Colombo:Thilan Samaraweera (78) and Ajantha Mendis (45) shared an unbeaten 100-run partnership as Sri Lanka continued to frustrate Indian bowlers reaching 223 for eight at tea in their second innings on the fourth day of the third and final Test here on Friday.
Resuming at 143 for eight, Sri Lanka rode on the gritty batting performance of tailenders Samaraweera and Mendis to revive their second innings after being strangled by some quality spin bowling in the pre-lunch session.
Samaraweera stitched his ninth wicket partnership with Mendis by taking singles and twos, before exploding in the 55th over when he hit a superb sweep shot of Sehwag to bring up his fifty off 79 balls studded with six boundaries.
Samaraweera also picked up Amit Mishra for some special treatment when he reached down the track to a flighted delivery and hammered it past the bowler for a boundary.
Mendis, on his part, arched a Ishant Sharma bouncer over the slip cordon for a boundary.
The carrom bowler got the first six of Sri Lankan innings when he blasted Ojha with the ball getting stuck in the roof with a televison cameraman having to retrieve it.
Earlier in the day, Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra shared five wickets between them and unleashed some quality spin bowling to strangle the Sri Lankan middle order.
Resuming at overnight score of 45 for two, the hosts lost their first wicket when Suraj Randiv, who was lucky to be dropped by wicket keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was finally dismissed the next ball being trapped lbw by Ojha.
Skipper Kumar Sangakkara began by hitting Ojha's outside-the-off-stump delivery for a boundary at the slip region and tried to keep the scoreboard ticking.
New batsmen Mahela Jayawardene who took 11 balls to open his account was off the mark with a boundary of Ojha. However, the former captain perished soon as he nicked an Ojha delivery to Dravid at slips.
The Lankans suffered the third jolt of the day when Sangakkara trying to break the spin web ended by driving a Ojha delivery straight into the hands of Suresh Raina, who grabbed the catch in his second attempt.
15 balls later, a low full toss by Amit Mishra caught Angelo Mathews (5) unaware as he ended up giving a catch to Sachin Tendulkar at mid-wicket.
Mishra was on a hat-trick chance when in the next ball wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene was trapped leg before. Samaraweera and Malinga then gave some respectability to the Sri Lankan total as both opened up and scored mainly in boundaries.
After hitting Ojha to the long off boundary, Samaraweera creamed Mishra through the covers, before cutting a Sehwag delivery through the same area.
Malinga also got into the act and cut Ojha through the cover point boundary after edging the same bowler for a four. He finally fell to a quickish delivery from Sehwag as it hit him right in the front of the middle stump.