Sri Lanka out for 291, claiming a massive 309-run lead, and proceeded to further their lead by 189 runs for the loss of 3 wickets. Dilruwan Perera was the stand out performer of the day, scoring an unbeaten, and attacking 92 to keep India at bay in the first session. But India’s position meant that the runs Perera added merely worked as an irritant, and not match-altering. Later, Virat Kohli and Abhinav Mukund batted the team into an almost unbeatable position with fifties. By the end of day’s play, India’s lead had swelled to 498, and they could look to add some more on the morning of the fourth day before declaring. Mukund went on to notch up his highest Test score but was out off what was the last ball of the day, LBW for 81, while Kohli (76*) shrugged off his low scores since the start of the Australia series with his first fifty since then.
Kohli set the tone early with a couple of boundaries, while Mukund was happy to rotate strike and get his eye in. The two batsmen were out of form, and this gave them the perfect opportunity to bat themselves into it.
Kohli fell back on his most-relied currency, quick running, to put the pressure on the opposition. Mukund, too, didn’t have to worry too much about scoring rapidly and was able to find his groove. With wide open spaces, and not really penetrative bowling, the pair raised their individual fifties in quick succession. They also brought up their 100-run stand off 102 deliveries as light dwindled towards the end of the day. Mukund though would be very disappointed on missing out on a hundred, that could have left a more lasting mark, at least in a personal capacity.
Scores: India 600 and 189/3 (Abhinav Mukund 81, Virat Kohli 76) lead Sri Lanka 291 all out (Dilruwan Perera 92, Angelo Mathews 83, Upul Tharanga 64; Ravindra Jadeja 3/67) by 498 runs