Nagpur, Nov 27: India were only two wickets away from registering an innings victory in the second Test after reducing Sri Lanka to 145/8 in their second innings at lunch on the fourth day here on Monday.
Captain Dinesh Chandimal (53 not out) was waging a lone battle as he was unbeaten alongwith Suranga Lakmal (19 not out), with Sri Lanka trailing by 260 runs after conceding a first-innings lead of 405 runs to the hosts.
Indian bowlers hunted in packs, with all of them getting into wickets column. Ravichandran Ashwin (3/50), Ravindra Jadeja (2/25), Ishant Sharma (2/43) and Umesh Yadav (1/23).
Resuming the day at 21/1, Sri Lanka kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Two overnight batsmen Dimuth Karunaratne (18) and Lahiru Thirimanne (23) lacked patience in the morning at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.
While Karunaratne was caught by Murali Vijay at short leg off left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja in the seventh over of the session, Thirimanne sliced a wide delivery from paceman Umesh Yadav to Jadeja at backward point, to leave the tourists at 48/3.
Sri Lankan hopes were further dashed when former captain Angelo Mathews played Jadeja straight into the hands of Rohit Sharma at mid-off.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella could only manage an outside edge to a rising delivery from Ishant as he guided the ball to Virat Kohli, who took on the second attempt at slip to leave Sri Lanka reeling at 75/5.
Later, Ashwin did his magic, removing Dasun Shanaka (170, Dilruwan Perera (0) and Rangana Herath. The off-spinner got good purchase from the fourth day pitch that offered spin and bounce.
Chandimal continued his battle as he strokes his way to his 14th fifty in Test cricket. He was unbeaten on 53 from 62 deliveries.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka: 205 all out and 145/8 (Dinesh Chandimal 53 not out; Ravichandran Ashwin 3/50, Ravindra Jadeja 2/25, Ishant Sharma 2/43) vs India: 610/6 declared in first innings at lunch on Day 4.