Sri Lanka on Saturday won the first Test against South Africa by one wicket at the Kingsmead in Durban.
It was Kusal Perera’s heroics which handed The Lions an unforgettable victory against the Proteas.
Perera played one of the greatest knocks in the history of Test cricket as the left-handed batter remained unbeaten on 153 as the batter stitched an epic 78-run partnership with No. 11 Vishwa Fernando, who scored just six runs off the 27 deliveries he faced.
As Perera garnered praises from all corners of the world, Indian Head Coach Ravi Shastri also hailed the Sri Lankan batter by saying that he single-handedly took Sri Lanka over the victory line. Shastri further reminded Sri Lankan cricket fans that they have witnessed one of the greatest innings ever played.
Perera’s unbeaten knock and the Test victory against South Africa was a breather for Sri Lanka, who were recently mauled by New Zealand and Australia. The 28-year-old’s knock was so epic that it was compared to the historic knock by West Indies legend Brian Lara’s knock against Australia in 1999.
Lara had played a similar knock against the Aussies in 1999 in the third Test against Australia as the legendary left-handed batter single-handedly secured victory for the Windies. Lara had remained unbeaten on 153, same as Perera’s score, and had stitched crucial partnership with No. 10 Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh.
“Kusal Perera. You beauty. You did it single handedly with a fighter in a number 11. Sri Lanka. You’ve watched one of the greatest innings ever played,” Shastri wrote on Twitter.
Batting first, South Africa had put up 235 runs on the board in the first innings, to which Sri Lanka responded by scoring 191 in the first innings with Perera playing a crucial knock of 51 runs for The Lions.
In the second innings, South Africa were bundled out for 259 and Sri Lanka reverted back by chasing the target following the historic knock by Perera. The Durban heroics also helped Perera jump 58 spots in the latest ICC Test rankings to occupy the 40th spot on the list. (Courtesy Times Now)