Colombo: Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne dominated the third session as Sri Lanka posted 209/2 in their second innings to trail by 230 runs after being forced to follow on by India at the end of the third day of the second Test here on Saturday.
Mendis scored 110 runs before medium-pacer Hardik Pandya dismissed him at the fag end of the day's play thanks to an excellent diving effort by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. Mendis hit 17 boundaries over the course of his 135-ball innings.
His partnership of 191 runs with Karunaratne helped steady the Lankan innings after the early dismissal of opener Upul Tharanga.
Karunaratne was batting on 92 at stumps with Malinda Pushpakumara on 2 at the other end. Karunaratne's unbeaten knock of 200 balls was laced with 12 boundaries.
For India, Pandya returned figures of 1/12.
Earlier, Ravichandran Ashwin (5/69) claimed his 26th five-wicket haul as he and spin partner Ravindra Jadeja (2/84) helped rout Sri Lanka for 183 on a day three pitch that allowed for prodigious spin, with the ball often kicking up puffs of dust.
Niroshan Dickwella top-scored with a desperate 51 as Sri Lanka lost their remaining eight wickets in an extended morning session to find themselves staring at a 439-run first-innings deficit and series loss with a match to spare.
India captain Virat Kohli, who led his team to a crushing 304-run win in the first of the three Tests, was rewarded for his superb field placement when avid sweeper Dinesh Chandimal sent a Jadeja delivery straight to Hardik Pandya at square leg. Chandimal made 10.
Jadeja was denied a second success in that over when Kohli dropped Angelo Mathews with the former Sri Lanka skipper having yet to score.
Kohli soon made amends, running backwards to take a brilliant catch to send back Kusal Mendis, who had made 24 before Yadav induced the leading edge.
Mathews decided to hit his way out of the trouble and clobbered a couple of sixes off Jadeja, but the ploy did not work for long.
With a breezy 26 on the board, he flicked at an Ashwin delivery and Pujara took a spectacular left-handed catch at leg gully.
Jadeja dismissed Dhananjaya de Silva for a golden duck and Mohammed Shami came up with a two-wicket over to leave the Sri Lankan innings in tatters.
Realizing the futility of trying to hang around, Dickwella threw his bat at everything, hitting seven boundaries and a six before attempting an ugly scoop against Shami that deflected the ball onto his stumps.
Nuwan Pradeep came out to bat despite a hamstring injury which will rule him out of the remainder of the series and he faced six balls before falling for a duck to end the innings.