Ranadeb Bose took five wickets for 51 runs as India dismissed Sri Lanka 'A' for 266 on Day 1 of the three-day tour match, at the Leicester County Club ground in Grace Road on Friday.
Ramesh Powar also excelled with the ball, claiming three wickets in four deliveries late in the innings, as the Sri Lankans lost their last four wickets for the addition for just 10 runs.
The right-arm off-spinner finished with impressive figures of 4 for 85 in 24 overs.
In reply, India were 25 for 1 at close after 11 overs, losing the wicket of opener Dinesh Karthik, who fell for 11. They trail the Lankans by 241 runs.
Bose made an impact in his second spell, claiming three wickets for seven runs in six overs, in just his second match on the tour. His impressive bowling will give the team management something to ponder ahead of next week's third Test against England.
For Sri Lanka, captain Thilan Samaraweera was the top scorer with a solid 75, inclusive of nine boundaries, off a hundred deliveries. Opener Michael Vandort also produced some good batting, scoring 52, to give his team a fine start.
Vandort, who survived a stumping chance on 7, added 73 runs for the second wicket with Dilruwan Perera, who hit a breezy 34, but the rest of the batsmen failed to build on the good showing before lunch.
Sri Lanka 'A' captain Thilan Samaraweera won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket that looks good for batting.
In the absence of their top pacers, India opened the attack with the young Ishant Sharma and Bengal's Ranadeb Bose.
It was bright and sunny and the batsmen had no problems against the new ball.
Sharma was replaced by off-spinner Ramesh Powar quite early after a first spell of four overs and the Mumbai off-spinner immediately made his presence felt. He got huge turn and caused early trouble for both the left-handed openers, Vandort and Mahela Udawatte.
In the 11th over of the innings, Vandort offered no stroke against Bose and was struck on the pads, but the huge appeal was turned down by the umpire. But Udawatte was bowled in the next over as he dragged the ball onto his stumps down the leg side. He tried to sweep Powar, but got a top edge which spun and trickled back onto his stumps. The left-hander scored 20, hitting three boundaries before perishing.
Vandort, on 7, had a lucky escape when Dinesh Karthik missed an easy stumping chance off Powar in the 14th over. The let-off sort of spurred the left-hander and he launched into a boundary spree after that. In the 20th over he hit Powar for a straight boundary and, two balls later, followed it up with a huge six over mid-off.
Then, in the 21st, he gave the struggling Sharma some punishment, creaming two cracking boundaries through the cover region.
Bose was impressive in patches as he bowled an extended first spell of eight overs. He troubled the batsmen, especially right-hander Dilruwan Perera, in his last two overs. Just like Vandort, Perera also blossomed after a difficult start. Once he got his eye settled in, the strokes flowed, the best of them being a huge six over square leg off Powar.
The duo batted quite comfortably against the spinners and even Anil Kumble found it difficult to contain them as Sri Lanka 'A' reached 100 for 1 in the 29th over.
However, Bose struck with an important wicket in the first over of his second spell when he had Perera, who scored 34 from 58 deliveries, inclusive of three boundaries and a six, caught in the slips while going for an expansive drive on the off-side.
At the lunch break, Sri Lanka were 107 for 1 in 32 overs, with Vandort unbeaten on 41 and Malinda Warnapura not out on 1.
The Indian bowlers have a long day ahead as the pitch looks flat and full of runs for the batsmen. It should be a good test for the rookie pace duo of Bose and Sharma and, hopefully, they will learn a lot from the experience.
Bose snared a wicket in his first over after lunch, when he dismissed Warnapura, caught behind for 3.
Meanwhile, Vandort brought up his half-century in the 35th over, scoring two boundaries off Powar. He took 95 deliveries to get to his fifty, hitting eight boundaries and a six.
But disaster struck in the next over as he became Bose's third victim of the innings. The left-hander attempted an uppish drive through the off-side and the ball went straight to Gautam Gambhir at cover. He was dismissed for 52, as the Lankans slipped to 122 for 4.
Bose's remarkable spell, which stretched either side of the session, saw him claim three wickets in six overs for 7 runs. The best part about his bowling was the disciplined line and length he maintained throughout, for which he was aptly rewarded.
Sharma then added his name to the wickets column when he dismissed Kaushal Silva for 4. The Sri Lankan wicketkeeper spooned a simple catch back to the bowler after getting the bottom edge in an attempt to pull.
Kaushal Lokuarachchi joined captain Thilan Samaraweera at the crease and the two batsmen set about repairing the damage with some intelligent batting.
Lokuarachchi was lucky, as Karthik messed up another easy offering when he was on 14. He continued to prosper as he breezed his way to 35 till Bose returned and did the damage in the final over before tea.
The Bengal pacer trapped Lokuarachchi leg before wicket after he had added 62 runs for the sixth wicket with Samaraweera.
At the other end, Samaraweera was unbeaten on a gritty 44, hitting five boundaries in his 72-ball knock, as Sri Lanka went to the tea break at 208 for 6.
It was Bose's show all the way. His spell at the tea break read 4 wickets for 40 runs in 14.5 overs. He single-handedly ran through the Sri Lankan batting.
Judging by his showing, one feels there's more to come from him after tea.
