South Africa vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Day 4: Kusal’s incredible 153* helps Sri Lanka stun South Africa

Kusal Perera 153 not out South Africa Sri Lanka 1st Test Day 4 Durban cricket

Kusal Perera exults after his second Test century led Sri Lanka to an improbable win over South Africa

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sri Lanka batsman Kusal Perera struck a career-best 153 not out to lead his side to an incredible one-wicket win over South Africa on the fourth day in Durban.

Starting off the day on 83/3, Sri Lanka lost debutant Oshada Fernando early on as he was caught by South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis off the bowling of Dale Steyn for 37.

Niroshan Dickwella was on his way back to the pavilion two balls later as he was caught and bowled by Steyn for a duck.

Kusal and Dhananjaya de Silva stabilised the innings with a 96-run partnership, during which Kusal surpassed his fifty, before De Silva was trapped lbw off the bowling of Keshav Maharaj for 48.

Maharaj then removed Suranga Lakmal the very next ball before Duanne Olivier dismissed debutant Lasith Embuldeniya for four runs.

With Kasun Rajitha falling to Maharaj, Sri Lanka found themselves struggling at 226/9 in their chase of 304 to win.

However, despite only one wicket separating them from going 1-0 down in the series, Kusal ensured Sri Lanka pulled off a miraculous victory as he and Vishwa Fernando forged an unbeaten 78-run stand, which is the highest last-wicket partnership in a successful chase in Test history.

Kusal dominated a majority of the partnership and took the attack to the South African bowling line-up in a sublime display of batting.

As a result, he finished on 153, which came off 200 balls and included 12 boundaries and five sixes, while Fernando remained undefeated on six.

Maharaj was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Steyn and Olivier snapped up two wickets apiece. As for Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada, they claimed one wicket each.

Kusal was named Man of the Match.

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