"We were outplayed in the first innings with the bat and the ball". Ravindra Jadeja (70 not out) was also in fine form but the all-rounder was unable to better his top Test score of 90 before the tourists declared after tea, leaving Sri Lanka a tricky 20 overs to negotiate before the close.
Karunaratne on-drove Mohammed Shami for four and reached his hundred (141, 307b, 16x4), but Pushpakumara manufactured his dismissal, attempting a reverse sweep against R. Ashwin.
Test captain Dinesh Chandimal and batsman Lahiru Thirimanne have at times spoken of the chasm in quality between domestic cricket and internationals as well.
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In the morning, Karunaratne progressed through his nineties with a dour bat and night-watchman Malinda Pushpakumara did what members of his tribe often do, irritate the rivals. Karunaratne's unbeaten knock off 200 balls was laced with 12 boundaries. This week, he returned to the venue having established himself as the backbone of India's batting with seven centuries in two years.
The hosts had been dismissed for 183 in their first innings, handing the Indians a lead of 439. The only lingering question was about how long Sri Lanka could delay Virat Kohli's men their moment under the sun? Kohli said his side didn't lose patience and stuck to their discipline bowling despite enduring a frustrating day 3.
Karunaratne was batting comfortably, dispatching the ball to the boundary at regular intervals. We are just looking at Test matches as Test matches and we want to win anywhere that we play.
Ashwin registered figures of 2/38. "The bowlers are in the game as well when there is more pace because of the harder ball".
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The islanders were in early trouble in the second innings when paceman Umesh Yadav got opener Upul Tharanga out for two after lunch on a seemingly deteriorating pitch.
With a breezy 26 on the board, he flicked at an Ashwin delivery and Pujara took a spectacular left-handed catch at leg gully. He is placed second in the all-time list among Indian bowlers. Sri Lanka were 150-6, and the keeper-batsman needed to take their innings as deep as possible. Jadeja walked away with the Man-of-the-Match award in the second Test for his attacking half-century and five-wicket haul in the second innings. The highest is 492 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2007 while the lead of 478 runs against West Indies in the Kolkata Test of 2011 is second on the list.
Rahane was out stumped by Niroshan Dickwella for Pushpakumara's maiden worldwide wicket. However they ended the third day well on 209 for two but still needing 230 runs to make India bat again.
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