On this day, four years ago in 2019, Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper-batter Kusal Perera played one of the best innings of his career to take his side to a thrilling one-wicket victory over South Africa in Durban. Perera scored an unbeaten 153 runs off 200 balls and stitched a record-breaking 78 run-stand with Vishwa Fernando to chase down the mammoth total of 304 runs in the fourth innings. Fernando contributed with just six runs off 27 balls in the said stand.
Perera’s 153-run knock was laced with 12 boundaries and five sixes. It was a see-sawing Test as both sides tried to showcase their supremacy by dominating the game.
Batting first, South Africa huffed and puffed their way to 235 runs for the loss of ten wickets in 59.4 overs.
Quinton de Kock top-scored with 80 runs off 94 balls while Temba Bavuma and Faf du Plessis made valuable contributions of 47 and 35 runs, respectively.
Vishwa Fernando picked four wickets while Kasun Rajitha snapped three wickets.
In reply, Sri Lanka was bundled out for 191 runs. Perera scored a fighting 51 runs off 63 balls. He was the only player from the Sri Lankan squad to cross the 30 run-mark during their first innings.
Dale Steyn was the pick of the bowler for South Africa as he picked four wickets while giving away 20 runs. Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada picked two wickets each.
Later on, Du Plessis scored a blistering 90 runs off 182 balls as South Africa posted 259/10 in their second innings to take a 303 run lead. De Kock also contributed with a quickfire 55-run knock.
Chasing 304 runs for victory in the final innings, it seemed all over for the islanders after they were reduced to 226/9 in 69.4 overs. And, just when a victory for SA looked inevitable, Perera and Fernando got together to inspire one of the greatest comebacks in the history of Test cricket.
The two added an unbroken 78 runs as Sri Lanka defeated South Africa by one wicket.
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