Australia have vowed to fight hard but are on the verge of relinquishing the Warne-Muralithran Trophy for the first time.
Sri Lanka are well on track for an emphatic second-Test triumph in Galle on Saturday, with the tourists to resume day three at 3-25 in their second innings in pursuit of the giant - and virtually impossible - victory target of 413.
After last week's 106-run win in Kandy, the home side's spinners will be aiming to continue their stranglehold over Australia's batsmen and seal the three-match series before moving on to Colombo next week.
It seems a formality after Australia were skittled for 106 in just 33.2 overs in the first innings.
David Warner will resume on 22 not out and Steve Smith is unbeaten on one.
Aside from the skipper and his vice-captain, there will also be a heap of pressure on Adam Voges, Mitch Marsh and Peter Nevill to make runs and at least add some respectability for Australia.
They will no doubt have to find a way to negotiate Rangana Herath, who took Test cricket's 42nd hat-trick on day two when he snared the wickets of Adam Voges, Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc.
Dilruwan Perera already has 2-9 after dismissing Nathan Lyon and Usman Khawaja for ducks.
Australian coach Darren Lehmann was blunt when asked about his side's day-two display.
"(That's) not up to international standard," he said.
"Obviously still a long way to go hopefully but ... Sri Lanka have played well and we haven't."
Mitchell Starc's 11-wicket haul will almost certainly be in vain.
He took 6-50 in Sri Lanka's second innings of 237 and alongside a five-wicket bag in the first dig, ended with best Test figures of 11-94.
Australia made a flying start with the ball and, at 3-31, there was some hope they could keep a lid on the lead.
However, Angelo Mathews forced Smith into some defensive field settings and consolidated Sri Lanka's advantage before, on 47, he tried to reverse sweep Lyon and was bowled around his legs.
Lyon worked hard to finish with 2-80, Jon Holland (1-69) was expensive and Smith even bowled four overs.
Dilruwan Perera top-scored with 64 batting at No.8.
For Australia, the No.1-ranked Test team, another loss would be their eighth straight away Test defeat against subcontinental teams.