Sri Lanka Skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan proudly claims that the Durban victory was one of the greatest wins for his country. The Lankans tasted their maiden Test victory on South African soil when they crushed the hosts by 208 runs inside four days in the Boxing Day Test Match at Kingsmead, Durban.
The historic moment came when left-arm spinner Rangana Herath cleaned up the stumps of last man Marchant de Lange. It was a dramatic finish to the Test match as the Sri Lankans took the last three wickets in the space of four balls! Nobody expected the match to be completed on the fourth day itself as AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn were defying the Lankan bowling with ease. However, the match was all over with just 1.3 overs to go in the day’s play! It was wild celebrations from the Sri Lankans under fading light conditions. The weather held up nicely for the tourists to wrap the game comfortably with a day to spare.
The Durban victory was Sri Lanka’s first ever Test win against South Africa in South Africa with this being their fourth series in this country. It was only the ninth Test win for Sri Lanka outside the sub-continent. It was a consolation for the Lankans as they just managed to pull off their solitary Test win in the whole of 2011. Sri Lanka took as many as 15 Tests after the great Muralitharan’s retirement to finally taste victory. It was an all-round team performance that made it possible. Rangana Herath captured 9 wickets, Chanaka Welegedara took a five-wicket haul, Samaraweera and Sangakkara scored a century each, and debutant Wicket Keeper scored fifty in both the innings. The Lankan maiden victory also coincided with Mahela Jayawardene reaching 10,000 runs in Tests.
The Lankans will have to quickly come back to normal after all their parties and celebrations as they can’t afford any complacency in the deciding Test at Newlands, Capetown which begins on the 3rd of January.