Galle: Rain stopped play for almost an hour and 20 minutes, but India continued annihilating the hapless Sri Lankans at Galle. Despite registering a 309-run lead -- their highest in Sri Lanka - they refused to enforce follow-on.
Although Sri Lanka removed the centurions -- Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara -- of the first innings for 56, India ended the third day’s play at 189 for 3, leading by 498 runs.
Dilruwan Perera played an innings of substance, remaining unbeaten on 92.
From 143 for 5, it was his remarkable batsmanship that guided Sri Lanka to 291 all-out. He added vital partnerships to repel India: 62 runs with Angelo Mathews and 75 combined with No. 7 and 8 batters.
Given he was running out of partners, he rushed through the gears and took the attack to the opposition.
On a track that saw Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja flaming with their finger-spin, Dilruwan showed no hesitancy in shimming down the track.
Mathews looked ominous, but threw his wicket away in a bid to clear the infield. His 83, however, bought breathing space for Dilruwan.
This was the fifth time Kohli denied follow-on. However, this may as well go in India’s favour, as he maintained a clean sheet every time he did so.
Sri Lanka jolted India early on with quick wickets. Dilruwan continued making merry with the ball as well, dismissing Dhawan for 14.
Lahiru Kumara, at the stroke of tea, sent Pujara packing. Given Pujara likes to play fine when pitched on his legs, Sri Lanka placed a short fine-leg -- perhaps closer to the wicketkeeper.
The decision to bat again helped Abhinav Mukund. He notched up his second fifty in 7 Tests.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli scored 1,000 overseas runs as captain, becoming the seventh Indian to do so. Of all the players -- comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul, Dravid, MS Dhoni, among others -- Kohli averages the best, that is, above 60.
Mukund and Kohli added 133 runs for the third wicket, putting India in a commanding position. Mukund, however, was trapped in front for 81, while Kohli remained unbeaten on 76.
In other news, captain Rangana Herath went off the field to nurse his injured figured. Sri Lanka are already without the services of Asela Gunaratne who had fractured his left thumb on the opening day.
India - 600 (Dhawan 190, Pujara 153, Pradeep 6-132) and 189/3 (Mukund 81, Kohli 76*)
Sri Lanka - 291 (Perera 92, Mathews 83, Jadeja 3-67)
Status - India lead by 498 runs