a cover-drive on the up for three more.
He was to find a handy ally too in Dilhara Fernando, who frustrated England's pace attack with a growing collection of edges which were either guided through or simply evaded slips and gully.
For good measure, the hosts used up their second review when DRS failed to conclusively overrule Rod Tucker's not out lbw verdict after Anderson thought he had Jayawardene.
The Sri Lanka mainstay did not add to his score, though, before he swept only the second ball bowled by Swann into the hands of deep midwicket.
It was time for Fernando to try to muscle some bonus runs with the last pair, and he managed to club eight off the remainder of Swann's first over.
But Tremlett returned to make short work of Suranga Lakmal, caught behind off a short one for a first-ball duck, just before rain had the final say.