A whitewash seems only a matter of time for India now as Sri Lanka finished the second day 333 runs behind, having lost 11 wickets in the second day after following-on in the third Test.
Replacing the suspended Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav claimed four wickets to help dismiss Sri Lanka for a paltry 135 in the first innings as the visitors enforced the follow-on. Umesh Yadav then struck towards the end of the day, to send Upul Tharanga back to the pavilion. At stumps the scoreboard read 19/1 in Sri Lanka’s second innings.
The hosts conceded a 352-run first innings lead after all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s blistering ton propelled India to 487 at the Pallekele International Stadium.
Kuldeep led an inspired bowling attack with his left-arm wrist spin to flatten the Sri Lankan batting. Skipper Dinesh Chandimal top-scored with 48 before falling to ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Pace spearhead Mohammed Shami struck early to get openers Tharanga and Dimuth Karunaratne caught behind for 4 and 5 respectively in the first five overs of the first innings.
The hosts suffered from regular wicket-fall as Pandya also chipped in with the ball to get former captain Angelo Mathews trapped lbw for nought.
Kuldeep, playing just his second Test, then turned on the heat to rattle the Sri Lankan middle-order and combine with Ashwin to wipe off the Sri Lankan tail in the final session.
All-rounder Pandya remained the star of the day with his 96-ball 108 that lifted India to a challenging first innings total after the visitors resumed on 329-6.
Pandya was out to spinner Lakshan Sandakan, who claimed his first five-wicket Test haul, on the third ball of the second session as India’s innings ended without adding to the lunch total.