Colombo:Suresh Raina notched up a century on debut besides putting on a 236-run partnership with veteran Sachin Tendulkar as India avoided the follow on to reach 477 for four in their first innings at lunch on the fourth day of the second Test against Sri Lanka here on Thursday.
Raina (112) Tendulkar (152) were holding fort for the visitors at the break in reply to Sri Lanka's first innings mammoth total of 642/4 declared.
Overnight 382 for four, India needed 51 more runs to avoid the follow at the start of play on Thursday.
Tendulkar, after a lot of waiting and watching, pushed debutant off spinner Suraj Randiv along the carpet to the cover boundary as he began bridging the still large first innings deficit.
Raina compounded Randiv's anxiety as he swatted the lanky bowler to the long off boundary for the first six of the day.
The 150-run partnership between the two came in 156 minutes and 243 balls and marked the highest fifth wicket partnership for India against Sri Lanka. India's 400 came in 686 balls.
Raina also incidentally became the 12th debutant century maker for India as he and Tendulkar reached a 200-run partnership in 334 balls.
Earlier, the stout Raina did well to drill a short-pitched Dilhara Fernando delivery between extra cover and mid off for boundary.
Tendulkar, on his part, executed a perfectly-timed square cut to a 140 kph Prasad delivery as India inched towards a position of safety.
Dammika Prasad rattled Tendulkar with a short-pitched delivery which hit the Indian's helmet and raced to the boundary.
Meanwhile, Tendulkar accompalished his 150 with the help of a six and 20 fours. He reached the milestone in 261 balls.