Colombo: Sri Lanka survived early blows to clinch the series against an injury-ridden India with a comfortable eight-wicket victory on the penultimate day of the third and final Test here at the P Saravanamuttu Stadium on Monday.
The hosts lost Michael Vandort and Kumar Sangakkara in the opening seven overs before reaching a 122-run target in the closing session, thanks to Malinda Warnapura (54 not out) and skipper Mahela Jayawardene (50 not out).
Sri Lanka had won the opening Test by an innings and 239 runs and India the second match by 170 runs.
India, trailing by 147 runs, were bowled out for 268 in their second innings despite gutsy half-centuries from a struggling Rahul Dravid (68) and an injured Venkatsai Laxman (61 not out).
The tourists were without paceman Ishant Sharma, who batted with a runner but was unfit to bowl after falling on his follow-through on Saturday.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh shared the new ball with Zaheer Khan and struck with his fourth delivery when he bowled out-of-form opener Vandort (eight), who finished the series with just 39 runs.
Zaheer claimed a big wicket in his fourth over when he removed Sangakkara, who drove straight to Gautam Gambhir at mid-off. Sangakkara, who made a solid 144 in the first innings, contributed only four.
There were no more hiccups for Sri Lanka as Jayawardene and left-handed Warnapura made the most of India's depleted attack, adding 101 for the unfinished third-wicket stand.
Warnapura hit five fours in his fourth half-century in seven Tests, while Jayawardene finished the match when he cut Sourav Ganguly for his third four.
Sri Lankan spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis earlier dashed India's hopes of setting a challenging target as they shared three of the five wickets after the tourists had resumed at 161-5.
Unorthodox spinner Mendis, a 23-year-old army officer, had Dravid caught at first slip by Jayawardene for his third victim of the innings to finish the series with 26 wickets, the highest by any bowler in a debut three-Test series.
The previous record-holder was Englishman Alec Bedser, who took 24 wickets against India at home in 1946.
Dravid and Laxman batted defiantly to add 85 for the sixth wicket before Mendis ended India's fightback. Dravid hit six fours in his 166-ball knock, his first half-century of the series.
Laxman, batting with a runner after twisting his left ankle on Saturday, hit three fours in his second half-century of the series to emerge India's most successful middle-order batsman with 215 runs in six innings.
It was an easily forgettable series for Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.
Tendulkar, who needed 172 to break retired West Indies captain Brian Lara's world record of 11,953 Test runs, could make just 95 in six innings without a half-century. Dravid managed 148 and Ganguly 96 in three Tests.