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Sri Lanka become the first Asian team to win a Test series in South Africa 

Ram Kumar
FEATURED WRITER
Feature
1.32K   //    23 Feb 2019, 15:48 IST

Sri Lanka have now won four Tests in a row against South Africa
Sri Lanka have now won four Tests in a row against South Africa

Defying all odds, Sri Lanka have created history by becoming the first Asian team to win a Test series against South Africa on South African soil. After registering an epic one-wicket victory at Durban, Dimuth Karunaratne's men registered a comprehensive 8-wicket triumph at Port Elizabeth to seal an epoch-making whitewash.

Till date, the Asian quartet of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have played 22 Test series (combined) in South Africa. On the 22nd attempt, the Lankans managed to do the unprecedented and clean-swept the Proteas.

Overall, Sri Lanka follow England and Australia as the only teams to win Test series on South African soil. While England have won an astonishing 11 Test series in South Africa, Australia have won an astounding 10 Test series in South Africa.

Prior to arriving in South Africa, Sri Lanka had lost 0-3 to England at home before suffering 0-1 and 0-2 defeats in New Zealand and Australia respectively. On the other hand, the Proteas came into this series on the back of seven successive series victories at home.

After winning the toss and opting to bowl on a green top at Durban, Sri Lanka limited South Africa for 235 in the first innings. A half-century from Kusal Perera propelled the visitors to 191. Lasith Embuldeniya's five-wicket haul meant that the Lankans found themselves chasing 304 runs.

What followed was one of the greatest knocks in Test history. Kusal Perera hammered 153 off 200 balls and clinched a rousing one-wicket victory for Sri Lanka at Kingsmead. He shared an unbeaten 78-run partnership with Vishwa Fernando.

In the second Test at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth, the hosts won the toss and opted to bat first. Vishwa Fernando and Kasun Rajitha razed South Africa for 222 in the first innings. Although they conceded a 68-run lead to the Proteas, Sri Lanka came roaring back through their seamers.

Suranga Lakmal led the seam attack with a sustained spell and played a key role in sending South Africa spiralling to 128. Chasing 197 for glory, Sri Lanka rode on the back of an unbeaten 163-run partnership between Kusal Mendis and Oshada Fernando. The visitors cruised to the target with eight wickets to spare.

Performance of all Asian teams in Test series in South Africa

1992/93: South Africa beat India 1-0 (4)

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1995: South Africa beat Pakistan 1-0 (1)

1996/67: South Africa beat India 2-0 (3)

1998: South Africa drew with Pakistan 1-1 (3)

1998: South Africa beat Sri Lanka 2-0 (2)

2000/01: South Africa beat Sri Lanka 2-0 (3)

2001: South Africa beat India 1-0 (2)

2002: South Africa beat Bangladesh 2-0 (2)

2002: South Africa beat Sri Lanka 2-0 (2)

2002/03: South Africa beat Pakistan 2-0 (2)

2006/07: South Africa beat India 2-1 (3)

2007: South Africa beat Pakistan 2-1 (3)

2008: South Africa beat Bangladesh 2-0 (2)

2010/11: South Africa drew with India 1-1 (3)

2011/12: South Africa beat Sri Lanka 2-1 (3)

2013: South Africa beat Pakistan 3-0 (3)

2013: South Africa beat India 1-0 (2)

2016/17: South Africa beat Sri Lanka 3-0 (3)

2017: South Africa beat Bangladesh 2-0 (2)

2018: South Africa beat India 2-1 (3)

2018/19: South Africa beat Pakistan 3-0 (3)

2019: Sri Lanka beat South Africa 2-0 (2)

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