Perera hit a career-best 153 not-out as he and Vishwa Fernando add on an unbeaten 78 for the last-wicket partnership that enabled Sri Lanka to secure their second win in Test cricket in South Africa.
Victory once seemed unlikely for the visitors as their ninth wicket went down at a score of 226 while chasing a target of 304.
But the 28-year-old Perera successfully farmed the strike, with South African captain Faf du Plessis persisting with defensive fields for the in-form left-handed batsman, while Fernando faced only 27 balls during the 96-ball partnership.
The Proteas side took the second new ball with the Sri Lankan total at 263 but still kept most of their fielders were on the boundary for Perera, who hit sixes off both Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada before slashing the latter to third man for a winning boundary.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
KJP just scored what could be the greatest innings ever in an overseas run chase by a Sri Lankan batsman. Brings back memories of the brilliant hundred by @MahelaJay against @OfficialCSA in 2006 at The P Sara
— Kumar Sangakkara (@KumarSanga2) February 16, 2019
What a beauty !!!! One of the best inings under presure. Showed intelligents and mental strength KJP and very proud of you. 👍👊
— Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) February 16, 2019
We Won … We Won !!!! #SAvSL
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) February 16, 2019
Kusal Perera !!!! WOW …. One of the greatest Test innings of all time …..
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 16, 2019
Take a bow @KusalJPerera . What a outstanding victory for @OfficialSLC . Congratulations @IamDimuth @NiroshanDikka @KusalMendis1 @CHathurusinghe @Dhananjaya7575 . What a performance by Lasith Abuldeniya and Vishwa Fernando #SLvSA
— Upul Tharanga (@upultharanga44) February 16, 2019
Conceding first innings lead. Chasing over 300 in the fourth innings. Sri Lanka has just scripted one of the most memorable Test match victories of modern times. Well played 😊🙌 #SAvSL
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 16, 2019
— Danny Morrison (@SteelyDan66) February 16, 2019
— Danushka Gunathilaka (@danushka_70) February 16, 2019
— Chaminda Vaas (@chaminda_vaas) February 16, 2019
Wow just amazing!! Well done the @OfficialSLC boys on this rare test win away from home👏🏼 Absolutely brilliant!! Love connection with Durban continues for us🙏🏽 kjp, ambul, vishwa outstanding!
— Farveez Maharoof (@farveezmaharoof) February 16, 2019
— Jonty Rhodes (@JontyRhodes8) February 16, 2019
Great knock @KusalJPerera
Weldone Sri Lanka
— Thisara perera (@PereraThisara) February 16, 2019
Has to be one of the all time great innings that from Kusal Perera! Great for him, great for Test cricket! Wow! What a result!
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) February 16, 2019
That was an absolutely incredible chase by Sri Lanka! 78 run 10th wicket partnership… Test cricket at it’s best. #SAvSL 🇱🇰
— Callum Ferguson (@calferguson12) February 16, 2019
Congratulations boys. What a game of cricket. Ful credit goes to @KusalJPerera. It was real team work boys.what way to win a game in South African soil. Wel done boys. Congrats to everyone. 👏👏👏👏👏👏
— Dhammika Prasad (@imDhammika) February 16, 2019
Sensational from Kusal Perera 🔥🔥🔥 #SAvSL
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) February 16, 2019
One of the greatest test matches in the recent past. #SAvSL Made for great viewing too.. Well done to both the teams👏
— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) February 16, 2019
Congratulations Siri lanka.and well played Kushal Perera. This is beauty of cricket test cricket
— Mohammad Yousaf (@yousaf1788) February 16, 2019
What a finish to the #SAvsSL test match!! Unbelievable knock 👏👏
— Liam Livingstone (@liaml4893) February 16, 2019
Well played Kusal Perera and @OfficialSLC 👏🏻👏🏻that was a knock for the ages. Gripping test cricket. Gosh I hope test cricket continues to be this good all year as we’ve seen in the last three weeks.
— ian bishop (@irbishi) February 16, 2019
Meanwhile an absolute historic win for SL,Perera ends with an unbeaten 153,a record 10th wicket stand in a successful chase,they were 226/9 chasing 304! Incredible win.. #SAvSL
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) February 16, 2019
WHAT A WIN! KUSAL PERERA YOU LEGEND WHAT A GAME.
South Africa, oh South Africa.
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) February 16, 2019
— The Cricket Times (@CricketTimesHQ) February 16, 2019