Best Test I have played for Sri Lanka, says Kusal Perera after epic 153 vs South Africa

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 was left speechless and tired after he pulled off a miracle win for Sri Lanka in the first Test against South Africa in Durban on Saturday.The visitors rode on Perera’s unbeaten 153 to chase down 304 to take an unbeatable 1-0 lead in the two-match series at the Kingsmead stadium. The result also ended South Africa’s run of seven straight home series wins.Perera stitched a record 78-run partnership for the final wicket with Vishwa Fernando to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for the Lankans. It was only his second hundred in Test cricket and also his highest score in the format.”I’m still tired now. I don’t know what to say. Great effort as a team, specially the lower order batsmen. They gave me good support. I believed in myself and we did. I did my part, winning as a team. We did our homework. This is a special win for us.We did a lot of hard work in previous times,” Perera said after being adjudged man-of-the-match.”Great effort as a team, specially the lower order batsmen. They gave me good support. I believed myself, and we did it. Still I am thinking I did my part. This is really special win for us. We did a lot of homework, a lot of hard work.”- Kusal Perera, MoM #SensationalKJP #KJP Lanka Cricket (@OfficialSLC) February 16, 2019The win was also Sri Lanka’s second in Durban and the first in 7 years at the venue.Perera’s innings of a lifetime also saw him equal West Indies legend Brian Lara’s record for the highest score by a batsman in a one-wicket win in Test cricket history. Lara had made 153 not out in the one-wicket win over Australia in Bridgetown in 1999.”I did something … I did my part. But we won as a team. The partnerships in the whole innings were great – that’s why we were able to chase 304. You can’t just mention one person or partnership. Even if you scored one run, that counted to the win. All XI of us had to bat. It’s the best Test I’ve played for Sri Lanka,” he added later in the post-match press conference.Highest innings in one-wicket wins in Test cricket:153* Brian Lara (WI v Aus, Bridgetown, 1999)153* KUSAL PERERA (SL v SA, Durban, 2019)138* Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak v Ban, Multan, 2003)#SAvSLRajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) February 16, 2019Even South Africa captain Faf du Plessis conceded that his team had no answers to Perera’s genius knock and termed it as unbelievable.”Incredible game of cricket, obviously very disappointed being on the losing side. Having gone down to none wickets and that 60-70 run partnership for the last wicket, it’s great for the game of Test cricket.”I suppose that’s the kind of Test matches you want to see. So, well played to Sri Lanka. Perera was unbelievable, to get 160 (sic) out of that score will take a Superman effort. He deserves all the accolades he will get after this game,” du Plessis said at the post-match presentation.Sri Lanka was 226-9 and seemingly out of it. But a last-wicket partnership of 78 between Perera and Vishwa Fernando took the tourists to a thrilling victory on the fourth day.Perera scored 68 of those 78 runs, but Fernando hung in for 27 balls for his 6 not out to allow Perera to guide the tourists home.The last-wicket partnership of 78 runs was also the highest for the 10th-wicket in a winning cause in the final innings of a Test match.Sri Lanka’s 78* is the highest stand for 10th wkt in a winning cause in the 4th inns in Test cricket history.Previous 57* Inzamam and Mushtaq Ahmed vs Aus in 1994 at Karachi#SAvSLMohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) February 16, 2019Also Read | South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test Day 4 in Durban: As it happenedlast_img

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