Gautam Gambhir hit an unbeaten century to keep India's hopes alive of forcing a draw in the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad on Friday.
The left-hander made 105 not out as India, trailing by 334 runs on the first innings, went to lunch on the fifth and final day at 256-3 in their second knock.
Sachin Tendulkar, who began a third decade in Test cricket with this match, kept Gambhir company on a fluent 22 after sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 47.
India still trail by 78 runs and need to bat out the remaining two sessions to prevent Sri Lanka from taking the lead in the three-match series.
It was Gambhir's seventh Test century and the third in successive matches this year after making 137 in Napier and 167 in Wellington on India's tour of New Zealand in March-April.
The Delhi opener has kept vigil for five hours and 16 minutes on the easy-paced wicket, hitting 12 boundaries.
Nightwatchman Amit Mishra, who came in at the fall of Rahul Dravid's wicket on Thursday evening, batted for 45 minutes in the morning session before falling to a brilliant catch by Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Dilshan, who had floored a sharp chance off Mishra in the slips earlier in the day, dived to his right at leg-gully to pick up a low catch as the batsman flicked seamer Angelo Mathews.
Mishra made 24 in a 40-run stand for the third wicket with Gambhir.
Tendulkar, who was dismissed for four in the first innings as India slipped to 32-4 within the first hour of the Test, hit four boundaries in his first 17 runs.
Tendulkar punched Mathews through the covers, took two boundaries in the same region in one over from Muttiah Muralitharan, before smashing Mathews to the point fence.
India made 426 in the first innings and Sri Lanka replied with a mammoth 760-7 declared, the highest total ever scored on Indian soil.
The second Test starts in Kanpur on Tuesday, followed by the third at the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai from December 2.