Galle: Sri Lanka reached 85-2 at lunch on Saturday after India captain Virat Kohli set them a daunting target of 550 to win the first Test in Galle.
The home side made a poor start to the campaign, losing opener Upul Tharanga in the third over for 10 and Danushka Gunathilaka for just two.
Dimuth Karunaratne (44) and Kusal Mendis (24) steadied the bid to take Sri Lanka into lunch.
Kohli completed an unbeaten 103 and declared his side's second innings at 240-3. Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane (23 not out) added 51 to the overnight score before the skipper threw down the gauntlet to Sri Lanka.
The home side have two days to pull off what would be a record fourth innings score to win at the Galle ground. No team has hit more than 300 to win at Galle.
Sri Lanka have Asela Gunaratne and Rangana Herath injured or ailing which makes their mission even more difficult.
India scored 600 in their first innings and Sri Lanka were all out for 291 in theirs.