Kuldeep took 4 for 40 © AFP
Kuldeep took 4 for 40 © AFP

Sri Lanka give a hint that they have finally mastered India, and they would eventually rise above them. The batters show resilience and the spinners take wickets by the bucketful in a session. After Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul added 188 for the opening stand, the middle- and lower-middle order stuttered. Malinda Pushpakumara and Lakshan Sandakan spun some momentum in Sri Lanka’s way. However, every time the Sri Lankans stage a comeback, one of the Indians rises to the occasion and steals whatever Sri Lanka have. This time Hardik Pandya was in the thick of things. His maiden hundred was the fastest by an Indian at No. 8.

Along with Kuldeep Yadav (26), Pandya added 62 for the eighth wicket – the second-highest of the innings. The steady Pandya, after losing partners, rushed through the gears and smacked 26 of Malinda’s over – the third most by a player in Test cricket. His heroics ushered India to 487 all-out, as Sandakan made India’s last wicket his fifth victim. When Sri Lanka took crease, the new ball took them by surprise. With wind running across, pacers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav seamed the ball and put Sri Lanka in a shell. Coming round the wicket, Shami had openers Upul Tharanga and Dimuth Karunaratne caught behind. And thus began the slump. Kusal Mendis was involved in a run out, while Pandya continued making merry and sent Angelo Mathews packing for a duck. Chinaman Kuldeep emulated the fellow Chinaman Sandakan, picking up a five-wicket haul. India enforced follow-on as Sri Lanka were wrapped up for a mere 135.

Sri Lanka’s misery did not end. Umesh castled Tharanga, which saw Malinda – the nightwatchman – bat twice in the last session. In all, Sri Lanka lost 7 wickets for 93 runs in the last session.

Brief scores

India 487 all-out (KL Rahul 85; Shikha Dhawan 119; Hardik Pandya 108*; Lakshan Sandakan 5 for 132) lead Sri Lanka 135 all-out for 4 (Dinesh Chandimal 48; Kuldeep Yadav 4 for 40, Mohammed Shami 2 for 17) & 19 for 1 (Upul Tharanga 7, Dimuth Karunaratne 12*; Umesh Yadav 1 for 3) by 333 runs.

Full scorecard