India's hopes rested on Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar after they were reduced to 68 for two in the second innings, following-on, at tea on the fourth day of the first cricket Test against Sri lanka in Galle on Wednesday.
Dravid was batting on 12 and Tendulkar at 21 at the tea break as India still trail Sri Lanka by 176 runs at the Galle International Stadium.
Gautam Gambhir's poor run in this match continued as he failed to open his account and departed in the third ball after being trapped leg-before by pacer Lasith Malinga and Mahela Jaywardene took a brilliant catch of Chanaka Welegedara to remove a dangerous looking Virender Sehwag (31).
Earlier, Muttiah Muralitharan, who will be retiring after this match, picked up five for 63 as Sri Lanka bowled out India for 276 in the first innings. Sri Lanka declared their first innings at 520 for eight Tuesday.
Muralitharan now has 797 Test wickets and is just three wickets short of becoming the first bowler to get 800 Test wickets.
Resuming at the overnight score of 140 for three, India scored 120 runs for the loss of five wickets in the morning session and were bowled out shortly after the lunch break.
Indian batsmen paid the price for poor shot selection. A set Virender Sehwag (109) was the first to depart after scoring his 20th Test century. It was an aggressive innings from Sehwag, who smashed 19 fours and a six in his 118 ball knock. Sehwag was dismissed in his trademark style while chasing a wide delivery off seamer Chanaka Welegedara and was caught by Tharanga Paranavitana at slip.
VVS Laxman (22) also departed soon as he fell top-edging a half-hearted pull shot off Lasith Malinga and was caught at deep by Tillekratne Dilshan as India slumped from 169 for three to 178 for five.
Yuvraj Singh (52) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (33) then tried a repair act with their 74-run stand but Muralitharan, playing his last Test, picked up both the batsmen with brilliant deliveries.