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PHOTOS: India seven wickets away from series win in Lanka

Last updated on: August 31, 2015 20:20 IST
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- Middle and lower-order batsmen swell second innings total to 274, as India set Sri Lanka 386 for victory

- Sri Lanka reeling at 67-3 at stumps on Day 4

Ishant Sharma

IMAGE: India's Ishant Sharma appeals successfully for the wicket of Sri Lanka's Upul Tharanga on Day 4 of the third and final Test in Colombo on Friday. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

India are seven wickets away from a series-clinching victory after setting Sri Lanka a formidable 386-run victory target on the penultimate day of the third and final Test in Colombo on Monday.

Resuming on a precarious 21-3 in the bowler-dominated weather-hit contest, the visitors needed a string of cameos from their middle and lower-order batsmen to score 274 in their second innings.

- Scorecard

In their first Test since batting great Kumar Sangakkara retired, Sri Lanka lost opener Upul Tharanga in the first over and were reeling at 67-3 at the close.

India last won a Test series in Sri Lanka under Mohammad Azharuddin's captaincy in 1993, 1-0.

Opener Kaushal Silva (24) and skipper Angelo Mathews (22) were at the crease with the hosts still needing 319 runs for an improbable victory.

IMAGE: Virat Kohli (centre) celebrates with Lokesh Rahul (on ground) after taking the catch to dismiss Sri Lanka's Dinesh Chandimal (not pictured) during Day 4 in the third and final Test in Colombo on Monday. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

Sri Lanka's highest ever successful run-chase on home soil in the fourth innings is 352 against South Africa in Colombo in 2006.

Recently, Pakistan scored 382 for three against Sri Lanka to win a Test.

Earlier, having taken a 111-run first-innings lead, India consolidated their position in the first two sessions at the Sinhalese Sports Club to virtually bat Sri Lanka out of the contest.

IMAGE: India’s captain Virat Kohli looks back as he walks off the field after being dismissed by Sri Lanka's Nuwan Pradeep. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

Dhammika Prasad bowled with characteristic hostility but Nuwan Pradeep drew first blood, dismissing India captain Virat Kohli (21) who again succumbed to his penchant for pushing at deliveries outside the off-stump.

Just before drinks, in the extended morning session though, Kohli played at a Pradeep out-swinger again, one which he could have left alone, and Upul Tharanga caught the ball at first slip after a minor juggle.

IMAGE: Sri Lanka's Dhammika Prasad, third from right, celebrates with teammates after dismissing India's Rohit Sharma, left, during the fourth day of the third and final Test in Colombo on Monday. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

Rohit Sharma (50) looked more convincing, hitting Pradeep for back-to-back boundaries and bringing up his fourth Test fifty before pulling a short Prasad delivery to fine leg.

But, as has happened so often, with just about 15 minutes to the lunch break, he pulled the very next delivery and holed out at fine leg, throwing away all the hard work done in the morning session.

Stuart Binny (49) came up with a more eventful knock -- playing some risky shots, surviving a stumping opportunity, being hit on the helmet by Prasad and eventually falling agonisingly short of his second Test fifty.

IMAGE: Amit Mishra plays a shot during his knock of 39 on Day 4 of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

Debutant Naman Ojha (35) and Amit Mishra (39) frustrated Sri Lanka while Ravichandran Ashwin (58) registered his fifth test fifty before being the last man out.

Sri Lanka wobbled early in their chase with Ishant Sharma dismissing Tharanga before Umesh Yadav sent back Dimuth Karunaratne -- both caught by wicketkeeper Naman Ojha for nought.

Ishant, who had an animated altercation with Prasad earlier in the day, also dismissed Dinesh Chandimal before giving the batsman a send-off, an act that earned him a 65 percent match fee fine in the first Test.

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