Dale Steyn Overtakes England's Stuart Broad With Impressive Spell Against Sri Lanka

Dale Steyn Overtakes England's Stuart Broad With Impressive Spell Against Sri Lanka

Needing 13 to reach the target of 304, Perera smashed Dale Steyn (2-71) over midwicket for six and then guided the ball to the third man boundary off Kagiso Rabada (1-97) to seal a remarkable Sri Lanka win and the third-highest successful chase at Kingsmead in Test history.

Perera scored 67 of those 78 runs for the last wicket and won it with a late cut down to the boundary for four, prompting Sri Lankan players to sprint from the dressing room out onto the pitch to congratulate their match victor.

It's Sri Lanka's second victory in three Tests at the ground and continued South Africa's mental block of playing there.

"KJP just scored what could be the greatest innings ever in an overseas run chase by a Sri Lankan batsman".

Perera's seemingly nerveless, always resourceful and gutsy 153 not out, off exactly 200 balls, warrants a suitably elevated place in the all-time Test cricket hall of fame, as he crucially accounted for more than half the required runs in a stiff chase of 304.

"I'm a bit exhausted now", he said after his match-winning exploits.

The last-wicket stand eventually put on 78 runs and remained unbeaten.

But the left-handed Perera successfully farmed the strike, with South African captain Faf du Plessis persisting with wide-spread fields for the in-form batsman, while Fernando only had to face 27 balls during a 96-ball partnership. "A superman effort. He deserves all the accolades that will come to him after this game".

"We can go back and try and figure out where it went wrong and what we did wrong and what we could have done better but, end of the day, it was an awesome batting performance".

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"Our bowlers were pretty good over the last two days, apart from a superhuman effort from Perera". Fernando, the unlikely hero with the bat at the end, was one of those two bowlers new to test cricket.

Sri Lanka's inexperience and recent form meant few people gave the visiting team a chance against South Africa, which has won every series it has played at home for the last three years.

At the time, Perera was on 86. But he threw caution to the wind, crunching all five of his sixes in that game-winning last-wicket stand.

"I didn't even look at the scoreboard when Vishwa came in and we had a lot of runs to get".

It is nearly as if "250 has become the new 450" in the minds of the South African players and their advisors: in other words, don't worry too much about the frequent lack of major totals because we'll just bomb out the opposition for even fewer runs. "This is outstanding. We never saw it coming".

Karunaratne said the tours of New Zealand and Australia had helped Sri Lanka prepare for South Africa.

At one stage, the left-hander was rapped on his top hand by a Rabada bouncer and immediately crumpled to the pitch in a heap, but somehow returned, with a hand wrapped in a bandage, to pummel South Africa's attack into submission.

South Africa have played some risky, arguably too cavalier Test cricket of late, and this Durban near-debacle also underlined that their frontline batting may be due a significant shake-up.

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