It was the 1555th Test match in cricket history.
It was India's 342nd and Sri Lanka's 112th Test.
It was the 21st Test between these two teams. The record now reads: Sri Lanka 2, India 7, drawn 12. The Lankan win against India came after about 16 years. Sri Lanka's only other win had come in September 1985 at the P Sara stadium in Colombo when it defeated India by 149 runs.
Umpires Asoka de Silva and Steve Bucknor were standing in their fourth and 59th Test respectively while Cammie Smith was officiating as ICC match referee for the 34th time.
India was without the services of Sachin Tendulkar for the first time in a Test since he made his debut against Pakistan at Karachi in November 1989. Tendulkar appeared in 84 Tests without a break - a world record maximum consecutive Tests played by any player in Test history since debut. Tendulkar bettered the record of another Indian, Kapil Dev, who appeared in 66 consecutive Tests from his debut Test against Pakistan at Faisalabad in October 1978 to the Calcutta Test against England in 1984-85. Other players with 50 or more consecutive Tests since debut are Australia's Ian Healy (64), West Indian Rohan Kanhai (61), New Zealander John Reid (58), England's Tony Greig (58), Zimbabwean Alistair Campbell (54), South African Gary Kirsten (53), England's Frank Woolley (52), Australia's Rod Marsh (52), Zimbabwean Andy Flower (52) and Australian Greg Chappell (51).
Tendulkar, however, seems to have missed the opportunity to make 100 consecutive Test appearances in a career - the feat which has been recorded only by two players in Test annals. Australia's Allan Border played 153 consecutive matches of his 156-Test career while India's Sunil Gavaskar played 106 matches at a stretch out of 125 matches. Among contemporary players, Australia's Mark Waugh with 94 consecutive appearances might in all probability join Border and Gavaskar.
Suresh Perera and Hashan Tillakaratne were making their return into Sri Lankan side. Perera had last appeared for Sri Lanka against England at The Oval in 1998, missing 24 matches in between. Only Don Anurasiri (27) has missed more matches between two appearances for Sri Lanka. Tillakaratne, meanhwile, had last appeared for Sri Lanka against Pakistan at Dhaka in the final of Asian Test Championship, thus missing 21 matches in between.
Sanath Jayasuriya, when he reached three in the first innings, completed 2,000 runs in Tests on Sri Lankan soil. He became the third batsman after Aravinda de Silva (3084 runs in 43 matches) and Arjuna Ranatunga (2851 in 48). At the end of this match, Jayasuriya has an aggregate of 2114 runs from 32 matches in home matches.
Jayasuriya on 8 (in the first innings) also completed his 1000 runs as Sri Lanka's skipper in his 22nd match. He joined 55 other captains who have accomplished this feat. Ranatunga with 3118 runs from 56 matches is the only other Sri Lankan to aggregate 1000 or more runs as skipper.
Jayasuriya (111) made his eighth Test century in his 60th Test - his third against India.
Kumara Sangakkara (105*) became the fifth Sri Lankan wicketkeeper to score a hundred. This was also the eighth instance of a hundred by Sri Lankan wicketkeeper. Romesh Kaluwitharana (3),Amal Silva (2),Brendon Kuruppu and Hasan Tillakaratne (one each) are the others who have made hundreds. Sangakkara also became the second Sri Lankan wicketkeeper after Amal Silva to score a hundred against India. Silva had made 111 at the P Sara stadium, Colombo in 1985-86. Interestingly Sri Lanka won on both the occasions.
The wicket of Tillakaratne was Javagal Srinath's 100th wicket on foreign soil. He accomplished the feat in his 28 match abroad. He became the fifth Indian after Kapil Dev (215 wickets in 66 Tests), Bishan Singh Bedi (129 in 37), Anil Kumble (101 in 30) and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar (100 in 26) and 38th bowler in all Tests to do so. Incidentally West Indian Courtney Walsh tops the list of bowlers with most wickets in away matches with 290 wickets from 74 matches. He is followed by Pakistani Wasim Akram (260 in 62), New Zealander Richard Hadlee (230 in 43), West Indian Malcolm Marshall (219 in 50), India's Kapil Dev (215 in 66), Australian Shane Warne (207 in 49) and West Indian Curtley Ambrose (202 in 46).
Srinath by not resuming his innings in the first innings after being struck by a Fernando delivery, achieved the dubious distinction of becoming the first batsman to retire hurt in an innings against Sri Lanka. He also became the 14th Indian to suffer this fate in a Test, incidentally it was the 16th instance of an Indian batsman retiring with an injury - Dilip Vengsarkar retired on as many as three occasions.
The following table lists all Indians who got retired hurt in an innings :
Dilhara Fernando by returning figures of 5 for 42 in first innings, recorded the second best figures by a Sri Lankan against India. The best however still remains as Rumesh Ratnayake's six for 85 at the P Sara stadium in Colombo in 1985-86.
By taking the catch of Mohammad Kaif in the second innings, Hashan Tillakaratne equalled Roshan Mahanama's record tally of 56 catches in the field for Sri Lanka.
The five-wicket haul in the second innings was Muttiah Muralitharan's 25th in his 63rd Test bringing him level with Pakistan's Wasim Akram. He still has some catching up to do - New Zealander Richard Hadlee achieved it a record 36 times and 27 of England's Ian Botham.
The five-wicket haul was also Murali's second against India after his five for 162 at Lucknow in 1993-94. He became the third Sri Lankan after Rumesh Ratnayake and Asantha de Mel to bag two separate fivewicket hauls.
India's first innings total of 187 was their lowest against Sri Lanka in all matches obliterating the previous lowest of 198 at the P Sara stadium in Colombo in 1985-86. Later, India's second innings total of 180 took over the dubious honour.
Sri Lanka has now played six matches at Galle and won four matches - three by an innings margin. Sri Lanka's only defeat at this ground came against Pakistan in June 2000.