A record partnership from Mohammad Ashraful and Mushfiqur Rahim has given Bangladesh hope of saving the first Test against Sri Lanka.
Chasing Sri Lanka's first-innings score of 4-570 declared, Bangladesh looked in trouble early on at Galle International Stadium when they lost two wickets in as many overs.
But Ashraful (189 not out) and Rahim (152 not out) took the visitors from 4-177-4 to 4-438 at stumps on Sunday, still trailing by 132 runs but putting a severe dent in Sri Lanka's hopes of victory.
Starting the third day at 2-135, Bangladesh looked fairly comfortable, scoring at over three an over before Mominul Haque was caught off Nuwan Kulasekara's bowling in the 10th over.
Mohammad Mahmudullah followed for a duck in the next over and Sri Lanka could almost smell a follow-on.
Mahmudullah's dismissal brought Rahim to the crease, however, and Bangladesh's wicketkeeper dug in with Ashraful to thwart Sri Lanka's attack.
Ashraful started the day on 65 not out and reached three figures for the sixth time in his career when he smashed Ajantha Mendis to the cover boundary a few overs before lunch.
At lunch, Bangladesh had reached 4-224 with Ashraful on 107 not out and Rahim unbeaten on 25, having found his feet.
Ashraful reached 150 in the third over after tea and Rahim notched his second Test century four balls later with a shot down to fine leg off Mendis' bowling.
At stumps, Ashraful and Rahim had compiled 261 for the fifth wicket - the country's highest ever partnership in 13 years as a Test nation - and leaving Bangladesh just 132 runs behind Sri Lanka with two days to play.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 11 March, 2013 9:54AM AEST