Colombo:Spinners Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra sparked a dramatic Sri Lankan collapse on the fourth morning to put India in control of the third and final Test on Friday.
Sri Lanka, who were 11 runs behind in the first innings, lost five wickets for 24 runs in their second knock to slip to 87-7 during an eventful morning session at the P. Sara Oval.
The hosts recovered briefly to go to lunch on 143-8, a lead of 132 runs, with Thilan Samaraweera the last recognised batsman at the crease on 33.
Left-armer Ojha claimed three wickets and leg-spinner Mishra two as the top-ranked Indians stepped up their bid for a series-levelling win after losing the first Test in Galle by 10 wickets.
The second Test ended in a draw.
Sri Lanka added 18 runs to their overnight score of 45-2 when Ojha trapped nightwatchman Suraj Randiv leg-before for six, one ball after captain Mahendra Dhoni dropped a simple catch behind the stumps.
Ojha then dealt two deadly blows in successive overs, getting rid of Sri Lanka's batting mainstays, Mahela Jayawardene and skipper Kumar Sangakkara.
Jayawardene edged a sharp turning ball to Rahul Dravid in the slips after making five, while Sangakkara (28) pulled a short delivery to Suresh Raina at square-leg.
It was the Sri Lankan captain's first failure in the series after making 103 in the first Test, 219 and 42 not out in the second and 75 in the first innings of this match.
Mishra, who was hammered for 1-140 in the first innings, then claimed two wickets with consecutive deliveries to reduce the hosts to 87-7.
Angelo Mathews hit a full-toss to Sachin Tendulkar at mid-wicket, while Prasanna Jayawardene was out leg-before off the next ball.
Lasith Malinga denied Mishra a hat-trick and put on 38 runs for the eighth wicket with Samaraweera before he was leg-before to Virender Sehwag for 15.
Ajantha Mendis was unbeaten on 10 at lunch.