Shikhar Dhawan notched up another test century as India looked set for another big score in the third and final test against Sri Lanka. India are 239 for the loss of three wickets at tea.
Dhawan made a brisk 119 runs off just 123 balls, the left-hander put on 188 runs with the KL Rahul for the first wicket as India denied the hosts any success in the first session.
Sri Lanka pulled things back a little in the second session taking three wickets. Rahul was the first to depart at 85 trying to pull off an aggressive shot but was caught by Karunaratne off Malinda Pushpakumara. India lost Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara (8) soon.
Dhawan fell to the sweep, hitting Pushpakumara in the air as Dinesh Chandimal completed an excellent catch diving to his left. Pujara was deceived by Sandakan, going back to a quicker, flatter one that wasn’t short enough to cut.
Malinda Pushpakumara was the pick of the bowlers in the post-luch session, sending both the openers back. Sandakan has kept things tight at one end and was rewarded with the wicket of Pujara.
Earlier, Rahul and Dhawan punished the Lankan bowling attack and completed half centuries before lunch. On an easy surface for batting, the Indian openers picked up boundaries at will and also made Sri Lanka pay for their profligacy.
After winning the toss and opting to bat, India captain Virat Kohli could not have asked for a better start as his side began their bid to complete a series whitewash over the hosts.
Rahul was on 67 and Dhawan 64 as India reached 134 without loss at lunch on the opening day.
Following wins inside four days in Galle and Colombo, the world’s top-ranked side have an unassailable 2-0 lead and the injury-hit hosts face another stiff task against Kohli’s men in the finale.
Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the only change for the touring side, called up as a replacement for suspended left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.
The hosts have been hurt by injuries throughout the series and will be missing both spin spearhead Rangana Herath and paceman Nuwan Pradeep. Middle-order batsman Dhananjaya de Silva was dropped after scores of nought and 17 in Colombo.
Sri Lanka brought in left-arm wrist-spinner Lakshan Sandakan, along with pace duo Kumara and Fernando.