New Delhi: India bowled out Sri Lanka for 205 in their first innings before reaching 11/1 on the opening day of the second cricket Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium here on Friday.
Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (4/67) and Ravindra Jadeja (3/56) wreaked havoc, sharing seven wickets to dismiss Sri Lanka for a small total.
Ashwin broke the backbone of the Lankan innings by removing skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who top-scored with a patient 122-ball 57 before adding three more wickets to return with figures of 4/67.
Experienced paceman Ishant Sharma also picked up three wickets giving away 37 runs in his 14 overs.
Besides Chandimal, opener Dimukh Karunaratne (51 from 147; 6x4) and stumper Niroshan Dickwella (24 from 30; 4x4) were the only other batsmen who managed to provide some resistance to the Indian spin duo.
Sri Lanka skipper Chandimal won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch which was not offering much help to either the pacers nor the spinners. India, however, kept it tight from both the ends and were rewarded with two wickets.
Right-hander Samarawickrama (13) was the first to go, with the opening batsman edging to Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip while attempting a drive off experienced paceman Ishant Sharma, who was one of the three changes Virat Kohli made for this Test.
The hosts brought in opener Murali Vijay and Rohit Sharma in place of Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami. The latter was forced out of the team with a niggle, while Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar were released from the Test squad after the dashing Delhi opener wanted a break for personal reasons and the Meerut seamer tied the knot on Thursday.
Ishant partnered Umesh Yadav to operate with the new ball and the pair did well to pressurise the visiting openers with their tight line and length.
After Samarawickrama's wicket, Lahiru Thirimanne (9) and Karunaratne hardly offered any shots and were in a mood to block every ball.
Karunaratne, batting at 15, once got frustrated but got a reprieve after Pujara dropped a catch off Ravichandran Ashwin. The batsman stepped outside of the crease but was foxed by the flight of the ball and hit it straight at Pujara.
Both the batsmen seemed determined to see off the lunch session but Thirimanne missed the line as the left-hander attempted to slog sweep off-spinner Ashwin only to see the ball rattle the stumps.
Three overs into the second session, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja dealt a big blow to the visitors, removing Angelo Mathews (10) cheaply. An arm-ball from Jadeja beat Mathews' inside edge and struck him around the knees.
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 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.
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, with the Sri Lankans at 122/4.
Chandimal then joined hands with Dickwella and the pair forged a 38-run stand before the latter perished, offering a catch to Ishant Sharma at mid-off off Jadeja.
Afterwards, the tourists found the going tough and lost wickets at regular intervals with their last six wickets falling for just 54 runs as their innings ended at 205.
In reply, India lost opener Lokesh Rahul to end the opening day at 11/1. Opener Murali Vijay (2 not out) and No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara (2 not out) were at the crease when the umpires called for the end of the day's play.
For the visitors, paceman Lahiru Gamage picked up the solitary wicket of Rahul, who got an inside edge back onto his stumps after trying to flirt with a delivery outside the off-stump.