Sri Lanka’s middle-order batsman Kusal Perera scored a brilliant unbeaten century to lead them to a famous one-wicket win over South Africa in a thrilling first Test at Kingsmead on Saturday.
Perera was not out on 153, his highest Test score, as he put on 78 for the last wicket with number 11 Vishwa Fernando (six not out), taking Sri Lanka to a victory target of 304 that had looked out of sight for much of the innings.
South Africa appeared odds-on for victory when they claimed the ninth Sri Lankan wicket with the score on 226, but Perera launched a brilliant counter-attack with a mix of powerful hitting and intelligent farming of the strike.
The win, Sri Lanka’s first in any format since October, ends South Africa’s run of seven home series victories in a row with the second and final Test in Port Elizabeth from 21-25 February.
Let us now take a look at how the Twitterati reacted to Perera's memorable, match-winning innings:
Two left-handed batsmen scoring unbeaten 153s, braving quality bowling attacks along the way, to guide their team to a thrilling one-wicket win:
153 not out - same score as Brian Lara finished on in Barbados in that one-wicket win v Australia in 1999 #SAvSL
— Andrew McGlashan (@andymcg_cricket) February 16, 2019
Greatest Test innings by a Sri Lankan ever:
That may be THE GREATEST Test innings by a Sri Lankan ever. Rockstar attack to face down. Impossible odds. Fourth innings. Away from home. Batting with the tail. Belief. Determination. Skill. Smarts. Those ridiculous sixes. It ticks every single box. Kusal Perera. — Andrew Fidel Fernando (@afidelf) February 16, 2019
Did someone say Test cricket is dying?
— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) February 16, 2019
Someone clearly couldn't hold their emotions:
Kusal Perera! Remember the name:
KUSAL 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. @IamDimuth 🇱🇰
— Daniel Alexander (@daniel86cricket) February 16, 2019
One of the most incredible passages of cricket:
That was one of the most incredible passages of cricket I've seen. Kusal Perera rockets into the catalogue of greatest Test innings. The record for highest 4th-innings 10th-wicket stand to win a Test has been smashed. Was 57, now 78. — Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) February 16, 2019
With inputs from Reuters
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