Sri Lanka left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan picked up his maiden five-wicket test haul as a whitewash-chasing India were all out in the first over after lunch.
Indian captain Viart Kohli addressed the media before the third and final Test of the ongoing between Sri Lanka and India.
The duo scored 134 runs in the opening session and threatened to take Sri Lankan bowlers to the cleaners before Pushpakumara removed Rahul in his first over in the second session. But Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli or Ajinkya Rahane did not manage big scores like they are expected to.
That brought Pandya, unbeaten on one overnight, and Umesh together for the last wicket, allowing the former a license to free his bat in search of quick runs.
Pushpakamara rattled the Indian top-order with his left-arm spin after a 188-run opening stand between Dhawan, who hit 119 in 123 balls, and Lokesh Rahul. "We got a good start and still feel, at the end of the day, 329 is a good score".
"Want to make use of the best batting conditions", Kohli said.
Dhawan was caught at square leg, thanks to a leaping effort from skipper Dinesh Chandimal, a second dismissal against the run of play as he was just looking to cut loose with a flurry of boundaries.
Dancing down the track to put the tweaker off his length and confidence right away, Rahul committed a bit of hara-kiri as he went to clear mid-on off just the third ball of the bowler's first over.
India won the second match by an innings and 53 runs, and would come into the game high on confidence.
Otherwise, he simply took the singles on offer against Sri Lanka's defensive fields.
Ravichandran Ashwin (31) was the only wicket to fall to the faster bowlers when he edged Fernando to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella after the hosts had taken the second new ball.
So questions is Virat going with three spinners for the final Test match or is Axar ahead of Kuldeep for the Jadeja's spot.
Then Lakshan Sandakan struck twice in three overs, finding Kuldeep's edge with dip and turn after drawing him forward with his flight, and then taking a sharp return catch when Mohammed Shami drove him hard and straight.
By this time, Malinda Pushpakumara had bowled four overs in the morning, and his figures read 22-2-56-3.