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1st Test, Durban, February 13 - 16, 2019, Sri Lanka tour of South Africa
235 & 259
(T:304) 191 & 304/9

Sri Lanka won by 1 wicket

Player Of The Match
51 & 153*
Match centre 
Scores: Ranjith P | Comms: Hemant Brar
Scorecard summary
South Africa 235/10(59.4 overs)
47 (66)
3/68 (14.4)
Sri Lanka 191/10(59.2 overs)
South Africa 259/10(79.1 overs)
Sri Lanka 304/9(85.3 overs)

3.55pm What a great game. One of the best-ever. Period. But for now that's all from our side. But do check back in some time for some more great stuff, from Andrew Fidel Fernando and from rest of us. With that, this is Hemant Brar, singing off on the behalf of Liam Brickhill and Ranjith P. See you soon.

Lakshitha: "Stopped watching when Sri Lanka were 110 for 5, thinking that it would be another heart break. As it turns out, I am heart broken since I could watch the epic finish...! Long live test cricket...!"

Alan Hardy: ""The last wicket stand was 78, Alagappan tells me, Fernando got only five of those, four from an overthrow"---6, actually...." -- Ah, right.

A. Sensarma: "They missed Philander with his accuracy and skill against tailenders. But we can take nothing away from what has been the most stunning chase I've seen in a long time. Cheers, everyone involved!"

Terry Harpot: "Kusal Mendis has played the greatest Test knock I will ever see. It's been a pleasure. Now, let me lie down. I need to, and so does everyone involved in the match. Surely, one of he greatest matches in the history of the game?"

Deepak Samson: "I am a huge fan of Faf but he lost the plot today.....taking the second new ball and allowing Kusal to farm the strike effortlessly was luke warm captaincy....also kudos to Kusal for not with drawing into a shell and keep scoring briskly...that was what won it in the end..."

Abhijato: "I'm going to remember this for the rest of my life, and so will everyone else who saw it. I Kusal-ute you, Mendis!"

Ahaan: "@Patrick: Not quite. For SA you wrote for how many runs they lost 5 wickets, i.e. 6th wicket partnership not included. But for SL you wrote how much the last 5 partnerships scored."

Patrick: "Last 5 wickets in the 2nd innings, SA - 8 & SL - 194. Thisara Perera almost did it vs NZ ODI, but Kusal Perera just won it......... respect!!!!! "

PS: "Faf has been poor today. Not being able to stop the single is the least of it. For major portions of the day, it seemed like he had taken that a win was guaranteed. His decision making was casual, keeping Rabada on too long after lunch, and ditto Maharaj before the new ball. And the taking the hard new ball with a set batsman and target in 30's was the worst decision. "

Binura Kandanea: "Vishwa Fernando apart from surviving 27 balls also took the most number of wickers in the match. Great game for him too."

Stu: "Never playing poker against Dimuth, the most underwhelming assessment of Perera's innings could bluff me any day... "

Lakwin: "What a brilliant test Innings by Kusal Janith! Marshaled the tail to orchestrate one of our great test wins. Credit to Embuldeniya and Vishwa as well, they made this possible with their tireless bowling. KJPs innings surely will go down as one of the best innings by a SLankan in a chase, along with Mahelas 152* vs SA in 2006"

Kusal Perera is the Man-of-the-Match. "I am bit tired now," Kusal says [he looks exhausted]. "I don't know what to say. The lower order supported well. I believed myself in that time, and we did it. Still I am thinking I did my part. This is really special win for us. We did a lot of homework, a lot of hard work."

Dimuth Karunaratne: That was a really good game. We had a tough series in Australia but we learnt well. We have lost a lot of matches in last few years, so it's a proud moment for us, the team, and for me as captain. (On dressing room scenes) We were staying in our places, we were not moving. I think he [Kusal Perera] batted really well, getting a hundred in South Africa is not easy, against this fast bowling attack. The two debutants did really well. Fernando also did a really good job with the ball and then he supported Kusal as well.

