After Dhawan's ton, Sri Lankan left-arm spinners Sandakan and Pushpakumara bring hosts back in Test The brass band at the Pallekele International Stadium was genteelly playing Sri Lankan folk songs.
India won the toss and opted to bat first once again.
For Sri Lanka, Pushpakumara scalped 3 wickets, while Sandakan took 2 wickets and Fernando one.
India seamers made early inroads into the Sri Lanka top order after the touring side had posted 487 in their first innings on the second day of the third test on Sunday. Kohli batting on 42, lost his concentration and finally succumbed to a bowl pitched wide outside off to play a shot which he avoided for the most part of his 42 run inning - the drive, edging it to slip. Pandya (108 batting) and Umesh Yadav (3 batting) were at the crease. India took the opening honours with Shikhar Dhawan (119, 123b, 17×4) getting his second century of the series and sixth overall in Tests and KL Rahul (85, 135b, 8×4) scoring his seventh consecutive half century to put up a opening stand of 188 runs in 39.2 overs.
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Vishwa Fernando, playing his second Test a year after his debut, also snared Ravichandran Ashwin (31) caught behind at full stretch by Niroshan Dickwella to give Sri Lanka another late lift. In doing so they took India past 400 in the 110th over, something that seemed unlikely at stumps on day one.
The 26-year-old, replacing the injured Rangana Herath, also removed the risky Kohli with the right-handed batsman out for 42 after getting an edge to slip. On his decision Kohli said the pitch looks good to bat, calling it a "no brainer".
Dhawan was caught at square leg, thanks to a leaping effort from skipper Dinesh Chandimal, a second dismissal against the run of play as he was just looking to cut loose with a flurry of boundaries.
After 18 matches, Rahul, who averages close to 45 in Tests has scored four hundreds and on most occasions has given solid starts for India. India scored a further 101 runs in the middle session despite three wickets falling. Chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan finished with 5 for 132.
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India captain Virat Kohli was 11 not out with Ajinkya Rahane on three.
Pandya then struck a body blow with the ball as well trapping Angelo Mathews (0) lbw in the 10th over as Lanka were reduced to 38 for 4.
But after the stand was broken, there were no fifty-run associations as the tourists managed only 141 runs losing six wickets in the remaining 50.4 overs.
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