As Sri Lanka Has Drawn The Durban Conference Heist > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - How Sri Lanka pulled off the Durban heist
There are fairytales and then there is this. Sri Lanka pulled off a famous victory in Durban from the jaws of certain defeat to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series. For a team that has been riddled by injuries and poor performances recently, Sri Lanka upset the apple cart by claiming a win that for most of their innings looked as improbable as improbable gets.
The win came on the back of a stunning 78-run last wicket stand between Kusal Janith Perera and Vishwa Fernando. Perera was batting on a different plane, freeing his arms and carting the bowling attack to all parts of the ground. Fernando at the other end offered stoic defence and stood firm to let Perera take Sri Lanka to one of their most memorable wins.
Here are the highlights from that heroic last-wicket stand:
Over 69.4: Maharaj to Rajitha, out Lbw!! Rajitha has been given out LBW. He has challenged that decision. Has it straightened enough after pitching? At worst, it will be umpire's call. There is certainly no inside edge. Off to Ball Tracker: Impact is in line and it is smashing the stumps. This one was around leg and it skids off the deck, Rajitha was pinned to the crease. He gets his bat down late, it misses his inside edge and raps him on the pads. It looked close and the the finger went up straightaway. Rajitha went for a review but he was proved wrong. Rajitha lbw b Maharaj 1(10)
78 runs to get for Sri Lanka, 1 wicket to take for hosts South Africa. No prices for guessing who the money was on.
Over 70.2: Olivier to Kusal Perera, no run, oh dear! He has been hit again. He has copped a lot of blows in the innings. But he has still fought hard. Kusal Perera: A true Warrior! It was banged in on a short length, Kusal Perera attempts a pull, fails to connect it and it hits him on the helmet off the glove. It pops out to the leg-side. The physio is out again to take care of him. He looks fine now and is readu to continue. Kusal Perera 86
Over 71.1: Maharaj to Kusal Perera, SIX, that's high and handsome!
Moves onto 93 now! He dashes down to reach the pitch, keeps his shape and larrups it over long-on for a maximum
Perera makes his intentions clear. With just one wicket to go, the left-hander knew he had to take his chances to get Sri Lanka anywhere close to the target. He moved into the 90s with that shot.
Over 71.6: Maharaj to Fernando, no run, 76 kph delivery on the stumps, Fernando uses a straight bat to defend it back
Fernando, still only four balls into his innings, plays four straight balls off Keshav Maharaj, South Africa's wicket-taking threat until then, and manages to see him off safely.
Over 73.3: Maharaj to Kusal Perera, FOUR, that's an audacious shot! Takes out the reverse and nails it, absolutely nails it. One bounce and into the fence through deep mid-wicket
Over 73.4: Maharaj to Kusal Perera, 1 run, nudges it to the on-side and notches up his ton. This has been a sensational innings from the southpaw. He has taken several blows but that hasn't affected his confidence a wee bit. Looks up in the sky and then takes off his helmet. His teammates are delighted and so is he
Sri Lanka need 69 more to win
Over 75.4: Maharaj to Kusal Perera, no run, lovely delivery. It pitches outside off and spins in sharply. Kusal Perera was totally taken aback by the amount of turn and it misses his inside edge. It was pretty close to the off-stump too
South Africa come close to wrapping things up, but Perera escapes. Then his attacking instincts come to the fore soon after.
Over 76.2: Olivier to Kusal Perera, SIX, smashed. Whatta shot to reach his highest Test score!Olivier has become predictable with his length, it was banged in short again. Kusal Perera gets behind the line of the ball and powers the pull shot over deep mid-wicket. There were two fielders in the deep but both were mere spectators as they watch it sail over them
Over 77.6: Maharaj to Fernando, no run, well done Fernando. Goes on the back foot and defends it wide of slips.
Fernando once again sees off Maharaj. The left-armer has one full over at Sri Lanka's number 11, but Fernando sees off the threat.
Over 80.6: Second new ball has been taken
Sri Lanka need 41 more to win
Over 81.5: Rabada to Kusal Perera, FOUR, that's a sensational shot. Kusal Perera is playing the innings of his life! It was a short of length delivery around hip height, Kusal Perera swivels and pulls hard, beats the fielder at deep mid-wicket and races to the fence
Over 82.2: Steyn to Fernando, 5 runs, that's edged and short of second slip. Kusal Perera charges for a single at the non striker's end. Faf picks up the throw and throws it at the non striker's end. It misses the stumps and runs away for a boundary. End result: 5 runs for Sri Lanka and the victory is just 29 runs away for Sri Lanka
Over 82.4: Steyn to Kusal Perera, SIX, this is out of the world stuff from Kusal Perera. What an innings this man has played. It was on a length and was on the stumps, Kusal Perera keeps his shape and larrups it over deep mid-wicket. The connection was terrific and it sails into the crowd
23 more to win. A few more sweat beads on South Africa players' foreheads, and a lot more prayers on Sri Lanka's.
Over 83.1: Rabada to Kusal Perera, 2 runs, on a fuller length and on the stumps, Kusal Perera uses soft hands to nudge it to the leg-side. He knew how hard he exactly hit that and comes back for a brace. The throw from the deep mid-wicket fielder was a good one but a desperate dive from Fernando saves him. Umpire went upstairs to check
Over 83.4: Rabada to Kusal Perera, SIX, well, the luck is on Kusal's side too. They say, it favors the brave. And he has been certainly brave. It was banged in half way down the track, Kusal Perera was taken aback by the pace on the delivery, he pulls, it comes off the top-edge and flies over the de Kock's head for a maximum. 14 to win now!
Over 84.4: Steyn to Kusal Perera, SIX, if you are anywhere near Kingsmead, get into the ground. We are witnessing something truly incredible there. It was a length delivery on the stumps, Kusal Perera keeps his shape and launches it over deep mid-wicket for a maximum. Just 7 required now!
Over 85.3: Rabada to Kusal Perera, FOUR, Kusal Perera has done it. Yes, he has. Let me pinch myself, Yes, it's true. It's not a dream folks! We have witnessed a historic Test match. What scenes! What drama! This is Test match cricket at it's very best. The players run onto the field to celebrate. This has to be the Test match of the decade. It was a length delivery and was wide of off, Kusal Perera waits for it in a calm fashion and opens the face of the bat at the last moment to guide it wide of the first slip. The connection was perfect and so was the placement. It runs off the bat and canters to the fence. He notches up his 150 too but that's immaterial for the moment.
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