A tremendous knock of 153* by Kusal Perera helped Sri Lanka chase down the 304-run target set by hosts South Africa in the 1st Test played at Kingsmead, Durban. The 4th day’s play saw an extended 2nd session as Perera together with the Sri Lankan tail pulled off an miracle win for the visitors.  

It was once again a good start for the visitors on day 4 as their pair of overnight batsmen Oshada Fernando and Kusal Perera negotiated 9 top-class overs from Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada brilliantly.

Top order leaves Sri Lanka in trouble after lefties’ heroics

The duo guided Sri Lanka to triple figures while reducing the number of runs required to under 200. Just as the partnership reached 50 and Fernando was well on course for fifty on debut, Dale Steyn fired his gun.

Fernando, who was leaving the ball well, was eventually deceived by a Steyn delivery which was bowled at the 4th wicket line to give Faf du Plessis an easy catch at slips. Following Fernando’s dismissal for a well-made 37, Sri Lanka’s new vice-captain and number 6 batsman, Niroshan Dickwella was dismissed in his 2nd delivery.

Steyn bowling a majority of cross-seamed deliveries during his successful spell dismissed Fernando off a cross-seamed delivery while the delivery which dismissed Dickwella slowed up a little off the pitch and forced the batsman give the bowler a return catch. Steyn who did well to change his body motion to cling on to the incoming ball, single-handedly, jolted Sri Lanka with his double blow.

On the other end for Sri Lanka, Kusal Perera continued to score in his merry way as he scored his 2nd half-century of the match. Following a shaky start in the 1st innings, Dhananajaya de Silva looked good this time around, as he remained unbeaten on 25 along with Perera on 56 when play was stopped for lunch.

Photos: Sri Lanka vs South Africa 1st Test 2019 | Day 4

ThePapare.com | 16/02/2019 | Editing and re-using images without permission of ThePapare.com…

The post-lunch session began quite well for Sri Lanka as both Perera and De Silva continued to take Sri Lanka closer towards glory. South Africa, on the other hand, were one bowler short as Vernon Philander was out of the park and their premier spinner Keshav Maharaj not being up to the mark.

When his involvement was needed the most, Maharaj stepped up strongly for the Proteas as he picked up 2 wickets in 2 deliveries. De Silva tried to slog away Maharaj on 48 and completely missed it. The 96-run stand was broken when De Silva was given out after the decision against South Africa was reviewed and reversed.

Following a disgraceful end to De Silva’s best innings since the 73 he scored against England at the SSC in November, Suranga Lakmal was undone by a peach of a delivery. Maharaj bringing his team right back to the game almost dismissed debutant Lasith Embuldeniya in the hat-trick ball.

Embuldeniya’s inning however came to an end after facing 12 deliveries as he popped up a Duanne Olivier bouncer to give Aiden Markram an easy catch. That wicket brought in number 11 Vishwa Fernando to battle it out with Perera.

The last pair needed 78 runs to win and was the most unlikely thing to happen. Anyway, Perera displaying his character and grit guided Sri Lanka to a memorable win in a venue in which they’ve won once previously. That win also came in a period when Sri Lanka Cricket was in a destitute state similar to now.

Bringing back memories of the glory days for Sri Lanka Cricket, Kusal Janith Perera finished off the game with a late cut pretty similar to the shot Arjuna Ranatunge sealed the World Cup for Sri Lanka in 1996.

Kusal Perera finished on 153, his best Test score to date while Vishwa remained unbeaten on 6 facing 27 deliveries. He was well protected by Perera throughout the partnership and also was lucky to gain 5 runs off an overthrow.

This partnership also goes down as the World Record for the last wicket partnership in a successful run-chase. Sri Lanka 1-0 in the 2-match Test series will travel to Port Elizabeth for the 2nd Test.

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Full Scorecard

South Africa

235/10 & 259/10

(79.1 overs)


Sri Lanka

191/10 & 304/9

(85.3 overs)

SL won by 1 wicket

South Africa’s 1st Innings

Aiden Markram b V Fernando1127
Dean Elgar c N Dickwella b V Fernando04
Hashim Amla c K Mendis b S Lakmal310
Temba Bavuma (runout) V Fernando4766
Faf du Plessis c N Dickwella b K Rajitha3554
Quinton de Kock c V Fernando b K Rajitha8094
Vernon Philander c & b K Rajitha422
Keshav Maharaj c N Dickwella b V Fernando2935
Kagiso Rabada c O Fernando b V Fernando316
Dale Steyn b L Embuldeniya1526
Dane Olivier not out06
8 (lb 6, nb 2)
235/10 (59.4 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
0-1 (D Elgar, 1.4 ov), 9-2 (H Amla, 6.1 ov), 17-3 (A Markram, 7.4 ov), 89-4 (du Plessis, 24.2 ov), 110-5 (T Bauma, 29.2 ov), 6-131 (V Philander, 37.4 ov), 7-178 (K Maharaj, 45.6 ov), 8-186 (K Rabada, 49.6 ov), 9-219 (D Steyn, 56.4 ov), 10-235 (de Kock, 59.4 ov)
Suranga Lakmal143291 2.07
Vishwa Fernando171624 3.65
Kasun Rajitha14.40683 4.72
Dimuth Karunarathne3090 3.00
Lasith Embuldeniya101511 5.10
Oshada Fernando10100 10.00

