In the Galle Test match against Ireland, Sri Lanka piled 704 for three in 151 overs before declaring the innings closed.
They set a plethora of records on their way.
Sri Lanka won the first Test of the two-match series in Galle by an innings and 280 runs, but Ireland did better second time round, keeping the hosts at bay for five sessions to amass 492.
But Sri Lanka came out all guns blazing.
Nishan Madushka (205) and captain Dimuth Karunaratne (115) added 228 in under 49 overs.
At 4.68 an over, this was the second-fastest 200-run opening stand for Sri Lanka (Sanath Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu had put on 281 at 5.25 against Zimbabwe at Harare in 2004).
Brendon Kuruppu’s 201 not out against New Zealand at the Colombo Cricket Club Ground in 1987.
However, this was Madushka’s third Test match, while Kuruppu was making his debut.
Karunaratne, meanwhile, made his 16th Test hundred.
Among Sri Lankans, only Kumar Sangakkara (38), Mahela Jayawardene (34), and Aravinda de Silva (20) have more, while Atapattu and Tillakaratne Dilshan also have 16 apiece.
Karunaratne also became the fourth Sri Lankan, after Sangakkara (90), Jayawardene (84), and Angelo Mathews (got his 53rd later in the innings) to reach fifty 50 times.
Kusal Mendis (245) then joined in the fun, and added 268 with Madushka for the second wicket, making it the third instance of the first two partnerships in an innings each amassing 200 runs, after India (213 and 268 against South Africa, Chennai 2007/08; and 221 and 237 against Sri Lanka, Mumbai 2009/10).
Mendis then added 133 with Mathews (100 not out).
Only once in history – 144, 125, 171 against Bangladesh at the SSC in 2001/02 – had each of the first three Sri Lankan pairs in the same innings put on hundred-run stands.
However, this was the first instance of two double-hundred-run and a separate hundred-run partnerships in the same innings, though South Africa (256, 199, 127) came close against Zimbabwe at Harare in 2001/02.
Mendis eventually fell for 245, the highest score by a Sri Lankan (and the second-highest by anyone, after Chris Gayle’s 333 in 2010/11) in Galle.
He went past Jayawardene’s 237 against South Africa in 2004.
This also marked the 19th instance of two batters scoring double-hundreds in the same innings.
Sri Lanka have themselves done it five times now – against India at Premadasa in 1997, against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo in 2004, against South Africa at SSC in 2006, against Pakistan at Karachi in 2008/09, and here.
Mathews’ hundred marked the third instance of the top four batters scoring hundreds in an innings, after India against Bangladesh in Mirpur in 2007 and Pakistan against Sri Lanka in Karachi in 2019/20.
Overall, this was the 26th instance of four men (fifth for Sri Lanka) scoring hundreds in the same innings – but the first instance of the same side doing it twice in the same series.
Interestingly, both South Africa and West Indies had four hundreds in the same innings in the 2005 St John’s Test match.
Karunaratne and Mendis had also scored hundreds in the first Test match, along with Dinesh Chandimal and Sadeera Samarawickrama.
This marked the second instance of six Sri Lankans scoring hundreds in the same series, after Jayasuriya, Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Atapattu (twice), Hashan Tillakaratne, and Thilan Samaraweera against India in 2001 – but that was in a three-match series.
Sri Lanka eventually declared on 704 for three.
They had scored at 4.66 an over, the second-fastest by any side while amassing a 700-run total, after Australia’s 5.01 (735 for six in 146.3 overs) against Zimbabwe at Perth in 2003/04.
Sri Lanka now have seven out of 25 team totals in excess of 700, well ahead of the four by Australia, India, and the West Indies.
Sri Lanka’s 700s have all come in the second innings of a Test match – in other words, they batted second every time.
If Sri Lanka do not bat again in the Test match, they will finish with a series batting average of 143.88, the second-highest by any side, after England’s 162.50 against Bangladesh in the home series of 2005.
Meanwhile, Ben White returned figures of (0-203), the third-most runs conceded by anyone while going wicketless, after Khan Mohammad (0-259 against West Indies at Kingston in 1957/58) and Nicky Boje (0-221 against Sri Lanka at SSC in 2006).
However, whereas Khan Mohammad went for 4.79 an over and Boje for 3.40, White’s economy rate was 5.97.