Resuming day four on a precarious 21-3 in the bowler-dominated weather-hit contest, India lost skipper Virat Kohli (21) and Rohit (50) but added 111 runs in the first session to reach 132-5 at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) ground.
Stuart Binny (38) hit seven boundaries and was unbeaten after a breezy cameo with debutant Naman Ojha (11) at the other end as India, who had taken a 111-run first innings lead, pressed for a series-clinching victory.
Dhammika Prasad bowled with characteristic hostility in the morning session but it was Nuwan Pradeep who drew first blood, dismissing Kohli after the batsman had added 57 runs for the fourth wicket with Rohit.
Playing almost an identical shot that led to his dismissal in the first innings, Kohli pushed at a delivery outside the off-stump and Upul Tharanga juggled with the ball before taking the catch at first slip.
Rohit, who brought up India's 50 with a streaky boundary through the vacant third slip, looked more convincing when he hit Pradeep for back-to-back boundaries and needed 71 balls to bring up his fourth test fifty.
The right-hander fell soon after, however, pulling a short Prasad delivery to fine leg.
Binny's was a more eventful knock, the all-rounder playing some risky shots, surviving a stumping opportunity and being hit on the helmet by a Prasad delivery. – Reuters
Original source: Sharma stretches India’s lead