Sri Lanka’s 1st Innings

Dimuth Karunarathne lbw by V Philander3059
Lahiru Thirimanne c de Kock b D Steyn015
Oshada Fernando lbw by D Steyn1942
Kusal Mendis c du Plessis b V Philander1224
Kusal Janith c Z Hamza b D Steyn5163
Niroshan Dickwella c D Steyn b D Olivier812
Dhananjaya de Silva c D Olivier b K Rabada2333
Suranga Lakmal c A Markram b D Steyn46
Lasith Embuldeniya c D Steyn b K Rabada2463
Kasun Rajitha (runout) A Markram1230
Vishwa Fernando not out19
7 (b 3, lb 3, w 1)
191/10 (59.2 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
19-1 (L Thirimanne, 6.4 ov), 51-2 (O Fernando, 18.2 ov), 53-3 (D Karunarathne, 19.6 ov), 76-4 (K Mendis, 25.4 ov), 90-5 (N Dickwella, 29.2 ov), 133-6 (D De Silva, 38.5 ov), 142-7 (S Lakmak, 40.1 ov), 8-152 (K Janith, 44.3 ov), 184-9 (K Rajitha, 55.3 ov), 191-10 (L Embuldeniya, 59.2 ov)
Dale Steyn207484 2.40
Vernon Philander102322 3.20
Kagiso Rabada12.22482 3.93
Dane Olivier132361 2.77
Keshav Maharaj30160 5.33
Dean Elgar1050 5.00

South Africa’s 2nd Innings

Dean Elgar c & b L Embuldeniya3570
Aiden Markram c K Mendis b K Rajitha2831
Hashim Amla c L Thirimanne b V Fernando1635
Temba Bavuma lbw by L Embuldeniya316
Faf du Plessis lbw by V Fernando90182
Quinton de Kock lbw by L Embuldeniya5562
Vernon Philander b L Embuldeniya1854
Keshav Maharaj b V Fernando413
Kagiso Rabada c N Dickwella b L Embuldeniya02
Dale Steyn b V Fernando16
Dane Olivier not out27
7 (lb 2, w 2, nb 3)
259/10 (79.1 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
36-1 (A Markram, 9.6 ov), 70-2 (H Amla, 19.1 ov), 77-3 (T Bavuma, 22.2 ov), 95-4 (D Elgar, 28.6 ov), 191-5 (de Kock, 52.6 ov), 251-6 (V Philander, 72.4 ov), 255-7 (du Plessis, 75.6 ov), 256-8 (K Rabada, 76.4 ov), 256-9 (K Maharaj, 77.2 ov), 259-10 (D Steyn, 79.1 ov)
Suranga Lakmal205520 2.60
Vishwa Fernando17.12714 4.15
Kasun Rajitha131541 4.15
Lasith Embuldeniya263665 2.54
Dhananjaya de Silva2080 4.00
Oshada Fernando1060 6.00

Sri Lanka’s 2nd Innings

Dimuth Karunarathne lbw by V Philander2047
Lahiru Thirimanne c du Plessis b K Rabada2151
Oshada Fernando c du Plessis b D Steyn3776
Kusal Mendis c de Kock b D Olivier08
Kusal Janith not out153200
Niroshan Dickwella c & b D Steyn02
Dhananjaya de Silva lbw by K Maharaj4879
Suranga Lakmal c du Plessis b K Maharaj01
Lasith Embuldeniya c A Markram b D Olivier412
Kasun Rajitha lbw by K Maharaj110
Vishwa Fernando not out627
14 (lb 13, w 1)
304/9 (85.3 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
42-1 (L Thirimanne, 15.5 ov), 42-2 (D Karunarathne, 16.3 ov), 52-3 (K Mendis, 18.5 ov), 110-4 (O Fernando, 37.2 ov), 110-5 (N Dickwella, 37.4 ov), 206-6 (De Silva, 63.1 ov), 206-7 (S Lakmal, 63.2 ov), 215-8 (L Embuldeniya, 66.5 ov), 226-9 (K Rajitha, 69.4 ov)
Dale Steyn181712 3.94
Vernon Philander83131 1.63
Keshav Maharaj201713 3.55
Kagiso Rabada22.33971 4.35
Dane Olivier163352 2.19
Aiden Markram1040 4.00