Colombo: A gritty fifty from Rohit Sharma and crucial contributions from lower-order batsmen helped India reach 234 for eight at tea, stretching their lead to 345 against Sri Lanka on Day 4 of the third and final cricket Test, here today.
Starting at 132 for five after lunch, India saw Binny (49) and Naman Ojha (35) stitch a 42-run sixth-wicket partnership to spell more trouble for the hosts after Binny's valuable 50.
After Ojha's departure, Amit Mishra (39) then managed a 55-run eight-wicket stand with Ravichandran Ashwin (27 not out) to make life easy for the visitors.
Dhammika Prasad and Nuwan Pradeep have picked up three wickets apiece so far but the runs already look like a mountain for the islanders.
India crossed the 150-mark in the 42nd over, but Binny was unlucky to fall one short of a second Test fifty, as he edged Prasad (3-64) to first slip.
The wicketkeeper-batsman kept on going and was joined by Mishra, who was promoted over Ashwin. The duo added only 19 runs when Ojha was once again out against the run of play.
He had looked solid and at ease whilst scoring, plus India were not really accelerating in pursuit of a declaration at that stage. Yet he was dismissed whilst trying to up the ante, trying to slog Rangana Herath (1-80), throwing away his wicket for a second time in the match.
Ashwin and Mishra had initial jitters, with a couple mix-ups in the middle, but the duo settled down to frustrate the Lankan bowlers. Their fifty-run partnership came off 88 balls as India crossed the 200-mark in the 59th over and the lead swelled past the 300-mark.
Just when it looked they would get to tea without further loss, Mishra was run-out going for a single as Kaushal Silva caught him by surprise.
Earlier, thanks to Rohit's fourth Test fifty, India had a fruitful morning session after resuming on their overnight score of 21 for three.