New Delhi: Skipper Virat Kohli hit 156 as India reached 371-4 at the close of the opening day of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Kohli put on a 283-run third-wicket stand with opener Murali Vijay, who scored 155, after electing to bat first at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi.
Left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan claimed two wickets late in the day including Vijay. Kohli was batting alongside Rohit Sharma, on six.
For the brief while Kohli batted in the first session, he showed what a good batting surface was laid out at the Kotla.
Vijay too was seldom troubled - aided by Suranga Lakmal's inconsistency and Lahiru Gamage's military medium - a reminder of the opportunity wasted by Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara to get some runs on a belter of a wicket.
SL skipper Dinesh Chandimal would have hoped that his spinners would pull thing back after the pacers failed to make any substantial impact.
In the absence of Ranana Herath, Dilruwan Perera was the lead spinner alongside wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan and spin bowling allrounder - Dhananjaya de Silva. But, the script went awry for the visitors with Perera leaking 97 runs in his 21 overs, while Sandakan gave away 110 runs in his 23.
Perera was lucky enough to pick up his 100th Test wicket in the form of Dhawan in the first session, when the left-hander top edged a sweep to deep backward square leg, but after that, luck evaded Perera and he himself bowled with lack of intent.
Chandimal used his bowlers in short burst that helped him with the wicket of Pujara.
Taking four boundaries during his stay for 39 deliveries, Pujara was seldom challenged, but a Gamage legside delivery prompted the Saurashtra player to play a leg glance only to find Sadeera Samarawickrama take a sharp catch at gully.
Left-arm spinner Sandakan did not get his radar right at first and even though he had a few good balls, those were sandwiched between quite a few loose deliveries that Kohli and Vijay pounced on.
Starting the session on 17 off 22, Kohli ploughed into Lakmal with two boundaries in an over, en route to completing 5000 Test runs - the 11th Indian to do so and then got three boundaries in one Gamage over to complete his 15th Test fifty in just 52 deliveries.