Laxman's stylish ton gives India win
Resuming on 53 for three, India lost an early wicket on day five when nightwatchman Ishant Sharma was caught at midwicket off Suraj Randiv for four.
Randiv proved to be the dangerman for India as he claimed all the four Indian wickets that fell in the second innings.
That was the only wicket India lost in that session as VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar carried to lunch at 145 for four in 38 overs, still needing another 112 runs for victory.
Laxman scored a magnificent unbeaten century to guide India to a five-wicket victory, earning the visitors a 1-1 tie in the series.
Image: Kumar Sangakkara (right) takes a catch to dismiss Ishant Sharma
Tendulkar makes SL pay for lapse
Sachin Tendulkar continued his good batting form with another batting half-century.
The master batsman, most-capped Test player, was put down by Tillakaratne Dilshan at forward short-leg off Randiv with his score on 18.
The master batsman made Sri Lanka pay for that early lapse by recording his 56th Test half-century, as he made 54 from 122 balls with the help of three boundaries.
Tendulkar was dismissed when he, attempting a sweep shot, ended up gloving one to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene after having added 109 runs for the fifth wicket with Laxman to revive India's hopes.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
The ever-dependable Laxman revived India's hopes
The ever-dependable Laxman ensured that his illustrious partner's dismissal did not trigger the kind of dreadful collapses that have cost India in the past.
The stylish Hyderabadi scored freely and his fifty came off just 81 balls in the post-lunch session as he used his wrists to good effect to find the gaps in the field.
The 35-year-old's body, however, started troubling him after he reached 60. Laxman was down on ground in pain before the 52nd over due to a lower back problem, which required the physio's assistance.
But the gritty batsman continued nonetheless with Virender Sehwag as his runner.
Image: VVS Laxman
Laxman's first ton in Sri Lanka
Laxman completed his century, his first in Sri Lanka, off 146 deliveries by striking consecutive fours off Ajantha Mendis in the 68th over.
The elegant middle-order batsman scored his 17th Test hundred to remain unbeaten on 103, scored off 149 balls with 12 fours.
Image: VVS Laxman celebrates scoring his century
India win to level series
Suresh Raina, who helped in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 87, finished the match off in style shortly before the scheduled tea break by clouting Chanaka Welegedara for six to remain 41 not out as India chased down the 257 needed for victory.
Sri Lankan bowlers paid the price for not being attacking enough and though Randiv managed to pick up five wickets conceding just 82 runs in his 29 overs, others, including the much-feared pacer Lasith Malinga and Mendis, failed to provide the breakthroughs.
Image: VVS Laxman (right) celebrates with Suresh Raina