Faf du Plessis: Incredible game of cricket. Very disappointing to end on the losing side. As fans, that's the kind of Test match you want watch. Superman effort from Perera to get those runs. I think we were 50 runs short in the first innings and another 30-50 in the second. (On collapse in the second innings): Myself and Vern were batting that time and it was all placid. And then I hit the ball into the paint and they changed the ball. And suddenly there was swing. Yes, I know spinner took a fifer. But I still thought 300 was enough but great batting took it away from us. Towards the end we got a few balls at the tailender but there were a few plays and misses. One of them could have been a nick. We lost Vern, but with three seamers and Keshav, I would have still backed my side. But you have to give credit where it's due.

3.28pm Time for presentation.

PhilFour: "@malik adnan: So did I, my friend, so did I. What a back-against-the-wall performance. He nearly pulled one off against NZ a few weeks back, what an effort by Perera - and by Fernando, who endured 27 deliveries to keep things going."

Ntokozo Qwabe: "Great knock from Perera but extremely poor captaincy from Faf! Read the commentary again and see how many times Perera was simply allowed to take a single off the fourth ball. Extremely negative and fits into a trend of modern captaincy where the top order batsman is not attacked in such circumstances, and effectively left to dictate the game. "

This is Sri Lanka's second one-wicket victory in Test cricket. The previous one was also against South Africa.

Jayesh: "Kusal Perera you beauty!!! Give him the test performance of the year already!!!!"

Here is the list of the closest Test wins ever.

Stay back for the presentation. And keep pouring in your comments.

Damith Wendabon: "This is the best test match I have seen in my life"

Mohammed Husain: "History does repeat itself, albeit in a different form. In the Aus-WI test of '99, Lara came to bat in at 5 and the target was chased with one wicket remaining, today Kusal Perera came to bat in at 5 and the target was chased with one wicket remaining. What's more, both of them scored 153*!!"

Gary: "So good for cricket, underdogs beating top this more than WI beating Eng as underdogs are visitors too...simply love it..great game is test match..."

malik adnan jav: "m not lying i have got tears in my eys. love u test cricket . BRAVE PERERA"

3.15pm This one is for the ages. Perera takes Sri Lanka to victory, the record tenth-wicket stand in a successful chase in Test cricket. The last wicket stand was 78, Alagappan tells me, Fernando got only six of those, four from an overthrow. But he stayed, he survived. Like Walsh at times as I said earlier, and guess how many Perera ended with - 153*. Does that ring any bells?

James : "Wow. Just wow. Test cricket. "

Aby Mathew: "Perara innings has to be included now easily in top 10 wisden ratings of all time. It would be no 2 or even no 1 . Considering its away test match and against superlative bowlers on a 4th innings . Perara for SL president "

PUSHKER: "Finally after many false promises..this decade has its Edgebeston 2005..Obviously with different result..BRAVO SL"

Amir: "Parera will live in the heart of millions for long long time."

Mukund I: "'The choke is back'"

Rabada to Perera, FOUR runs

and Perera has done it. Short of length outside off, and he has kept his cool, steering it past wide first slip. Where is third man, no where in the picture at least as the ball races towards the boundary. Perera knew as soon as he hit it, raised his arm, a punch in the air, off comes the helmet and in soaks in the moment. A hug from Fernando. Off comes the gloves now, he stretches his arms again

Four needed now

Rabada to Perera, 2 leg byes

length but on the pads, tucked away fine, can he get a boundary here? No, Elgar comes across to cut if off, they take two

Varun: "My heart rate matches kusal perera's score"

Rabada to Perera, no run

short of length around off, dabs it towards third man, he is not going to swing blindly

Adeel Mian : "Left PSL just because of this thrilling game, SL should have won, my prayers are with them."

Uwaisul Karnain: "Never seen a no. 11 bat with this much of purpose and intelligence, hats off to Vishwa Fernando. Boy, didn't SL badly seeking for this kind of attitude? "

Murad: "I am a cricket lover from Pakistan. I don't know what to watch this match or PSL? "

Sri Lanka are just one hit away

end of over 858 runs
SL: 298/9CRR: 3.50 
Kusal Perera149 (197b 11x4 5x6)
Vishwa Fernando6 (27b)
Dale Steyn 18-1-71-2
Kagiso Rabada 22-3-93-1
Steyn to Perera, 1 run

a yorker outside off, jams his bat it to dig it out towards cover-point, calls his partner for a single and they do it safely

Steyn to Perera, no run

slower length ball outside off, hits it hard towards sweeper cover, doesn't take the single, will he go for a six?

