Skipper Naveed Nawaz hit a defiant 72 not out as Sri Lanka 'A' batsmen fought hard and set a challenging target for India 'A' on the penultimate day of the four-day match being played in the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera at Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
After conceding a first innings lead of 125, the Lankans were precariously placed at 196, with four of their top batsmen already in pavillion, at the close of play.
The visitors lead by only 76 runs and have no specialist batsmen to follow. The visitors will hope that Nawaz and T Kandamby (not out 16) continue in the same vein and post a daunting total for India 'A' to chase on Wednesday.
Earlier, Lankan left-arm spinner C Herath removed three Indian tail-enders to restrict the hosts to 369, but not before overnight batsman Ramesh Powar scored a vital 42. Herath took his innings tally to six.
Wicketkeeper batsman P Jayawardane struck form at the right time to score a patient 76, as Sri Lanka began their second innings, but was bowled by off-spinner Powar.
Jaywardane put on 94 run partnership with Nawaz, who remained unbeaten on 72 with four boundaries and a six.
Fast bowlers Munaf Patel and Siddharth Trivedi struck in quick succession to remove opener Ian Daniel and Jehan Mubarak, batting at number three, respectively.
Sri Lanka 'A' Ist Innings: 244 all out
India 'A' Ist Innings: (overnight 304 for 6)
S S Das c Jayawardane b Lakshitha 40
G Gambhir c Jayawardane b Wijesiriwardane 27
M Kaif c L De Silva b Herath 53
H Badani c Kandamby b Herath 50
S Sriram c Jayawardane b Herath 7
R Gavaskar c Lakshitha b Pollonowita 60
A Ratra c Jayawardane b Lakshitha 26
R Powar c Jayawardane b Herath 42
A Bhandari b Herath 7
S Trivedi not out 9
M Patel b Herath 8
Extras: (b 1, lb 5, w 1, nb 33) 40
Total: (all out in 101.4 overs) 369
Fall of wickets: 1-66, 2-96, 3-175, 4-189, 5-232, 6-287, 7/318, 8/340, 9/353, 10/369
Bowling: Marlinga 22-2-83-0, Lakshitha 17-1-85-2, Wijesiriwardane 17-2-60-1, Herath 25.4-3-89-6, Pollonowita 16-0-37-1, Mubarak 4-1-9-0.
Sri Lanka 'A' 2nd Innings
P Jayawardane b Powar 76
I Daniel c Ratra b Patel 16
Jehan Mubarak lbw Trivedi 2
Naveed Nawaz batting 72
Lanka De Silva lbw Trivedi 3
T Kandamby batting 16
Extras: (b 4, lb 3, nb 4) 11
Total (for 4 wkts in 72 overs) 196
Fall of wickets: 1-46, 2-49, 3-143, 4-154
Bowling: Munaf Patel 11-1-34-1, Amit Bhandari 15-3-39-0, Siddharth Trivedi 13-3-41-2, Ramesh Powar 20-6-32-1, Rohan Gavaskar 2-0-6-0, S Sriram 9-1-28-0, Hemang Badani 2-0-9-0.