Sachin Tendulkar has scored his 48th Test century and shared an unbroken 141-run partnership for the fifth wicket with debutant Suresh Raina to lead India's fightback in the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
The world's leading international run-scorer was unbeaten on 108 as India, replying to Sri Lanka's 642 for 4 declared, recovered to 382 for 4 by stumps on the third day at the Sinhalese Sports Club.
India, who lost the opening Test in Galle by 10 wickets to trail 1-nil in the three-match series, need 61 runs more to avoid the embarrassment of a second successive follow-on.
The tourists were 165 without loss at one stage before suffering a mini-collapse to 173 for 3 in the morning session, as rookie off-spinner Suraj Randiv grabbed two wickets and Ajantha Mendis claimed one.
37-year-old Tendulkar, who has scored more Test runs and centuries than any other batsman in history, stood rock-solid at one end for four hours and 37 minutes to anchor India's revival.
He put on 68 for the fourth wicket with VVS Laxman (29) and 141 for the unbroken fifth with debutant Suresh Raina, who ended the day unbeaten on 66.
Tendulkar, a veteran of 168 Tests, reached his fifth hundred this year by sweeping Randiv to the square-leg fence for his 13th boundary.