After the mild fightback by the Lankan bowlers post-lunch on Day 1, one could have hoped to see the match unfold a little differently from the last two, but it was the familiar script again as Indian bowlers made small work of the Lankan batting, after India were bowled out just after lunch for 487 helped by a fighting knock from the rising all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Kuldeep Yadav, the number two spinner in the Indian line-up claimed four as Sri Lanka were dismissed for a measly 135 and made to follow-on yet again. At stumps, Sri Lanka had lost one wicket in their second innings for a score 13, and trailed India by a massive 333 runs. While a defeat is almost set save a wild miracle, India will be looking for yet another innings victory in a series that has seen heavy domination from the visitors.
India began the day at 329 for 6, and suffered a blow almost immediately as Saha was dismissed by Fernando (caught by Perera) for 16. With only three wickets to go, Sri Lanka looked to dismiss India for a sub-400 score, but Pandya and Kuldeep(the new man in) built a strong partnership to help India to 400, before Kuldeep fell to Sandakan. Pandya brought up his half century soon after but Sandakan picked up his fourth wicket of the innings when he dismissed Shami for 8 runs. The dismissal seemed to spur Pandya on though, as he responded with a hail of sixes and fours to complete an incredible maiden Test century in just 86 balls. By lunch, India had scored 158 runs in one session with the loss of just three wickets. However, Sandakan dismissed Pandya immediately after lunch for 108 to end the Indian innings, not having added a single run in the second session.
Sri Lanka would have hoped for a more composed batting performance this time, but their batsmen choked just like in the last match as wickets started falling quickly. Upul Tharanga was the first one to go, caught behind by Saha off Shami, when the Lankan innings was 14 runs old. Shami struck again to remove the dangerous Karunaratne, caught behind by the keeper off a thick edge. Kusal Mendis, who had looked the most confident against the Indian spinners, was run out in a body blow for the Lankans, and Pandya got new man Angelo Matthews for a duck on the next bowl to bring the Lankans to their knees, struggling at 38 for 4. At tea, the Lankans had scored just 61 runs for the loss of four wickets in the entire session. Dickwella and Chandimal then got together to steady the Lankan ship, putting on 63 runs for the fifth wicket before Kuldeep Yadav removed Dickwella on a wrong one for 29. He then dismissed Perera for a duck off the next ball to open the floodgates again, as Chandimal and Pushpkumara fell in quick succession to Ashwin and Kuldeep respectively. Chandimal fell for a fighting 48, and Ashwin and Kuldeep cleaned out the tail to dismiss the Lankans for 135.
After deciding to enforce a follow-on, Umesh Yadav got Upul Tharanga, as the Lankan opener dragged the ball onto his stumps to fall cheaply yet again. At stumps, Sri Lanka were 13/1 and heavily under pressure to avoid an innings defeat,something which seems to be on the cards tomorrow.