Shamsur Rahman and Imrul Kayes both struck maiden Test centuries as Bangladesh continued their fightback on day three of the second Test, although opponents Sri Lanka still hold the upper hand.
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Shamsur contributed 106 to a superb second-wicket partnership of 232 with Kayes, who would go on to make 115 as the duo helped Bangladesh close the day on 409 for eight as they avoided the follow on in Chittagong.
It would have been even better for the hosts if they had not lost two wickets to successive balls from Ajantha Mendis late on, and they still have work to do to avoid defeat with Sri Lanka holding a 178-run lead.
That is still a much better situation than Bangladesh would have dreamed of when they lost opener Tamim Iqbal without scoring on Wednesday as they began their reply to Sri Lanka's mammoth first-innings total of 587.
However, Shamsur and Kayes prevented any further setbacks before the close on day two - finishing on 45 and 36 not out respectively - and they picked up where they left off on Thursday as they made a significant dent in Sri Lanka's lead.
Shamsur was the first to reach his maiden ton in only his second Test when he crunched Angelo Mathews for a four, but Kayes should have been denied his milestone when, two balls later, he was dropped by Kithuruwan Vithanage at point.
Incredibly, Kayes, who was on 95 at the time, was then caught by Vithanage later in the same over but he had another reprieve as it was a no-ball, and the 27-year-old made the most of those huge escapes by reaching three figures for the first time in a Test not long after.
Neither Shamsur or Kayes was able to go and score big hundreds as they were each bowled by Mendis (four for 84) soon after getting their tons, but Shakib Al Hasan (50), Nasir Hossain (42) and Mahmudullah (30 not out) picked up the fight as Bangladesh sought to avoid a second successive heavy defeat to the tourists.
And at 350 for five with star man Shakib still at the wicket, things were looking very good for the hosts as they made steady progress towards avoiding the following on.
They managed that, but the losses of Shakib to Dilruwan Perera (three for 119) and then Hossain and Sohag Gazi in consecutive deliveries from Mendis, meant they may not now be able to reduce Sri Lanka's advantage by much more on day four.
Bangladesh should also really have been nine down at the close but Dimuth Karunaratne spilled a straightforward catch off Al-Amin Hossain in the last over.
Sri Lanka won the first of the two-match series by an innings and 248 runs in Dhaka.