first_imgBrief scores – Sri Lanka (191 & 304/9) beat South Africa (235 & 259) by 1 wicket to take an unassailable 1-0 lead in 2-match series. Kusal Perera (153*), Dhananjaya de Silva (48), Keshav Maharaj (3/71). ScorecardKusal Perera pulled off a miracle against South Africa in the Durban Test on Saturday as he played an unbeaten innings of 153 runs to script a memorable one-wicket win for Sri Lanka. With the win, Sri Lanka took an unassailable 1-0 against South Africa in the two-match Test series.The form and state of Sri Lankan cricket is such at the moment that none expected this miracle, perhaps apart from Perera and that dressing room. Perera stitched a 78-run stand with the 11th man Vishwa Fernando to take Sri Lanka home.Fernando played a very crucial role, sticking out there for 27 deliveries and scoring just 6 runs, clearly supporting Perera. Perera on the other hand, played with skill, gusto and bravado to lead Sri Lanka to victory with an unbeaten 153 off 200 deliveries.As soon as Perera struck the winning boundary, he let go of his bat and raised both his hands in the air, looking up and eyes closed, it was relief, it was passion and it was ecstasy — all at once. He was soon joined on the field for celebration by his teammates and they will not stop anytime soon.It was a marvellous display of Test cricket and India’s premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin did not hold back in applauding the beauty of that win and the format.”Did someone say Test cricket is dying?? Sri Lanka!!! you beauty, take a bow Kusal Perera and well done to @IamDimuth for a historic win. #SAvSL congrats @RusselArnold69,” Ashwin tweeted.advertisementDid someone say test cricket is dying?? Sri Lanka!!! you beauty, take a bow Kusal Perera and well done to @IamDimuth for a historic win. #SAvSL congrats @RusselArnold69Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) February 16, 2019Twitter could not stop raving about Perera’s magical knock, one that will go down as one of the greatest Test knocks ever.he’s bloody done it!!! what a knock, SL win by 1 wicket, Kusal Perera has played an absolute blinder!mark butcher (@markbutcher72) February 16, 2019KUSAL PERERA! Remember the name. one of the greatest Test wins of alltime. one of the lifetime innings. what a win for the young Sri Lanka against all odds. Incredible teams effort. a Test captaincy debut to remember for Dimuth. Test cricket at it’s absolute best. @IamDimuthDaniel Alexander (@daniel86cricket) February 16, 2019Well played Kusal Perera and @OfficialSLC that was a knock for the ages. Gripping test cricket. Gosh I hope test cricket continues to be this good all year as we’ve seen in the last three weeks.ian bishop (@irbishi) February 16, 2019I never thought I would get to see a better test knock than Kevin Pietersen’s 186 at Wankhede, but this knock from Kusal Perera at Durban easily surpassed it. Un-freaking-believable. #SAvSLAbhishek (@Sajjanlaunda) February 16, 2019Test cricket at it’s best!!Take a bow,Kusal Perera #SAvSL pic.twitter.com/NuBUtx5nT3deepak (@DpkYdv17) February 16, 2019Hands down the best test knock I’ve ever witnessed live. Yes, I haven’t witnessed @VVSLaxman281 281 against Australia. But this should go down as the greatest test knock of all time. KUSAL PERERA , take a bow. #SAvSL pic.twitter.com/oORz9Pi9S4Anish Mainali (@AnishMainali) February 16, 2019From Kumar Sangakkara to Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka cricketers were on the ninth sky with this unbelievable victory and Perera’s stupendous innings.KJP just scored what could be the greatest innings ever in an overseas run chase by a Sri Lankan batsman. Brings back memories of the brilliant hundred by @MahelaJay against @OfficialCSA in 2006 at The P Sara Kumar Sangakkara (@KumarSanga2) February 16, 2019What a beauty !!!! One of the best inings under presure. Showed intelligents and mental strength KJP and very proud of you. Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) February 16, 2019Wow just amazing!! Well done the @OfficialSLC boys on this rare test win away from home Absolutely brilliant!! Love connection with Durban continues for us kjp, ambul, vishwa outstanding! Farveez Maharoof (@farveezmaharoof) February 16, 2019Wat an inning @KusalJPerera ! Excellent knock under pressure. Great support by vishwa at the end and Embul by ball in the 2nd inning. Way to go @IamDimuth and team!!Thrilled!!!!!!!! #SAvSL Danushka Gunathilaka (@danushka_70) February 16, 2019Take a bow @KusalJPerera . What a outstanding victory for @OfficialSLC . Congratulations @IamDimuth @NiroshanDikka @KusalMendis1 @CHathurusinghe @Dhananjaya7575 . What a performance by Lasith Abuldeniya and Vishwa Fernando #SLvSA Upul Tharanga (@upultharanga44) February 16, 2019We Won … We Won !!!! #SAvSL Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) February 16, 2019Amazing batting display by @KusalJPerera Was lovely to watch him bat.Well done Guys! Keep up the good work @OfficialSLCadvertisement Chaminda Vaas (@chaminda_vaas) February 16, 2019Chasing a daunting target of 304, the Lankans were reduced to 83 for 3 on Day 3 and had lost half their side at 110 on the fourth day when Kusal Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva joined forces to add 96 runs for the sixth wicket.De Silve departed on 48 but Perera carried on and batted smartly with the tail-enders to take Sri Lanka closer to the target.He brought up his second Test hundred in just 146 deliveries in the 74th over of the fourth innings and went on to cross his highest score of 112 with a six to reach 112 with Sri Lanka needing 52 runs at that stage. The shot also took the team past 250.His last wicket partnership with Vishwa Fernando had reached 26 runs by then with Perera scoring all the runs while the latter didn’t even open his account for 15 deliveries.The Proteas strangely decided not to take the second new ball after the 80-over mark by which time Sri Lanka had reached 262, needing another 42 runs to win with Kusal Perera on 120 and Fernando yet to get off the mark after facing 20 deliveries.South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis was visibly under pressure by that point and had multiple discussions with veteran fast bowler Dale Steyn who was operating from one end.After the second meeting with the skipper in the 81st over, Steyn finally decided to take the new ball with one ball left in the over and Fernando on strike, but the latter managed to survive yet again.With Kagiso Rabada being introduced into the attack, Perera decided to take him on and carried on playing his shots. He was unable to get the strike back in the 83rd over and with Steyn operating with the new ball, Fernando had to survive or find a way to get off strike.In the second ball of the over, Fernando managed to edge the ball past second slip to collect five runs to get off the mark and get Perera on strike again for the third ball. Against all odds, Perera smacked a six over deep mid-wicket off the fourth ball to bring down the deficit to just 23 runs. The shot also brought up the fifty-run partnership for the final wicket with Fernando scoring just 5 runs from 23 balls.Perera smashed another two sixes off the next two overs from Steyn and Rabada to take Sri Lanka within touching distance from victory which finally came in the third ball of the 86th over as the left-hander finished the match with his 12th boundary to trigger massive celebrations at the Kingsmead stadium.Perera and Fernando’s unbroken partnership for the final wicket reached 78 off 95 balls, which is a record for Sri Lanka against South Africa in Test cricket. The win was also Lanka’s first in Durban after 7 years.Also Read | South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test Day 4 in Durban: As it happenedAlso Read | Kusal Perera speechless after pulling off epic Test victory vs South Africa in Durbanadvertisementlast_img read more