India head for match-winning lead in Test vs Sri Lanka

Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane hit half-centuries as India moved towards a big lead in the second Test against Sri Lanka at the P. Sara Oval on Sunday.

The tourists, seeking a series-levelling win after losing the first Test in Galle, took their second innings from the overnight 70-1 to 179-3 by lunch on the fourth day.

India have an overall lead of 266 with seven wickets in hand on a slow, wearing pitch that should favour their spinners on the last day.

India's Murali Vijay (L) plays a shot as Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal looks on during the fourth day of their second Test match, at the P. Sara ...

India's Murali Vijay (L) plays a shot as Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal looks on during the fourth day of their second Test match, at the P. Sara Oval Cricket Stadium in Colombo, on August 23, 2015 ©Ishara S. Kodikara (AFP)

Vijay made 82 and Rahane was unbeaten on 82, the pair sharing a second-wicket partnership of 140 that boosted the total after Lokesh Rahul had fallen off the fifth ball of the innings on Saturday evening.

Vijay hit four boundaries and two sixes, but missed his seventh Test century when he attempted to sweep off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal and was adjudged leg-before soon after the morning drinks break.

Kaushal then trapped captain Virat Kohli leg-before for 10, but Rohit Sharma saw out the session unbeaten on two.

India made a brisk start by adding 68 runs in the first hour, with Vijay slamming sixes off fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera and Kaushal.

At the other end, Rahane reached his half-century by reverse-sweeping Kaushal for his fifth boundary.

India scored 393 in their first innings after electing to bat and bowled out Sri Lanka for 306 to gain a lead of 87 runs.

India's Ajinkya Rahane successfully dives to avoid a run out during the fourth day of their second Test match against Sri Lanka, at the P. Sara Oval Cricket ...

India's Ajinkya Rahane successfully dives to avoid a run out during the fourth day of their second Test match against Sri Lanka, at the P. Sara Oval Cricket Stadium in Colombo, on August 23, 2015 ©Lakruwan Wanniarachchi (AFP)

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