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Skipper Dinesh Chandimal (47 not out) led the fightback for the tourists after pacer Ishant Sharma removed in-form opener Dimuth Karunaratne (51 from 147 balls; 4x6) while left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja packed Angelo Mathews (10) cheaply. Resuming the second session at 47/2, Sri Lanka lost Matthews immediately after an arm-ball from Jadeja beat the inside edge and struck him around the knees.
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The former skipper's dismissal brought in Chandimal, who completed his 3,000 Test runs on his individual score of 24 when he drove Umesh Yadav for a boundary at mid-off. Chandimal continued to steady the ship, taking Sri Lanka past the three figure mark in the company of Karunaratne, who by now had neared his 14th Test half century.
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Karunaratne got to his 50, tapping Ishant for a single, before being trapped in front by the same bowler three overs later, to end the 62-run third wicket partnership. Karunaratne's dismissal brought in the dashing wicket-keeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella (18 not out), who till tea had added 29 runs with the skipper.
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Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 151/4 (Dimukh Karunaratne 51, Dinesh Chandimal 47 not out, Niroshan Dickwella 18 not out; Ishant Sharma 2/33).