Colombo: Sri Lanka were 50-2 at stumps after India declared on 622 for 9 at Colombo's Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) Ground on day two of the second Test on Friday.
Ashwin removes openers early. Umesh Yadav did not even look at Virat Kohli when Mohammad Shami finished his first over. He knew Ashwin would open bowling. And when he did, he removed both openers.
Upul Tharanga flicked straight into KL Rahul’s rib. On another day the ball would have landed, but Rahul somehow managed get hold it with his elbows first and slowly released it to pouch it.
Even skating shoes would not have bailed out Dimuth Karunaratne. It ferociously spun away, and he would never have responded timely. He placed his bat to save his defence only edged to it to first-slip. Sri Lanka lost two wickets for 33.
Earlier, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja hit an unbeaten 70 as India declared their first innings on 622-9.
The left-hander smashed three sixes and four fours in an 85-ball stay to frustrate the Sri Lankan spinners, who had hurt the visitors' middle-order with regular strikes.
Veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath claimed four wickets for Sri Lanka which suffered new injury worries after paceman Nuwan Pradeep left the field on day one with a pulled hamstring.
Six Indian batsmen scored 50 or more -- including centuries to Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane -- as the tourists go in search of a series-clinching win.
The 217-run fourth-wicket partnership between Pujara and Rahane remained the highlight of the innings.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha made a patient 67 and all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin scored 54 before becoming Herath victims.
Ashwin completes career-double of 2,000 runs and 200 wickets
Debutant left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara picked up two wickets. They included overnight centurion Rahane for 132 -- his maiden Test scalp -- in the morning session.
Part-time bowler Dimuth Karunaratne claimed Pujara, who added just five runs to his overnight 128.
India, who lead the three-match series 1-0, need a win to clinch the series. The hosts need at least a draw to keep their hopes alive.
India - 622/9d (Pujara 133, Rahane 132, Jadeja 70*, Herath 4-154)
Sri Lanka - 50/2 (Ashwin 2-38)
Status - Sri Lanka trail by 572 runs