Thursday 24 October 2019

Perera rewrites history books to stun South Africa

Kusal Perera of Sri Lanka celebrates. Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Kusal Perera of Sri Lanka celebrates. Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Kusal Perera produced a swashbuckling innings for the ages to almost single-handedly lift Sri Lanka to a remarkable one-wicket win over South Africa in a nail-biting conclusion to the first Test - and he was showered with praise by beaten skipper Faf du Plessis.

The tourists were on the verge of defeat in Durban when they subsided to 226-9 in pursuit of 304, but Perera produced an astonishing 153 not out to get them over the line.

His knock contained 12 fours and five sixes, and he provided the bulk of the runs in an unbroken stand of 78 with Vishwa Fernando - the highest partnership for the last wicket in a successful chase in Test history.

Fernando scored just six runs but kept the Proteas bowlers at bay in the 27 balls he faced, allowing his partner to help Sri Lanka to a 1-0 lead in this two-Test series.

Du Plessis said: "It's very disappointing sitting here but I have to applaud him for a magnificent batting performance."

Meanwhile, West Indies star Chris Gayle has announced that he will retire from one-day international cricket after this summer's World Cup

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