Bangladesh created history by winning their 100th Test, that too on foreign soil by chasing down 191 in the final innings on a fifth-day pitch in Sri Lanka. It might seem like an easy target but Sri Lanka possesses some of the most difficult fifth-day pitches in the World and against Herath and co., it really was a mountain to climb.
For once, Bangladesh put their heads down and did the hard work, without prematurely celebrating and by grinding it out against some quality spin bowling. The day did not start all that well for them with Lanka's tailenders adding vital runs that set the visitors a higher than expected target.
Soumya Sarkar was dismissed cheaply for once but Tamim continued to dominate the Lankans. Sabbir Rahman gave the opener company after Herath threatened to burst the visitors with wickets of consecutive balls.
The 89 run stand took Bangladesh close but they knew that it wasn't over and despite losing three more wickets, they stuck to the task and emerged victorious to level the series. A proud achievement for a side who are possibly no longer in the minnow category.
Several former players and enthusiasts came out on Twitter to congratulate Bangladesh for their great achievement.
Beating Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in a Test...a sure shot sign of Bangladesh's progress in International cricket. Well done,— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 19, 2017
And this is the best 100th-Test gift Bangladesh could have given their fans. And themselves #SLvBAN— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) March 19, 2017
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 338/10 (Chandimal 138, Mehedi Hasan 3/90) and 319/10 (Karunaratne 126, Shakib 4/74) lost to Bangladesh 467/10 (Shakib 116, Herath 4/82) and 191/6 (Tamim 82, Perera 3/59)
Here are the talking points from the exciting Test match at P Sara Oval, Colombo.
#5 Perera and Lakmal's batting exploits
After Dilruwan Perera showed his batting skills at no.7 in the first Test, it was Suranga Lakmal's turn this time. Though both of them were pushed a position down as Sri Lanka played an extra batsman this Test, it did not deter their confidence.
Lakmal produced a fine cameo in the first innings and smashed 35 off 45 balls to help Lanka past 300. In the second innings, he bettered it as he combined with Perera to put on a crucial 80 run stand to rescue Lanka from the doldrums.
Lakmal made 42 from 48 while Perera played time and made a half-century in 174 balls, proving that he is probably a much better batsman than some of Lanka's top order players.
#4 Mosaddek Hossain the find for the visitors
When Bangladesh decided to drop Mahmudullah for their historic 100th Test it created a huge furore. But the replacement, someone who had already represented them in limited overs cricket, Mossadek Hossain, put up his hand and played a defining knock.
Walking in at no.8, Hossain combined in a vital stand of 131 with Shakib-al-Hasan that propelled Bangladesh to a first innings lead. The debutant was everything and more Bangladesh could expect from a no.8 as he made a brilliant half-century.
He was the last man dismissed as Bangladesh raced to a 129 run lead with Hossain making 75 from 155 balls including some powerful hits off Herath over his head. What a way to make his debut.
#3 Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar Bangladesh's best hope
Bangladesh seemed to have taken a huge positive out of this series with them finding a perfect opening pair. Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal have been instrumental for the visitors in every innings of the two Tests.
After two riveting stands of 118 and 67 in Galle, Sarkar and Tamim combined in yet another terrific stand of 95 to kick start Bangladesh's response to Sri Lanka's first innings total. Tamim then played a sensational knock in the second to guide Bangladesh home.
The two have been near perfect but it would benefit Bangladesh more if one of them can go and make a big hundred when getting starts. As of now, Sarkar has displayed a tendency to waste starts with him even expressing it publicly quite a few times. If he can correct that, Bangladesh will have one less tension.
#2 Karunaratne's career saving knock
Dimuth Karunaratne knew he needed a big knock to retain his place as opener in the side. He had watched the selectors dump his partner in South Africa, Kaushal Silva, rather unceremoniously. But it could very well have been him too.
Both the openers were struggling for form and Karunaratne's worrying returns in the first three innings in the series meant that the last and final innings was pretty important for Karunaratne.
The southpaw, however, pushed aside the huge burden of pressure off his shoulders and smacked a typically gritty hundred. He played the anchor role, much akin to what Chandimal did in the first innings, to compile a fine hundred and help Sri Lanka not collapse against some disciplined bowling.
#1 Mustafizur Rahman is well and truly back
The Bangladesh left-arm seamer with his smart off-cutters and slower balls was always a threat in the sub-continent. After his lay-off due to a shoulder surgery, Mustafizur returned to the Bangladesh team and showed little signs of rust as he put in a spectacular display in the second Test.
In the second innings of the Test, with Bangladesh ahead by 129, Mustafizur bowled his heart out and picked up the big scalps of Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva, all three coming in a period of 10 overs from 45 to 55 overs of the Lankan innings.
Mustafizur earned rave praise from men in the commentary box and former cricketers for his sensational spell on Day 4. Karunaratne, the batsman who witnessed it all in the middle said Mustafizur took the game away from them.
Karunaratne said on Day 4 while speaking to ESPNCricinfo, "The angle he was creating was difficult for the batsmen. The wicket was set and maybe that gave us a false sense of security to go for runs instead of seeing off that period."