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Twitter Reactions: Kusal Perera’s masterclass shell-shocks South Africa in Durban

Perera and Vishwa Fernando put on 78 runs for the last wicket.

Kusal Perera
Kusal Perera. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Very few gave Sri Lanka a chance to win their opening Test against South Africa. However, the team came out all guns blazing and shocked Faf du Plessis and Co and emerged victorious by one wicket on the fourth day. Kusal Perera stood like a rock and churned out a masterful century. Following his half-century in the first innings, the southpaw showed nerves of steel to steer his team to glory in Durban.

Perera and Fernando takes charge

Oshada Fernando and Kusal Perera were the overnight batsmen and they had a tall ask ahead of them. Unfortunately, they couldn’t add much to their overnight score as speedster Dale Steyn accounted for the wicket of Fernando after he scored 37 runs with five boundaries. However, Perera didn’t drop his guard and went on to notch a gutsy half-century before the lunch break in a mere 75 deliveries.

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Niroshan Dickwella fell prey to Steyn for a golden duck. Nevertheless, Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Perera played out the rest of the overs in the first session. The stand went from strength to strength and it carried on even in the post-lunch session. The pair added 96 runs for the sixth wicket. Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj dismissed de Silva for 48 to give South Africa the much-needed breakthrough.

Perera marches on

Maharaj nipped out Suranga Lakmal in the same over to pick up the seventh Lankan wicket. At the other end, Perera was running out of partners as at that point in time, Dimuth Karunaratne’s team needed 98 runs to get with three wickets. The onus was then on the shoulders of Perera to shepherd the team and see his team through. Lasith Embuldeniya was the next man to be dismissed by pacer Duanne Olivier.

Maharaj got the ninth wicket in the form of Kasun Rajitha. With 78 runs needed, Vishwa Fernando joined Perera in the middle. The hosts were nearing a win, but the duo had other ideas. Perera notched his ton in 146 balls. Fernando lent him the support. Perera went on to remain not out on 153 from 200 balls with 12 fours and five sixes and eventually saw his team through to a famous victory, defying the odds.

Here is how Twitter heaped praise on the Lankans

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