Du Plessis applauds 'Superman' Perera effort

By Sports Desk February 16, 2019

Kusal Perera deserves all the praise that comes his way for steering Sri Lanka to an unlikely opening-Test win for his "Superman" effort with the bat, said losing South Africa captain Faf du Plessis.

Sri Lanka appeared to be on a hiding to nothing in Durban when, chasing 304 for victory, the tourists fell to 226-9 from 83-3 on day four.

But Perera, on 86 at that point, produced a masterclass for the ages and his unbroken stand of 78 with Vishwa Fernando – a record 10th-wicket, fourth-innings partnership for a winning side in Test cricket – steered Sri Lanka to a one-wicket triumph.

Proteas skipper Du Plessis concedes his side could do nothing to get Perera, who finished a career-best 153 not out, off strike and recognised the match was a great advert for fans of five-day cricket.

"It was an incredible game of cricket. We're very disappointed to end on the losing side, but to have it to go down to nine wickets and a 78-run partnership at the end is great for the game of Test cricket," he said. 

"You could tell the fans were excited about it and, I suppose, as fans, that's the kind of Test match you want to see. 

"Well played to Sri Lanka. Obviously Perera was unbelievable. It took a Superman effort. He deserves all of the accolades that will come to him after this game."

Du Plessis admitted that the manner of the defeat was a tough one to take.

"I'd be lying if I said there wasn't emotions going through me on the inside. The legs underneath the water paddling, a little bit of that. It's difficult for a captain," he added. 

"You want to protect a lead and then you also understand that you want to try to bowl at the tailender. 

"He played that beautifully. Whatever we tried, he still managed to get one away or a boundary away, every over, every over.

"Towards the end, we got a few balls at the tailender but unfortunately there were a few plays and misses."

Related items

  • Inzamam to step down as Pakistan selector Inzamam to step down as Pakistan selector

    Inzamam-ul-Haq will step down as Pakistan's chief selector when his contract expires at the end of the month, he has announced.

    The former batting great took on the role in 2016 after quitting as Afghanistan coach, overseeing success in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.

    However, Inzamam has decided to move on following Pakistan's unsuccessful Cricket World Cup campaign, which saw them fall just short of the semi-finals.

    "After more than three years as chair of the Pakistan men's selection committee, I have decided not to seek a renewal of my contract," he told a news conference.

    "With the ICC World Test Championship, due to get underway in September, the ICC T20 World Cup in 2020 and the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023, I believe it is the right time for the Pakistan Cricket Board to appoint a new chief selector who can bring new ideas and fresh thinking.

    "I spoke to PCB chairman Ehsan Mani and managing director Wasim Khan on Monday and conveyed my decision to them separately.

    "I also thanked them for backing and supporting the selection committee since taking over the reins of Pakistan cricket.

    "The Pakistan cricket team has come a long way since the departures of stalwarts like Misbah-ul-Haq and Younus Khan in May 2017 and is now destined for improved results as the youngsters have grown in experience and stature.

    "They are now ready to excel and perform consistently across the three formats."

    As well as backing Pakistan to enjoy success in his absence, Inzamam also acknowledged he may have made mistakes during his time in charge.

    "It has been a pleasure to see these players grow and make names for themselves in international cricket," he said.

    "I will follow their progress with interest because I firmly believe these players have all the ingredients to take the Pakistan cricket team to greater heights.

    "The team could have performed better during my time than the results reflect and I may have inadvertently overlooked some potentially deserving players, but I have always had the best interests of Pakistan cricket foremost in my heart.

    "I hope the passionate Pakistan cricket fans will understand and can see this in my decisions."

  • How Trevor Bayliss kept England focused for World Cup finals How Trevor Bayliss kept England focused for World Cup finals
  • Australia paper loses appeal against Gayle - must pay Windies star $200k Australia paper loses appeal against Gayle - must pay Windies star $200k

    An Australia court has thrown out an appeal by media group Fairfax, which would have annulled damages owed to Windies star Chris Gayle who won a defamation suit against the entity last year.

    Gayle took the publishers to court after allegations that he exposed himself to a female masseuse during the 2015 World Cup came out in several of its publications.  More specifically, it was alleged that the batsman exposed his penis and indecently propositioned the woman in a dressing room during the tournament.

    The jury sided with the player, who strongly denied the allegations, in finding that the publishers acted with malice and accorded the cricketer damages amounting to US$211,000.  In its appeal, however, Fairfax argued that the jury should have been discharged after Gayle’s attorney attacked the credibility of the masseuse.  In response, the player’s legal team had appealed to increase the size of the payout to the West Indian star. Both appeals were dismissed.

     Fairfax newspapers are now owned by commercial broadcaster Nine Entertainment, which purchased the media company last year.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.