Sri Lanka has shocked the world by whitewashing South Africa in Tests in their backyard. On Saturday (February 23rd), the Islanders chased down 197 with eight wickets in hand to win the second Test in Port Elizabeth; thus blanking the hosts across two matches. Kusal Mendis and Oshada Fernando added 163 for the third wicket to script history. As a result, Sri Lanka also became the first team from Asia to beat the Proteas in a Test series at their home. Meanwhile, Kusal Mendis won the Man of the Match award while Kusal Perera earned the Player of the Series award.
Kusal(s) get the job done for the Islanders
Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis have been the star performers for Sri Lanka during Test series. Though Perera’s heroics helped them win the first Test in Durban, Mendis’ all-round show in the next game saw them stun the Proteas. As the game got finished in three days, it shows how much the bowlers must have fancied bowling on such a track.
Earlier, it was South Africa who won the toss and elected to bat first. The Lankans began from where they had left in the previous game; disrupting South Africa’s balance from the word go. The hosts couldn’t pull off the trigger despite Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram hitting respective fifties. As they didn’t find much support from the other end, the visitors wrapped up their first innings on 222.
In reply, Sri Lanka got reduced to 60 for three at stumps on day one, and eventually got all out on a little 154. Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier shared seven wickets among them. Moreover, Sri Lanka, much like the first game didn’t lose hope and fought hard in the second innings. As the Protean batsmen failed to find any rhythm, they got all out on 128 – giving a target of 197 for the Lankans to win.
On day three, Sri Lanka began on a cautious note after losing two wickets overnight. The pair of Fernando and Mendis then ensured they stick to the basics and get the job done for the team. Meanwhile, on winning the two-match Test series, the Twitter showered praises on the side. Here are a few of the reactions.
The world bows down to Sri Lanka!!
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) February 23, 2019
Congratulations to Sri Lanka on a fantastic Test series win against SA in SA. This must be one of their greatest moments in their Test history. My friend @RusselArnold69 will be a really happy man #SAvSL
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) February 23, 2019
Congratulations @OfficialSLC for achieving what no other Sri Lankan team has ever come close to. Huge character shown by all concerned with The team, coaching staff and management having been under tremendous pressure. A team effort for the ages. Keep believing and keep fighting
— Kumar Sangakkara (@KumarSanga2) February 23, 2019
Congratulations !!! Great team work to achieve something special. proud of the boys.. Well done @IamDimuth and the team. 👍👊👊👊
— Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) February 23, 2019
First Asian team to win a Test series in South Africa. That too…without some of the key players. Wow…just wow. Well done, Sri Lanka. Incredible. #SAvSL
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 23, 2019
Really happy for the boys, fantastic team effort. This series win among the Top achievements of Sri Lanka Cricket. Well done @iamdimuth & team, Coaching staff.
— Rangana Herath (@HerathRSL) February 23, 2019
Wow, Sri Lanka! Hats off! Going where no Asian team has gone before, where better Sri Lankan teams haven't. This is big! Very big.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 23, 2019
Congrats to @OfficialSLC
Your series win hurts but what a magnificent one it is! Captured the imagination with the way you played. #SAvSL
— Graeme Smith (@GraemeSmith49) February 23, 2019
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) February 23, 2019
— Thisara perera (@PereraThisara) February 23, 2019