NEW DELHI, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Number three batsman Dhananjaya de Silva led Sri Lanka’s resistance with a fluent 72 not out to help the tourists to 119 for four at lunch on the final day of the third and final test on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal, who smashed a career-best 164 in the first innings, was batting on 27 at the break with the tourists still needing 291 runs to level the series.
Bidding for a record-equalling ninth consecutive test series triumph, India tasted success in the sixth over of the day when Angelo Mathews was caught in the slip off Ravindra Jadeja for one.
Dropped three times in his first innings knock of 111, Mathews was unlucky in the second when he was out to a no-ball which went undetected by umpire Joel Wilson.
Jadeja bowled Chandimal, then on 24, with a drifted, sharply-turning ball but replays confirmed the left-arm spinner had marginally overstepped.
Playing his first match of the series, de Silva did not allow the situation to bog him down and scored freely, especially against the spinners, to register his third half-century in tests.
The right-hander hit nine boundaries and a six off Ravichandran Ashwin to remain on course for his third test hundred. (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)