Lahiru Thirimanne and Angelo Mathews shared an unfinished stand of 110 off 225 balls in a quiet morning session where Sri Lanka were intent on building up a total to match India’s first innings of 393.
At lunch on day three Sri Lanka were 224 for three wickets with Thirimanne and Mathews both posting a half-century apiece.
Thirimanne was unbeaten on 57 with five fours and Mathews on 72 not out with eight fours.
The pair denied the Indians of a breakthrough by batting throughout the morning adding 84 to the overnight total of 140-3.
The most welcome aspect from Sri Lanka’s point of view was the return to form of their vice captain Thirimanne who completed a long overdue half-century off 142 balls. It was his second fifty in his last 24 innings which includes five ducks.
Mathews showing positive intent to put the pressure back on the Indians scored at every given opportunity, He beat Thirimanne to the fifty reaching it off 81 balls – his 23rd Test fifty overall.
The nearest the Indians came to capturing a wicket was off the fifth ball of the morning when Thirimanne drawn forward edged Ishant Sharma between wicket-keeper and first slip, but the ball fell short of either fielder.
Scores: India 393;
Sri Lanka 140-3 contd 224-3 at lunch (Lahiru Thirimanne 57 n.o., Angelo Mathews 72 n.o.).