Bangladesh found themselves in cornered position after putting up a dismal batting show on day three of the second and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy on Saturday.
Saving this Test now looks like a distant dream as Sri Lanka took the stranglehold of the match, leading Bangladesh by 259 runs thanks to a 6-92 off left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama on debut.
He eclipsed Upul Chandana's 6-179 against Pakistan in 1999 as best figure by a debut bowler for Sri Lanka in an innings.
Sri Lanka ended the day on 17-2 in their second innings on an increasingly deteriorating pitch with captain Dimuth Karunaratne batting on 13, with Angelo Mathews on 1.
Lahiru Thirimanne was dismissed on 2 while Oshada Fernanon made 1 with Bangladesh spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Taijul Islam sharing those two wickets.
The spinners, however, got a considerable amount of turn and bounce from day three and it is predicted the situation for batsmen could be worsened in the last two days.
The hosts however didn't enforce the follow-on on Bangladesh despite wrapping them up for 251 in the first innings. Bangladesh was still short of 43 runs to avoid the follow-on as Sri Lanka declared their first innings on 493-7 earlier on third day morning.
Tamim gave Bangladesh a whirlwind start once again and reached his fourth consecutive fifty, third straight in this series off 57 balls, slicing Ramesh Mednis towards point for two runs. When he reached fifty, Bangladesh was just 61 with Saif Hasan on 7.
However, after making 0 and 1 in the first Test, Saif finally reached a double-digit figure, scoring 25 in this match.
He and Tamim put on a 97-run partnership for the opening stand to keep Bangladesh in a strong position.
But Sri Lanka bounced back in style in the match at the cusp of lunch, taking the wicket of Saif and Nazmul Hossain Shanto in the space of eight balls.
While Saif edged Praveen Jayawickrama behind the wicket to give him his maiden wicket on debut, Shanto bagged his consecutive second duck after his epic 163. Shanto was undone by a lovely off-break of Ramesh Mendis.
After starting fluently, Tamim restrained him as he came on the verge of his 10th Test century. But that didn't work well for him as Jayawickrama baffled him with a straighter delivery, forcing him to edge at first slip.
Tamim struck a dozen of boundaries in his 92 off 150 deliveries.
Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim then seemed to take the side in a position of dominance as they bated with caution and aggression to defy the Lankan bowlers.
But again at the fag end of a session, Bangladesh lost a wicket when Mushfiqur's error of judgement of Jayawickrama's length had him lbw. The umpire though didn't call it out, the Lankan side reviewed it to turn the decision. Mushfiqur scored 40 off 62, hitting seven fours.
Ramesh Mendis then blew Bangladesh in post Tea session, dismissing Mominul for 49. The captain who was dismissed by full toss delivery smote seven boundaries.
Mominul's dismissal sparked a collapse as Bangladesh lost the last five wickets for 33 runs with Jayawickrama taking three. Suranga Lakmal then cleaned up the tail with second new ball.
Jayawickrama's debut six-for however was complemented by Ramesh Mendis and Suranga Lakmal who both snared two wickets apiece.
Earlier, resuming the day on 469-6, Sri Lanka added just 24 runs for one wicket before declaring their first innings.
Taskin Ahmed who bowled beautifully, took the scalp of Ramesh Mendis after he scored 33. After his dismissal, Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne declared the innings, leaving Niorshan Dickwell stranded on 77.
Dickwell struck eight fours and one six in his 72 ball-77 not out, which is his 18th fifty-plus knock in 45 Tests. As the captain declared the innings to get enough time to press for victory, Dickwella missed another chance of hitting the century.
Taskin Ahmed ended with his career-best 4-127 while Shoriful Islam, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Taijul Islam took one wicket apiece.