New Zealand seam bowler Tim Southee felt his side's positive approach with the ball paid dividends as they edged ahead after day two of the first Test with Sri Lanka in Galle.
Southee ended the day with figures of 4-46 as the tourists took a slender nine-run lead after bowling Sri Lanka out for 221 before reaching 35-1 at stumps in their second innings.
"We were disappointed with our batting in the first innings and we knew the bowlers had to step up to get us back into the game," said Southee.
"We had to make the most of the new ball as it was swinging, we put it in the right areas and deserved our wickets.
"The bowlers did an outstanding job and we have grabbed the game back and now I hope we can put up a decent total."
Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford was keen to look to the positives, despite his side struggling with the bat, apart from a crucial sixth wicket partnership of 156 between captain Mahela Jayawardene (91) and vice-captain Angelo Mathews (79).
"We were hoping for a bigger lead but you can't be greedy after being 20 for four and 50 for five," said Ford.
"Credit to the New Zealand bowlers, they bowled fantastically well up front and it was a tough day for our batsmen.
"We looked like being a long way behind but a fantastic partnership between Mahela and Angelo got us right back into the game."