The most interesting part of the afternoon session was watching Mahendra Singh Dhoni bowl to a huge roar from the audience. Relieved from his wicketkeeping duties for the match, he bowled three overs of medium pace, giving away 15 runs.
Samaraweera kept going after the tea break, bringing up his half-century in 82 deliveries, inclusive of six boundaries, in the 68th over. The Sri Lankans got along well, scoring 42 runs in the 10 overs after the break, reaching 250 for 6 in the 73rd over.
Samaraweera stepped up the scoring rate as he hit 23 runs off 20 deliveries after resumption. Dammika Prasad also played his part in the partnership, rotating the strike with relative ease.
The Lankan captain, however, could not last long as he fell to Powar, caught behind for 75 as Sri Lanka were reduced to 259 for 7 in the 74th over. He hit nine boundaries in his 100-ball knock to rally the innings as wickets kept falling at the other end.
Rangana Herath fell to the very first delivery he faced, dismissed leg before wicket. Powar got his second successive wicket in as many deliveries to reduce Sri Lanka to 259 for 8.
Akalanka Ganegama successfully prevented the hat-trick as he played a fine paddle sweep for leg byes. But he fell to the following delivery, bowled by a quicker one from the off-spinner, who had now taken three wickets in four deliveries.
Bose then came back for his third spell and finished off the innings when he got Chanaka Welegedara caught behind for 0. It was the Bengal pacer's fifth wicket of the innings as he finished with figures of 5 for 51 in 18.2 overs.
Powar, who triggered a lower order collapse, ended up with 4 for 85 in 24 overs.
Sri Lanka lost their last four wickets for the addition of just 10 runs and must be disappointed on failing to cross the 300-run mark.
For Bose, who was playing only his second game on the tour, it was a special achievement. Since coming to England he's been more of a spectator, but when he did get his opportunity he did not disappoint. However, his pace bowling partner Sharma failed to live up to expectations and must be disappointed with his showing.
It is interesting to note that even in the nets on Thursday, Bose was bowling a good line and length and received plaudits from his team mates and the coaching staff.
Indian openers Dinesh Karthik and Wasim Jaffer started off cautiously, obviously wanting to spend more time at the wicket. The first boundary for India came in the sixth over, when Karthik drove Welegedara through the off-side for two boundaries in the over.
Jaffer then followed it up with a sweetly-timed boundary off Ganegama, who had till that point not conceded a single run in 20 deliveries.
But the Sri Lankans tasted success when Prasad had Karthik caught behind for 11. The Indian keeper faced 22 deliveries.
Jaffer (7 not out) and Gautam Gambhir (2 not out) played out the remaining overs without any problem as India reached 24 for 1 in 11 overs at close on the opening day.
Sri Lanka A (1st innings):
Michael Vandort c Gambhir b Bose 52 (98b, 8 x 4, 1 x 6)
Mahela Udawatte b Powar 20 (36b, 4 x 4)
Dilruwan Perera c Laxman b Bose 34 (60b, 3 x 4, 1 x 6)
Malinda Warnapura c Karthik b Bose 3 (12b)
T Samaraweera c Karthik b Powar 75 (100b, 9 x 4)
JK Silva c & b Sharma 4 (35b)
K Lokuarachchi lbw b Sharma 35 (62b, 5 x 4)
Dammika Prasad not out 23 (48b, 5 x 4)
Rangana Herath lbw b Powar 0 (1b)
A Ganegama b Powar 0 (1b)
C Welegedara c Karthik b Bose 0 (2b)
Extras: (b:4, lb:12, w:2, nb:1) 19
Total: (all out in 76.2 overs) 266
Fall of wickets: 1-32 (Udawatte), 2-105 (Perera), 3-111 (Warnapura), 4-122 (Vandort), 5-146 (Silva), 6-208 (Lokuarachchi), 7-259 (Samaraweera), 8-259 (Herath), 9-262 (Ganegama).
Bowling: Ranadeb Bose 18.2-4-51-5, Ishant Sharma 17-5-57-1, Ramesh Powar 24-2-85-4, Anil Kumble11-1-36-0, MS Dhoni 3-0-13-0, Yuvraj Singh 3-1-8-0.
India (1st innings):
D Karthik c Silva b Prasad 11 (22b, 2 x 4)
W Jaffer not out 7 (30b, 1 x 4)
G Gambhir not out 3 (16b)
Extras: (lb: 2, nb: 2) 4.
Total: (for 1 wicket in 11 overs) 25
Fall of wickets: 1-20 (Karthik)
Bowling: W Ganegama 5-3-5-0, C Welegedara 3-1-15-0, D Prasad 2-0-3-1, D Perera 1-1-0-0.
India: Rahul Dravid (captain), Wasim Jaffer, Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik (w/k), VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, M S Dhoni, Anil Kumble, Ramesh Powar, Ishant Sharma, Ranadeb Bose.
Sri Lanka 'A': Thilan Samaraweera (captain), Michael Vandort, Mahela Udawatte, Malinda Warnapura, Dilruwan Perera, Kaushal Silva (w/k), Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Rangana Herath, Dammika Prasad, Akalanka Ganegama, Chanaka Welegedara.