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India stutter after 111-run lead on Day three against Sri Lanka

Colombo, Aug 30 : Sri Lanka produced a stunning fightback as they reduced India to 21-3 in their second innings before rain brought a premature end to the third day’s play of the decisive third and final Test at Colombo on Sunday.

Conceding a 111-run lead, Sri Lanka then rattled past Indian top-order batsmen by quickly removing last-innings centurion Cheteshwar Pujara (0), KL Rahul (2) and Ajinkya Rahane (4).

Captain Virat Kohli (1) and Rohit Sharma (14) were on the crease before heavy rain called off the day’s play.

Nuwan Pradeep claimed two wickets, while Dhammika Prasad took one to put the hosts back on track.

Earlier, Sri Lanka were bundled for 201 in reply to India’s huge 312. The hosts stuttered from start of their innings and were reeling at 48-6 before Kusal Perera (55) and Rangana Herath (49) steadied the ship and helped them avoid the follow-on.

The duo engineered a robust 79-run partnership for the seventh wicket to reduce the deficit significantly. In addition, Dhammika Prasad and Tharindu Kaushal chipped in with vital 27 and 16 runs respectively.

Fast bowler Ishant Sharma turned out to be the tormentor-in-chief as he returned figures of 5-54.

Earlier in the day, Pujara (145 not out) became the fourth Indian batsman in Test history to carry his bat through the innings.

The three-match Test series is levelled at 1-1 after India claimed a 278-run win in the second match at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo.

Sri Lanka won the opening Test match in Galle by 63 runs. (ANI)