Opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne (21 not out) and Angelo Mathews (1 not out) were at the crease when the lunch was called after 27 overs of play.
Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch which was not offering much help to neither the pacers nor the spinners. India, however, kept it tight from both the ends and were rewarded with two wickets.
Right-hander Samarawickrama (13) was the first wicket to fall, with the opening batsman edging to Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip while attempting a drive off experienced paceman Ishant Sharma, who was one of the three changes Virat Kohli made for this Test.
The hosts brought in opener Murali Vijay and Rohit Sharma in place of Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami. The latter was forced out of the team with a niggle, while Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar were released from the Test squad after the dashing Delhi opener wanted a break for personal reasons and the Meerut-born seamer tied the knot on Thursday.
Ishant partnered Umesh Yadav to operate with the new ball and the pair did well to pressurise the visiting openers with their tight line and length. Umesh even though didn’t get a wicket but ended the morning session by conceding only 13 runs from nine overs.
After Samarawickrama’s wicket, Lahiri Thirimanne and Karunaratne provided a lot of resistance. They hardly offered any shots and were in a mood to block every ball.
Karunaratne, batting at 15, once got frustrated but got a reprieve after Pujara dropped a catch off Ravichandran Ashwin. The batsman stepped outside of the crease but was foxed by the flight of the ball and hit it straight at Pujara.
Both the batsmen seemed determined to see off the lunch session but Thirimanne missed the line as the left-hander attempted to slog sweep off-spinner Ashwin only to see the ball rattle the stumps.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka: 47/2 (Dimuth Karunaratne 21 not out; Ravichandran Ashwin 10/1) vs India at stumps on Day 1.