Hardik Pandya struck a half-century on debut to help India post a strong 600 all out in their first innings on the second day of the first Test in Galle on Thursday.
India’s lower order batsmen added runs at a quick pace to ensure the visitors remained in control despite losing wickets at regular intervals.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with 190 and Cheteshwar Pujara struck a solid 153 to lay the foundation for India’s commanding total.
Paceman Pradeep was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers, taking six wickets for 132 runs.
India reach 503-7 at lunch despite Pradeep five-for
Sri Lanka paceman Nuwan Pradeep claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in a lion-hearted bowling effort as India reached 503 for seven at lunch on day two of the first test on Thursday.
After bleeding 399 runs on a punishing opening day, Sri Lanka finally managed more than one wicket in a session with pace duo Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara bending their back at the Galle International Stadium.
Debutant Hardik Pandya was batting on four with Ravindra Jadeja on eight at the end of the four-wicket session which yielded 104 runs.
Resuming on his personal score of 144, Cheteshwar Pujara duly brought up his sixth score of 150 or more before fellow overnight batsman Ajinkya Rahane straight drove Rangana Herath to complete his fifty in the next over.
Pradeep was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers claiming all three wickets on Wednesday, and the 30-year-old dismissed Pujara with a good length ball that bounced and seamed away.
Pujara batted nearly six-and-half-hours for his 153, raising 137 runs with Rahane after featuring in a 253-run partnership with centurion Shikhar Dhawan on Wednesday.
Kumara tasted success when he got Rahane to drive away from his body to be caught at slip for 57.
Sri Lanka’s stand-in skipper Rangana Herath dismissed wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha for 16 but Ravichandran Ashwin scored freely to help India pile on the runs.
Ashwin hit seven boundaries before gloving a Pradeep delivery to give wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella his fourth catch of the innings.
Sri Lanka will have one batsman less after Asela Gunaratne was ruled out after the middle-order batsman fractured his thumb while fielding on Wednesday.