The manner in which some of the batsmen had got out, it seemed outrageous to even think that they would survive the day.
The hosts, who resumed the day on 209-2, lost two wickets in the morning session, including that of captain Dinesh Chandimal for 2.
"We weren't good in the first session". The Sri Lankan batsmen needed to defend but they were on a suicide mission. Sri Lanka's lion-hearted second-innings effort was cut short for 386, giving India a win by an innings and 53 runs as they went on to register their second series win over Sri Lanka in two years.
Harbhajan Singh is third with 25 hauls from 103 Tests, the legendary Kapil Dev is placed fourth with 23 from 131 while B.S. Chandrashekhar has 16 from 58. "The bowlers are in the game as well when there is more pace because of the harder ball". Thankfully for Sri Lanka, none barring those two did. But in a matter of 40 minutes - the lunch interval - everything changed.
In his attempt to accelerate the scoring rate after India crossed the psychologically important 400-run mark, Rahane perished to debutant left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara, smartly stumped by Niroshan Dickwella after facing 222 balls and sending the ball 14 times to the fence.
And considering the quality, or the lack of it, of the Sri Lankan team, the visitors will look to complete a clean sweep in Pallekele (Kandy), where the third Test will be played. We beat the bat a lot. He was particularly brutal on the spinners.
The Indian pacer did not see much action with the ball on a spinning track but was effective when called upon.
The left-hander was adjudged Man of the Match for his match figures of 7-236 in 61 overs apart from unbeaten 70 with the bat in the first innings. When we came on to bowl, we got turn from the middle part of the wicket. If this was like 200 or something, we could have still batted and score 200 or 250 runs and put them again. "Karunaratne complimented Mendis, he defended beautifully, and Mendis played a few extra shots that Karunaratne obviously didn't", Ashwin said at the post-day press conference on Saturday. "I mean we were actually watching in awe yesterday, the sweeping was outstanding and we congratulated both the batters because it was proper Test cricket batting and high-quality temperament from both [Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis] and as well". We tried reverse-swing, we bowled cutters in the end. In the domestic level, sometimes you can get five wickets from five overs.
"Hopefully we will try and nick them off tomorrow".
This is the 26th five-wicket haul for Ashwin in Test cricket, achieving the feat in his 51st appearance in the longest format of the game. I'm not a big fan of it, especially when the wicket is breaking down like that. It is not going to be easy work tomorrow for sure.