Dimuth Karunaratne has said a home loss to Bangladesh will be a blemish on Sri Lankan cricket, while his side hung precariously in the second Test at the P Sara Oval.
Having lost five top-order wickets for 47 runs in the middle session, Sri Lanka are in danger of losing their first Test at home in seven matches.
They are 139 runs ahead, with two wickets in hand.
The lowest target successfully defended at this venue is 244 – in the last Test Sri Lanka played here, in 2015.
Karunaratne said: “We have never lost a Test to Bangladesh, and we have a good home record recently, thanks to the win over Australia. If we lose here, it could be a big scar on our cricket as well. We are at fault and we do need to own that mistake. I’m sure we’ll come out firing tomorrow to save the game.”
The man largely responsible for backing Sri Lanka up against the wall was Mustafizur Rahman, who claimed 3 for 24 in what may be remembered as the spell of the series – at least from a seam bowler.
Sri Lanka had progressed to 143 for 1 with relative comfort before Mustafizur was brought into the attack after lunch.
At the end of that seven over spell, Bangladesh had a firm grip on the match, with a wicket having fallen at the other end as well.
Though they scored only 214 runs in the day for the loss of eight wickets, Karunaratne also said the pitch held no major terrors.
He had himself made 126 on it, and Sri Lanka’s ninth-wicket pair of Suranga Lakmal and Dilruwan Perera put on 30 in the span of 52 deliveries towards the end of play.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket has announced that the general public will be given the opportunity to watch the last day’s play free of charge at the P Sara Oval today.