Two balls left, will he go for it and try to finish it in this over? Phew! Scenes!

Steyn to Perera, SIX runs

short of length on the stumps and this has been pulled away once again over deep square leg, his fifth six, one more six and the scores will be tied

Ayush Garg: "This is absolute mind boggline from Kusal Janith Perera . Take a bow man (Y) . One of the best innings from a long long time . "

Steyn to Vishwa Fernando, 1 run

fuller on the stump, comes back in a bit, Fernando has his bat in front of this, the ball dribbles past short leg and they sneak in a single

Nish: "I'm insuring myself before I get a heart attack. Regardless the result, I'll get one it seems!"

Venda: "Hearts will be broken."

Steyn to Vishwa Fernando, no run

short of length outside off once again, Fernando was almost ducking there, he needn't

Werner: "Cant believe south Africa cant break this partnership. The no 11 faced 24 balls. South Africa can thank there batting collapse in the 2nd innings"

Steyn to Vishwa Fernando, no run

short of length, pitching just outside off and moving away, left alone easily

Short leg, three slips and a gully. Also a short mid-on and a short cover

end of over 848 runs
SL: 290/9CRR: 3.45 
Kusal Perera142 (194b 11x4 4x6)
Vishwa Fernando5 (24b)
Kagiso Rabada 22-3-93-1
Dale Steyn 17-1-63-2
Rabada to Perera, no run

another bouncer, Perera doesn't want to risk it and ducks under, or is he taking a bigger risk by backing Fernando to face Steyn?

KP: "This is gonna be a heartbreak for one of the nations. Matches like these are an endorsement for test cricket."

Ben: "What are the odds on Perera finishing on 153 not out, emulating Brian Lara in that 300 plus chase against Australia 20 years ago?"

Rabada to Perera, no run

a bouncer, too short and down the leg side, Perera cannot do anything about that

Rabada to Perera, SIX runs

a top edge and it has gone all the way. Short of length and going away from the batsman, he goes for the pull, gets a top edge and it sails over fine leg

Rabada to Perera, no run

length ball, pitching around leg and angling away, gets behind the line and blocks

20 needed

Rabada to Perera, no run

short of length outside off, goes for the cut but ends up chopping it towards point

Rabada to Perera, 2 runs

length ball on the pads, tucks it towards square leg, Perera wants two, the throw is at the bowler's end, Fernando puts in the dive, a bit too early perhaps, the bowler collects the throw and breaks the stumps but Fernando is in

22 required now. Rabada has got one slip

end of over 8312 runs
SL: 282/9CRR: 3.39 
Vishwa Fernando5 (24b)
Kusal Perera134 (188b 11x4 3x6)
Dale Steyn 17-1-63-2
Kagiso Rabada 21-3-85-1
Steyn to Vishwa Fernando, no run

length around, just misses the edge, wasn't far away from the off stump either as Fernando gets squared up for the millionth time

Steyn to Perera, 1 run

fuller around off, pushes it towards extra cover to leave Fernando with one ball to negotiate

Steyn to Perera, SIX runs

what a shot! What a hit! Length around middle, Perera has smashed it over deep square leg for a six

Steyn to Perera, no run

fuller around off, driven down the ground but long-off is there to cut it off

Steyn to Vishwa Fernando, 5 runs

fuller outside leg stump, gets an outside edge but it lands short of third slip who tumbles around, Perera wants the strike back, Fernando is ball watching, Elgar collects the ball and aims at the non-striker's end, misses and no one is backing up. A direct hit and that would have been out

Best performances - batters
Spike Graph
Wagon Zone
MDKJ Perera
153 runs (200)
12 fours5 sixes
Productive shot
38 runs
2 fours3 sixes
F du Plessis
90 runs (182)
11 fours0 six
Productive shot
cover drive
36 runs
7 fours0 six
Best performances - bowlers
L Embuldeniya
DW Steyn
Match details
Kingsmead, Durban
TossSri Lanka, elected to field first
Player Of The Match
Series resultSri Lanka led the 2-match series 1-0
Match numberTest no. 2347
Match days13,14,15,16 February 2019 - day (5-day match)
Test debut
TV Umpire
Reserve Umpire
Match Referee
AskESPNcricinfo Logo
Instant answers to T20 questions
Sri Lanka Innings
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