Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha scored fine half-centuries to take India to 553/7 at tea on day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka here on Friday.
At the SSC, Saha shepherded the Indian innings and remained unbeaten at the break on 59 off 128 balls.
Giving him company was Ravindra Jadeja (37 off 60) as the duo shared a 57-run stand for the eighth wicket.
Post lunch, Ashwin (54) reached his 11th Test half- century off 91 balls. In doing so, he became the fourth Indian to achieve the double of 2000 runs and 200 wickets in Test cricket.
He also became the fourth quickest in Test history to get to this milestone in 51 Tests, after Ian Botham (England, 42 Tests), Kapil Dev (India, 50 Tests) and Imran Khan (Pakistan, 50 Tests).
But he couldn't build on it, as Rangana Herath (2-122) bowled him in the 122nd over. Thereafter, Saha and Hardik Pandya (20) put on 45 runs for the seventh wicket.
Both batsmen survived DRS reviews for lbw, and took India past the 500-mark in the 134th over. The visitors thus became the first team to score 500-plus runs in successive Tests on Sri Lankan soil.
Pandya was caught at long -off off Malinda Pushpakumara (2-156). But Saha carried on and put on a resolute unbeaten partnership with Jadeja. In doing so, he scored his fifth Test half-century and brought up India s 550 just before the tea break.
This was after India reached 442/5 at lunch as both Cheteshwar Pujara (133) and Ajinkya Rahane (132) fell in the morning session.
Starting from overnight 344/3, Sri Lanka were dealt some bad news in the morning when pacer Nuwan Pradeep (0-63) was ruled out of the remainder of the Test.
The pacer had injured his hamstring on day one and consequently the hosts have been left without a proper fast bowler in their attack for this game.
Even so, Pujara (overnight 128*) couldn't take advantage of this situation as Dimuth Karunaratne (1-31) trapped him lbw in the second over of the day. The bowler needed DRS review to get the dismissal in his favour.
Overall, Pujara faced 232 deliveries and hit 11 fours as well as a six. It brought an end to his 217-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Rahane.
The latter though continued batting resolutely and helped India across 400 in the 106th over.
He also brought up the 50-partnership with Ashwin for the fifth wicket off 84 balls. Rahane looked set for a bigger score, but then against the run of play, he was out stumped off Pushpakumara in the 111th over.
It was the first Test wicket for the debutant in his 100th First Class match. Overall, Rahane faced 222 deliveries and hit 14 fours.
Saha then joined Ashwin in the middle, and the duo put on 29 runs for the sixth wicket without any trouble, as India progressed towards another tall first innings score.