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17 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Perera leads Sri Lanka to sensational win

AFP, Durban
Perera leads Sri Lanka to sensational win
Sri Lanka’s Kusal Perera celebrates the victory after hitting the winning runs during the fourth day of the first Test match against South Africa at the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban yesterday. AFP Photo

Kusal Perera took Sri Lanka to a sensational one-wicket win on the fourth day of the first Test against South Africa at Kingsmead on Saturday. Perera hit a career-best 153 not out as he and Vishwa Fernando put on an unbeaten 78 in a last-wicket partnership that enabled Sri Lanka to secure only their second win in 14 Test matches in South Africa.

Victory seemed unlikely when the ninth wicket fell with the total on 226, with the tourists chasing a target of 304. But the left-handed Perera successfully farmed the strike, with South African captain Faf du Plessis persisting with defensive fields for the in-form batsman, while Fernando only had to face 27 balls during a 96-ball partnership. South Africa took the second new ball with the total on 263 but still kept most of their fielders on the boundary for Perera, who hit sixes off both Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada before slashing Rabada to third man for the winning boundary. Earlier, Kusal Perera hit his second half-century of the match to keep Sri Lanka's hopes alive on the fourth day of the first Test.

Perera made 56 not out as Sri Lanka reached 166 for five at lunch, 138 runs short of a victory target of 304.

Dale Steyn made South Africa's only breakthroughs on a hot, humid morning at Kingsmead when he took two wickets in the space of three balls in the tenth over of the day.

Steyn had Oshada Fernando caught at second slip by Faf du Plessis after the debutant made 37 and shared a fourth-wicket stand of 58 with Perera. Two balls later Niroshan Dickwella pushed forward to Steyn and the bowler held a sharp, right-handed return catch.

South Africa were without opening bowler Vernon Philander, who was sidelined on Saturday with what was described as a "hamstring niggle".

The left-handed Perera, who made top score of 51 in the first innings, was joined by Dhananjaya de Silva (25 not out) in a sixth wicket partnership which was worth 56 at lunch. Perera had faced 91 balls and hit seven fours.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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