There was only one team that had a chance to win on the final day. And the Indians were well aware that it wasn’t them. With the Sardar Patel stadium pitch showing no signs of wear and tear, the only point of interest was whether the batsmen would show the required application to see the day through.
They did that with ease as Gautam Gambhir once again proved his value under pressure with his third century in as many Tests and seventh overall. He rekindled memories of his Napier epic earlier this year when he batted 643 minutes for 137 runs against New Zealand to save the Test.
Sachin Tendulkar then completed his 43rd Test century before the two captains decided to call off the game after nine mandatory overs with India having reached 412 for 4.
Chasing their maiden Test win on Indian soil, Sri Lanka needed to strike early. It took a blinder from Dilshan at leg gully to send back the nightwatchman, Amit Mishra, but not before he had made 24.
Gambhir, at the other end, was playing for time and it was only after he reached the 90s that he stepped out to gather some quick runs and reach the three-figure mark. He looked determined for a long stay but could not resist the bait when Herath flighted one up after lunch and Dammika Prasad made no mistake at mid on. By the time Gambhir departed, India were comfortably placed at 275 for 4 and Tendulkar and VVS Laxman had little problem in seeing off the day.