COLOMBO: Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene revelled on their favourite hunting ground to send India chasing leather in the second Test on Tuesday.
Sangakkara hit 219, his seventh double-century, and Jayawardene made 174 as Sri Lanka declared at 642/4 on the second day at the Sinhalese Sports Club.
India, who trail 1-0 in the three-match series, replied confidently with 95 for no loss by stumps, but still face a long haul to reach 443 and avoid the embarrassment of following on for the second game in a row.
Virender Sehwag was unbeaten on a typically aggressive 64 off 63 balls, while Murali Vijay was on 22.
Sangakkara and former captain Jayawardene continued the run-spree after opener Tharanga Paranavitana’s century on the first day on a lifeless wicket that afforded no help to the bowlers.
The senior duo, who compiled Test cricket’s highest partnership of 624 runs at the same venue against South Africa four years ago, put on 193 runs for the third wicket.
Sangakkara’s seventh double-century brought him level with Wally Hammond of England. Only Australian legend Don Bradman (12) and West Indian Brian Lara (nine) have more scores of 200 or more.
Jayawardene’s 10th three-figure knock at the SSC is the most by a batsman at a single ground, surpassing Bradman’s tally of nine at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Starting the day at 312/2, Sangakkara and Jayawardene added 65 runs from 14 overs in the first hour, easily seeing off the second new ball claimed late on Monday evening.
By lunch, Sri Lanka had hammered 145 runs in 29 overs in the morning session.
Sangakkara moved to 199 with four boundaries in one over from left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, and then reached 200 with an edged four to third man off Harbhajan Singh.
Sangakkara, who was on 214 at lunch, fell in the fourth over after the break when he edged a lazy drive off part-time spinner Virender Sehwag to lone slip Rahul Dravid.
The left-hander hit 29 boundaries during his seven-hour stay at the crease.
Jayawardene smashed 20 boundaries and a six in his 28th Test century before holing out to mid-wicket to give off-spinner Harbhajan his first success in the series.
Thilan Samaraweera remained unbeaten on 76, having put on 176 for the fourth wicket with Jayawardene.
India’s four main bowlers conceded over 100 runs each as Harbhajan went for 1-147, Ojha for 1-172, Abhimanyu Mithun for 0-117 and Ishant Sharma for 1-102.
Sri Lanka’s revamped frontline bowling attack, changed entirely from the one that won the first Test in Galle by 10 wickets, have three days to carve out a series-clinching victory.
With Muttiah Muralitharan having retired and fast bowler Lasith Malinga injured, the hosts also left out left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and seamer Chanaka Welegedara.
Unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis leads the attack along with fast bowlers Dilhara Fernando and Dammika Prasad, and debutant off-spinner Suraj Randiv.