As recently as the Galle Test match that started on March 7, Dinesh Chandimal was in trouble having gone eight innings without a half-century, a streak he broke in the second innings of the aforementioned Test.
After that turn in fortune against his favourite opposition, he hit 138 across the first two days of the Colombo Test to bail his side out of trouble and to relative safety -- an innings he described as the best of his eight centuries in Test cricket.
"I rate this as my number one century in Test cricket so far, because I batted four sessions -- I never batted four sessions in my Test career. I rate this one at the top," said Chandimal after the second day of the Test at the P Sara Oval ended with a Bangladesh collapse that left the visitors trailing by 124 runs with five wickets in hand.
"We were in a tough spot with three wickets down for 30-odd," said Chandimal. "I had a responsibility at the time to think about how I could take the team beyond 250. The pitch was a bit tough at the time. I thought about how to take the single and get to the other end. I also thought about how to score off the lengths they were bowling. It was a good innings."
Bangladesh's batting was in marked contrast to the qualities Chandimal displayed during his 300-ball innings. The tourists lost three wickets in seven balls for six runs as part of a chaotic 20 minutes at the end of the day.
"They played really well till the last half an hour. We stayed in the game and tried to get one or two wickets," said Chandimal when asked whether he was surprised by Bangladesh's collapse, before he added that the P Sara pitch was better than it was on the first day. "Yes, it was better than yesterday, but the thing is, the Bangladeshi players are trying to play shots, so that's the difference. Still the pitch is dry. Hopefully it will get more turn tomorrow.
"How we play tomorrow morning is very important. If we can get one of these two batsmen out [Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim], we can get a lead of about 100. I think if we have a lead of about 350 going into the last innings, we will be protected from defeat. We can push for a win from there."