At 226-9, the hosts looked certain to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series. But courageous knock from Kusal Perera (153), with Vishwa Fernando battling on at the other end, added 78 runs for the last wicket stand to take the visitors home to the 304-run target.
Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara, who has been a part of some of Sri Lanka's greatest days in Test history, mentioned that Perera's knock reminded him of another great innings by former teammate Mahela Jayawardene.
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, 2019
Jayawardene also couldn’t help himself compliment Perera’s determination.
What a beauty !!!! One of the best inings under presure. Showed intelligents and mental strength @KusalJPerera and very proud of you. 👍👊 — Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) February 16, 2019
Another legend of the game, Mohammad Yousuf, who has been a part of many epic battles against Sri Lanka during his playing days, also congratulated the southpaw on a fabulous century.
Congratulations Siri lanka.and well played Kushal Perera. This is beauty of cricket test cricket — Mohammad Yousaf (@yousaf1788) February 16, 2019
Here are some other reactions:
Wow 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, 2019
Great knock @KusalJPerera
Weldone Sri Lanka
— Thisara perera (@PereraThisara) February 16, 2019
— Chaminda Vaas (@chaminda_vaas) February 16, 2019
Wat 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, 2019
Take 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, 2019
We Won ... We Won !!!! #SAvSL
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) February 16, 2019
Stunning innings from Kusal Perera - 153* to lead Sri Lanka to 304/9 to beat South Africa. More than shades of Brian Lara's 153* to lead West Indies's chase of 311-9 v Australia in 1999.
— Tim (@timwig) February 16, 2019
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 Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) February 16, 2019
Oh my god, what an innings, Kusal Perera. All those comparisons with Sanath Jayasuriya for so many years culminating into a ridiculous knock. One of the all-time great knocks from anyone.#SAvSL — Suneer (@suneerchowdhary) February 16, 2019
Kusal Perera plays an innings of a lifetime... Arguably the greatest overseas hundred by an Asian batsman in a long, long time! SRI LANKA pip mighty South Africa by 1 wicket to win the Durban Test.. One of the most remarkable matches of the decade. Woooo #SAvSL — Navneet Mundhra (@navneet_mundhra) February 16, 2019
What a win..Well done @OfficialSLC ..
Great innings by Kusal Perera..@karankc33 @IamSandeep25 Similar to your feat..wow..!!
— Paras Khadka (@paras77) February 16, 2019
This is just the most epic climax to what has been an intriguing contest since day one. — Peter Borren (@dutchiepdb) February 16, 2019
What a test match 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Well done Sri Lanka 🇱🇰 and tough luck @OfficialCSA .Test cricket is by far the most exciting and emotionally draining format for the fans and players 🙌🏼 glad I was here to witness it live @SuperSportTV #sscricket
— Robin John Peterson (@robbie13flair) February 16, 2019
What a finish to the #SAvsSL test match!! Unbelievable knock 👏👏 — Liam Livingstone (@liaml4893) February 16, 2019
Conceding first innings lead. Chasing over 300 in the fourth innings. Sri Lanka has just scripted one of the most memorable Test match victories of modern times. Well played 😊🙌 #SAvSL — Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 16, 2019