Indian bowlers were seen struggling against Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne, as Sri Lanka staged a strong fight back to reach 209-2 at stumps after being asked to follow-on the third day of the second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground on Saturday.
After being bundled out for 183 in the first innings, Sri Lanka displayed great character and fight to get back on track, thanks to brilliant knocks from Mendis (110) and Dimuth Karunaratne (92 not out).
The duo also stitched a huge 191-run knock for the second wicket to to defy the Indians.
At stumps, Lanka reduced their trail to 230 in the follow-on, with Malinda Pushpakumara (unbeaten at two) also batting at the crease alongside Karunaratne.
For India, Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav managed to clinch only a wicket each.
Earlier, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin scalped a five-wicket haul as India bowled out Sri Lanka for 183 in their first innings on Day Three.
Resuming at yesterday's score of 50-2, Sri Lanka continued their poor show on the third day as well as they struggled hard against India 's bowling attack.
Niroshan Dickwella was the only one to wage the lone battle as he struck a 51-run knock, his quickest Test fifty off 44 balls, before being dismissed off Mohammed Shami's delivery.
Ashwin, who bagged two wickets on Day Two, picked up his 26th five-wicket haul while Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami took two each. Umesh also chipped in with a wicket.