In the time available, West Indies stumbled to 303 for eight as left-arm spinner Rangana Herath tore through the lower order to finish the day with four for 54.
He snatched three wickets to send West Indies tumbling from their overnight 244 for five to 297 for eight, before the rains returned at the first water break and forced an early lunch.
On resumption, just 15 balls were possible before the heavens opened, ruining any further prospects of play for the day.
The first session belonged to Sri Lanka, however, as they claimed quick wickets including the scalp of the dangerous Brendan Nash for 67.
Nash, starting the day on 62, added just five runs before pulling at an innocuous delivery from Herath down the leg-side and gloving a catch to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene off the eighth ball of the day.
The entire series, which ends in a nil-all stalemate after rain in all three tests, has been an incredibly disappointing one for fans, players and broadcasters alike. The tour hasn’t had a full day’s play since the first day of the first Test in Galle, but there have been several individual performances shining out through this depressing excuse for a Test series. Chris Gayle’s fantastic triple-ton helped West Indies dominate the first Test, while Kumar Sangakkara’s 150 in Colombo gave Sri Lanka control in the second. Darren Bravo announced himself with three mature half-centuries, which were not only impressive given their context, but aesthetically pleasing as well and Ajantha Mendis showed signs of a return to form through a succession of testing spells.
The teams can’t claim to have gained much from the series and will hope that the late monsoon rains will abate in time for the one-dayers, the first of which is on Thursday.
Photos caption: Sulieman Benn walks off after it began to rain, Sri Lanka v West Indies, 3rd Test, Pallekele, 4th day,