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Fernando, Mendis propel SL to historic win in SA

23 February 2019 04:37 pm - 26     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis propelled Sri Lanka to an eight-wicket win over South Africa on the third day of the second Test at St George's Park on Saturday, clinching an historic 2-0 series triumph.

The unheralded Sri Lankans became the first team from Asia to win a Test series in South Africa. Unlike their dramatic, unexpected one-wicket win in the first Test in Durban, the Sri Lankans surged to victory as Fernando and Mendis shared an unbeaten 163-run third wicket partnership studded with crisp, authoritative strokes.

Fernando made 75 not out off 106 balls and Mendis scored 84 not out off 110 deliveries as Sri Lanka chased down a victory target of 197, reaching the mark by lunch. Sri Lanka's series win was one of the biggest upsets in recent cricket history.

South Africa had won their previous seven series at home and had won 16 out of 19 home Tests, with only two defeats, before losing in Durban. Sri Lanka, by contrast, had lost six and drawn one of their previous seven Tests before arriving in South Africa with their team seemingly in disarray.

The selectors had made wholesale changes, including the dropping of captain Dinesh Chandimal, several players were missing because of injuries, while coach Chandika Hathurusingha was stripped of some of his powers. Yet the Sri Lankans heeded the call of Dimuth Karunaratne, who was announced as 'interim' captain, to "compete in every session" and to play with a smile on their faces.(AFP)

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  Comments - 26

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  • afhamfrk Saturday, 23 February 2019 05:51 PM

    Congratulation guys ! keep the momentum going upto the World cup

    S.H.Moulana Saturday, 23 February 2019 06:15 PM

    No doubt these two new stars have touched our heart they deserve all the praise. We are getting back to our good old cricket craze of the recent past and the good old memories of 1996 when we won the World Cup beating Australia by 7 wickets. All cricket fans are looking forward to receive our heroes. Congratulations boys!

    TONY Saturday, 23 February 2019 06:17 PM

    MANY CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ENTIRE TEAM.

    Gamini Wickramanayake Saturday, 23 February 2019 06:27 PM

    What a great day for SLC. Nervous fans all over the world anticipating what's going to happen. All the nay sayers putting the team down in every opportunity. Kusal Mendis you are a star. You have achieved a lot.dont let them bother you. Congratulations to the whole team.

    Manithan Saturday, 23 February 2019 06:32 PM

    Congratulation to the team!!! Keep going

    Upul Saturday, 23 February 2019 07:07 PM

    Congratulations for a job well done. Keep this trend going until we win the the world cup.

    Jude Saturday, 23 February 2019 07:49 PM

    Wow!!! Glory days are BACK!???

    BUSHEL Saturday, 23 February 2019 09:24 PM

    HIPIP HURRRRRRRRRRR.....AY....

    Rev.Y.Mather Saturday, 23 February 2019 09:31 PM

    Keep the good work.

    Nimal Fernando Saturday, 23 February 2019 09:39 PM

    Congragulations. Well done Sri Lanka. Keep moving. Never give up. Team spirit and unity are vital for the victory.

    dickie bird Saturday, 23 February 2019 09:45 PM

    Congratulations !!!!!!!!!!!! Stars BOP

    Somasundaram yogathasan Saturday, 23 February 2019 10:34 PM

    Congratulations for our boys

    Durang appuhamy Saturday, 23 February 2019 10:50 PM

    Thousand hearty cheers!!! absolutely fantastic keep going keep going!!!

    Ravi Sunday, 24 February 2019 12:06 AM

    BOTH FROM MORATUWA. Oshada from St. Sebastian's

    Mali Sunday, 24 February 2019 12:18 AM

    Smiling assasins!

    Ruvan Sunday, 24 February 2019 03:15 AM

    Now there will be many fathers for this victory including Pala

    Ranjith Sunday, 24 February 2019 04:10 AM

    Yes it is a great win after a long lull period. But players should not be allowed to demolish the country in front of the world. What Kusal said at the presentation was rubbish after grabbing the mike. I never saw any player gab the mike forcefully during an interview. Very bad behaviour and Mendis should be given last warning. He should be thankful to the administration to keep him in a national team because he is a failed guy. There are better guys outside the team. e.g. O. Frenando who initiated the momentum for this match as well as the previous one. He is fearless and seems to be a very good gentleman like Mahela, Sanga and Aravinda. A salut for the selection committee.

    Jayantha Peries Sunday, 24 February 2019 09:09 AM

    Kusal betrayed his emotions that had been building up over a period of time because of his continual failures. He was a guy under pressure and yes, he did not handle his emotions well after such a brilliant knock. For a start I would like to give him my two cents worth and remind him that he a has a weakness in his batting that countries such as England and NZ and even Sth Africa (in the first test and first innings of 2nd test) have exploited. His feet don't move far enough for balls lust outside off stump. He needs to get behind the ball a bit more. Please work on that Kusal. I am not the only one to comment on this weakness. Congratulations on a brilliant knock and a big THANKS for bringing our team home victorious.

    Jude Sunday, 24 February 2019 09:59 AM

    Hey Ranjith, Mendis a young kid with lots of potential and he've a promising career ahead of him!!! Mendis would've grab the mike on the spur of the moment!!!?? You should look at the big picture!!???yeah!!! This team achieved NO other Asian team could do!!! Yeah beating SA in SA !!!

    Cluless Sunday, 24 February 2019 04:33 AM

    Congratulations the team and the coaching and support staff. As most of us blamed Hathu for poor performance he should get some credit for the wins. Finally there are some new players who has the stars behind them.

    ireddyu Sunday, 24 February 2019 04:34 AM

    Congratulations to all of the team for winning series especially Captain Dimuth, Osada, Viswa, Embuldeniya, Kusal P, Kusal M, Lakmal for their exceptional contribution and of course not to mention bowling coach and batting coach.

    Robert Fernando Sunday, 24 February 2019 05:04 AM

    Great victory. Congratulations. Keep cool. don't get overwhelmed by this victory. Consistency and application is very important. Make Sri Lanka Great Again. You can do it.

    Jimbo Sunday, 24 February 2019 07:11 AM

    Great job done Team Sri Lanka. Congratulations. That's the way to go.

    Ratna De Silva Sunday, 24 February 2019 08:16 AM

    Congratulations boys well done.New comers played really well.

    Gamini Sunday, 24 February 2019 03:08 PM

    Those who criticise Kusal should understand he has scored 6 centuries before the age of 24. Nobody has done it in Sri Lanka. So it is very harsh to criticise him. Those key board warriors in Facebook and affect the mental health of players.

    irshad Sunday, 24 February 2019 03:31 PM

    Congratulations to the whole team and keep it up team sprit


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