Kusal Perera pulled off a miracle against South Africa in the Durban Test on Saturday as he played an unbeaten innings of 153 runs to script a memorable one wicket win for Sri Lanka. With the win, Sri Lanka took an unassailable 1-0 against South Africa in the two-match Test series.
The form and state of Sri Lankan cricket is such at the moment that none expected this miracle, perhaps apart from Perera and that dressing room. Perera stitched a 78-run stand with the 11th man Vishwa Fernando to take Sri Lanka home.
As soon as Perera struck the winning boundary, he let go of his bat and raised both his hands in the air, looking up and eyes closed, it was relief, it was passion and it was ecstasy — all at once. He was soon joined on the field for celebration by his teammates and they will not stop anytime soon.
It was a marvellous display of Test cricket and World cricket could not stop raving about Perera’s magical knock, one that will go down as one of the greatest Test knocks ever.
“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,” India’s premier spinner R Ashwin tweeted.
‘He’s bloody done it!!! what a knock, SL win by 1 wicket, Kusal Perera has played an absolute blinder!’ wrote Mark Butcher.
”Well played Kusal Perera and @OfficialSLC that was a knock for the ages. Gripping test cricket. Gosh I hope test cricket continues to be this good all year as we’ve seen in the last three weeks” wrote Ian Bishop.
”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” wrote Kumar Sangakkara.
”What a beauty !!!! One of the best inings under presure. Showed intelligents and mental strength KJP and very proud of you” wrote Mahela Jayawardena.
“Kusal Perera’s innings the best since Lara’s chase at Barbados in 1999? Coincidentally, that was also 153 not out. Also, made just two weeks after having his helmet smashed in at Canberra. #SAvSL” wrote Adam Collins.
“Weldone boys! well played KJP under presure! Keep it up!” wrote Sanath Jayasuriya.