Responding strongly after being forced to follow on, Sri Lanka finished the day on 209 for 2, still 230 runs behind India’s first innings total. With a huge 439-run lead, India captain Virat Kohli did not hesitate in enforcing the follow-on but Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis came up with heroic performances to thwart the visitors’ hopes of making further inroads in the match.

Sri Lanka’s second innings did not start in a good way as Umesh Yadav dismissed Upul Tharanga for just but 2 but Karunaratne and Mendis led Sri Lanka’s fightback with utmost aplomb on a pitch that is not easy for batting at all. The duo negated the Indian spinners brilliantly and took the hosts to 118 for 1.

They continued their strong show in the third session too with Mendis being particularly impressive, batting at a good strike-rate as he compiled his century off just 120 balls.

The brilliant partnership was finally broken when Hardik Pandya had Mendis caught behind for 110. The duo added 191 runs for the second wicket.

Karunaratne (92) and Malinda Pushpakumara then saw off the few remaining overs to take Sri Lanka home without suffering any further setback.

Earlier, Sri Lankan batsmen fell like a pack of cards as the hosts lost their remaining 8 wickets for just 133 runs to be all out for just 183 in reply to India’s mammoth first innings total of 622 for 9 (declared). Starting the day on 50 for 2, Sri Lanka could add just 10 runs before their captain Dinesh Chandimal was sent back by Ravindra Jadeja. 4 runs later,Umesh Yadav struck to remove the other overnight batsman- Kusal Mendis for 25.

A 53-run stand between Angelo Mathews and Niroshan Dickwella stopped the rot for a while but the floodgates opened once again when the former became Ravichandran Ashwin’s third victim. Dickwella (51) was the only batsman to cross the fifty-run mark as Sri Lanka gave yet another poor batting performance. Ashwin starred with the ball, taking his 26th five-fer – going past Harbhajan Singh.

Here is how Twitter reacted to the day’s play:

    An avid sports lover, i always wanted to pursue a career in football. But just like the millions out there i did not put in the hard work needed to achieve my dream and now i have become a fan instead of the player. Anyway, writing for sports has kept me closer to this field. One more thing, yours sincerely is a die-hard Liverpool fan. You will never walk alone.

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