Rangana Herath claimed his 11th five-wicket haul in Tests as Sri Lanka bowled out New Zealand for 221 on the opening day of the series in Galle.
Left-arm spinner Herath collected 5-65 from 30 overs and was well supported by Nuwan Kulasekara (2-31) and Shaminda Eranga (3-51).
New Zealand opted to bat first but slumped to 40-3 in the ninth over with Eranga removing Martin Guptill (11) and Kane Williamson (0), and Kulasekara accouting for skipper Ross Taylor (9).
Opener Brendon McCullum (68) and Daniel Flynn (53) forged a 90-run stand for the fourth wicket either side of lunch but both fell to Herath.
New Zealand's lower order subsided quickly thereafter and Sri Lanka had five overs to see out with the bat at the end of the day.
That proved too much for debutant Dimuth Karunaratne, who went lbw to Tim Southee for a duck in the second over of the innings.
Nightwatchman Suraj Randiv (3no) joined Tharanga Paranavitana (0no) through to stumps with Sri Lanka on 9-1.