It was the 1507th Test in cricket history.
It was Sri Lanka's 105th and South Africa's 245th Test .
It was the eighth Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa. The record now reads: South Africa 4, Sri Lanka 1, drawn 3.
It was the sixth Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa on Sri Lankan soil.The record now reads: South Africa 2, Sri Lanka 1, drawn 3.
BC Cooray and Eddie Nicholls were officiating in their 19th and 12th Test respectively.
Sanath Jayasuriya won the toss for the seventh consecutive time (starting from 3rd Test against Pakistan at Karachi in March). This is a new Sri Lankan record. The previous record was in the name of Duleep Mendis with six consecutive toss wins.
The second wicket partnership of 103 runs in the first innings between Sanath Jayasuriya and Russel Arnold is Sri Lanka's best for this wicket against South Africa.This obliterates the previous record stand of 72 between Asanka Gurusinha and Roshan Mahanama at Moratuwa in 1993-94.
The catch of Atapattu in second innings was the 50th for Gary Kirsten in his 63rd Test . He became the third South African after Bruce Mitchell and Daryll Cullinan and the 66th fielder in Test cricket to do so.
Nicky Boje's second innings figures (5 for 62) are the second best by a South African bowler in Sri Lanka after Brett Schultz's 5 for 48 at Colombo SSC in 1993-94.
The fifth wicket partnership of 45 runs in the second innings between Jonty Rhodes and Lance Klusener is South Africa's best for this wicket against Sri Lanka.This obliterates the 43 run-stand between Daryll Cullinan and Lance Klusener at Galle . Incidentally South Africa's best for this wicket against Sri Lanka before this series was 35 between Jimmy Cook and Jonty Rhodes at Moratuwa in 1993-94.
The five wicket haul in second innings was the 22nd for Muttiah Muralitharan in his Test career which takes him past Austalian Clarrie Grimmett's tally of 21 five wicket in an innings hauls to become the spinner with most such hauls. World record, however, is in the name of New Zealander Richard Hadlee with 36 five wickets in an innings hauls.
Muralitharan has now taken a five wicket innings haul in every 2.59 Test at an average,which puts him on the seventh place among the bowlers with least Tests taken to achieve a five wicket haul. He also enjoys the top slot among the contemporary cricketers.Following tables have the details :
All time best averages for Tests per five wicket hauls
(Qualification : 10 or more five wicket hauls)
Syd Barnes (Eng) 24 27 1.13 Tom Richardson (Eng) 11 14 1.27 Charlie Turner (Aus) 11 17 1.55 Clarrie Grimmett (Aus) 21 37 1.76 Richard Hadlee (NZ) 36 86 2.39 Bill O'Reilly (Aus) 11 27 2.45 Muttiah Muralitharan (SL) 22 57 2.59 Fazal Mahmood (Pak) 13 34 2.62 Hugh Tayfield (SA) 14 37 2.64 Terry Alderman (Aus) 14 41 2.93 Subhash Gupte (Ind) 12 36 3.00
Contemporary best average for Tests per five wicket hauls :
(Qualification : 5 or more five wicket hauls)
Muttiah Muralitharan (SL) 22 57 2.59 Saqlain Mushtaq (Pak) 10 28 2.80 Allan Donald (SA) 20 62 3.10 Waqar Younis (Pak) 21 67 3.19 Angus Fraser (Eng) 13 46 3.53 Glenn McGrath (Aus) 17 62 3.64 Anil Kumble (Ind) 16 61 3.81 Wasim Akram (Pak) 25 98 3.92 Curtly Ambrose (WI) 22 96 4.36 Andrew Caddick (Eng) 8 35 4.37 Shaun Pollock (SA) 10 45 4.50 Mushtaq Ahmed (Pak) 10 48 4.80 Venkatesh Prasad (Ind) 6 29 4.83
Muralitharan's tally of 26 wickets in the series is a new record in Sri Lanka-South Africa Tests. The previous record was held by Brett Schultz who took 20 wickets in the 1993-94 series.Interestingly the previous record of most wickets in a series for Sri Lanka against South Africa was also in the name of Muralitharan who took 16 wickets in the 1993-94 and 1997-98 series.
Muralitharan's tally of 26 wickets also equals the best performance by a Sri Lankan bowler in a Test series. Interestingly Muralitharan had taken 26 wickets in the three match series against Pakistan in Pakistan in 1999-00.
The duck in second innings was the 12th for Marvan Atapattu in his career.He now equals Arjuna Ranatunga's tally of ducks for Sri Lanka.Now only Pramodya Wickremasinghe (17) and Muttiah Muralitharan (14) have aggregated more ducks in a career for Sri Lanka than Atapattu.
At the end of the series :
Overall playing record:
Sri Lanka: played 105, won 19, lost 42 and drawn 44.
South Africa: played 245, won 71, lost 92 and drawn 82.
Sanath Jayasuriya: played 15, won 5, lost 4, drawn 6.
Shaun Pollock: played 3, won 1, lost 1, drawn 1.